Faculty Writing Workshop, May 14 - 16
Want to jump start your writing this summer? Looking for ways to be a more productive and motivated scholarly writer? Interested in meeting and talking with other faculty writers?
The Thompson Writing Program is offering a three-day faculty writing workshop to help you cultivate a sane, productive writing life. Each day includes both hands-on workshops and time for you to write. The writing sessions offer opportunities to write in a comfortable, relaxed space. In the workshops, you will learn powerful practices that can help you to incorporate your role as a writer among your many commitments. Appropriate for faculty in any discipline.
For more details and the workshop application, please see this link. You can also browse the photos on this web page, which are all from the 2012 Faculty Writing Workshop.
Faculty Write Program
The Faculty Write Program focuses on faculty-as-writers and aims to reinvigorate commitments to writing and teaching writing at Duke. The program emphasizes cultivating multidisciplinary communities of writers to advance faculty writing and conversations about writing and research across the curriculum.
The three key features are:
1. Writing Workshops
2. Writing Communities
3. Writing Lives, Teaching Lives
Read, Write, Engage. Multi-day workshops offered each May and single day workshops in September and January to help faculty cultivate a sane, productive writing life. Each day includes time to write, as well as hands-on workshops. Writing sessions offer opportunities to write in a comfortable, relaxed space. In workshops, faculty writers learn powerful practices that can help them to incorporate their role as a writer among their many commitments. Workshops are offered for regular rank and visiting faculty and are appropriate for faculty in any discipline. Here is what participants from the May 2012 workshop (co-facilitated by Jennifer Ahern-Dodson from Duke and Monique Dufour from Virginia Tech) had to say:
"This workshop has changed my mind about how I think about writing: I would have previously thought that writing goals, keeping drafts, etc. was a waste of time when you could be writing - but now I see this as a way of moving forward."
"I feel that the mix of group discussion activities and individual writing has been well balanced. I didn’t think that analyzing scientific writing with a humanist would be useful—but it was."
"I loved this workshop. It was tremendously helpful in getting me unstuck, in helping me to find (and validate!) a voice, and in soothing my soul."
"I came feeling extremely frustrated and tired of my project which had been stalled for a LONG time. Not excited about it, not knowing how to move it forward... The workshop has allowed me to identify my problem areas and given me strategies for becoming unstuck... I am actually excited about where I am and what I have discovered. I would definitely recommend this workshop again."
John Hart History
Gertrude James Franklin Humanities Institute, philosophy
Barbara Lau Pauli Murray Project, documentary studies
Dan McShea Biology
Andrea Novicki Center for Instructional Technology, neuroscience
Ann Marie Rasmussen Germanic Languages and Literature
Deb Reisinger Romance Studies
Karin Shapiro History
Melissa Simmermeyer Romance Studies
Kathleen Smith Biology
Liz Turner Global Health, Biostatistics and Bioinformatics
Clare Woods Classical Studies
Writing Communities: Multidisciplinary Writing Groups
Writing is a significant part of our professional lives as faculty. We're working on articles, grant proposals, teaching statements, blogs, or op-eds. Too often, however, we don’t have opportunities to talk about the process, our struggles, or to get feedback from readers outside (or even within) our own departments. The Thompson Writing Program is sponsoring multidisciplinary communities of writers to enhance writing productivity, collegiality, and the exchange of ideas across disciplines.
Types of Faculty Writing Groups include:
1. Online Accountability Groups: In these "check-in" groups, faculty regularly post a writing plan (i.e goals or project deadlines) to an online forum. They report back on their progress, and reporting to a group of peers increases their accountability to meet the outlined goals.
2. Writing Side-by-Side: Faculty meet on a regular basis to write in a shared space, but do not exchange writing or offer feedback. Also lovingly known as, "Shut Up and Write," the primary aim of this group is to create a sense of shared responsbility for showing up and writing on a regular basis.
3. Feedback Groups: 4 - 5 faculty from different disciplines meet regularly, face-to-face, to exchange and comment on each other's writing. The Thompson Writing Program helps organize the groups and provides guidance on responding strategies and best practices for multi-disciplinary conversations about writing. A recent Duke News article highlights the features of this new initiative and the benefits for faculty.
In some groups, faculty share a range of writing projects based on what each participant is currently working on. In other groups, writers are organized around a particular theme (i.e. department-focused or genre-focused). For example, Faculty Fiction Writers Anonymous brings together faculty from multiple disciplines to read and critique each other’s attempted fiction.
Writing Lives, Teaching Lives: Integrating Writing, Teaching, and Research
1. Research with Writing Faculty Fellows Program: The Thompson Writing Program (TWP) and the Center for Instructional Technology co-sponsored a year-long Faculty Fellowship to provide support for faculty interested in developing and evaluating new approaches to teaching research with writing to undergraduates in their disciplines. During the Fellowship, which ran from September 2011 to May 2012, participants from a range of disciplines met monthly to discuss writing as a way of thinking, explored ways to cultivate student writing during the research process, workshopped their plans and ideas for teaching research with writing in their spring courses, and discussed the effectiveness of their new approach(es). Additionally, fellows discussed how to connect their own passion for research and writing to their teaching.
Melissa Simmermeyer, Romance Studies faculty and Research with Writing Fellow, discusses her teaching innovation in a recent blog post titled, "Scaffolding the writing process: Framing a space for critical thinking in L2."
Nick Carnes, Assistant Professor in Public Policy, discusses his efforts to enhance student engagement with research in his course "The Great Recession." By making the research process central to the course, he invites students to engage directly in policy debates as researchers and to consider thoughtfully how their own experiences connect to the course inquiry.
2. Reinvigorating commitments to writing: Faculty in this ongoing series reflect on the intersections between their work as writers and as teachers of writers.
In the first piece in the series, Deb Reisinger, Assistant Director of the French Language Program, examines the evolution of her feedback on student writing and its effect on her students' engagement as well as her own in a guest blog post titled, "Identifying (with) the Writer: Audio Feedback on Student Drafts."