Previous Writer to Writer sessions
Sweetland's Writer to Writer series lets you hear directly from University of Michigan professors about their challenges, processes, and expectations as writers and also as readers of student writing. Each semester, Writer to Writer pairs one esteemed University professor with a Sweetland faculty member for a conversation about writing.
Word² sessions take place at the Literati bookstore and are broadcast live on WCBN radio. These conversations offer students a rare glimpse into the writing that professors do outside the classroom. You can hear instructors from various disciplines describe how they handle the same challenges student writers face, from finding a thesis to managing deadlines. Professors will also discuss what they want from student writers in their courses, and will take questions put forth by students and by other members of the University community. If there's anything you've ever wanted to ask a professor about writing, Writer to Writer gives you the chance.
Previous Sweetland's Writer to Writer sessions
Heather Ann Thompson is a historian at the University of Michigan in the Department of Afro-American and African Studies, the Department of History, and the Residential College. She is the Pulitzer Prize and Bancroft Prize-winning author of Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and its Legacy (2016). Blood in the Water received six additional book awards and landed on over 20 best of 2016 book lists including that of the New York Times.
Thompson is also a public intellectual who writes regularly on the history of policing, mass incarceration and the current criminal justice system for The New York Times, Newsweek, Time, The Washington Post, Rolling Stone, The Atlantic, and many other national publications. This year, Thompson was awarded a Bearing Witness Writing Fellowship from the Art for Justice fund of the Ford Foundation. Her next book is on the MOVE bombing of 1985. November 27, 2018 recording (mp3)
Susan Scott Parrish is a Professor in the English Department and the Program in the Environment at UM. Her research addresses the interrelated issues of the environment, race and knowledge-making in the Atlantic world from the seventeenth century up through the present, with a particular emphasis on southern and Caribbean plantation zones. Her new book, The Flood Year 1927: A Cultural History, examines how the most devastating, and publicly absorbing, US flood of the twentieth century took on meaning as it moved across media platforms, across sectional divides and across the color line. Her first book, American Curiosity: Cultures of Natural History in the Colonial British Atlantic World, is a study of how people in England and in British-controlled America conceived of—and made knowledge about—American nature within Atlantic scientific networks. This book won both Phi Beta Kappa’s Emerson Award and the Jamestown Prize.
Acclaimed medical historian Dr. Howard Markel is the George E. Wantz Distinguished Professor of the History of Medicine and Director of the Center for the History of Medicine at the University of Michigan. He is a professor of pediatrics, psychiatry, public health management and policy, history, and English literature and language. His work reaches a wide range of audiences and has had a broad impact on national and international health policy and on the public’s understanding of medicine. Dr. Markel is the author, co-author, or co-editor of ten books, including the award-winning Quarantine! and the national bestseller An Anatomy of Addiction.
In Fall, 2018, Pantheon/Random House will publish his new book, Corn Flakes, about Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, who invented the concept of “wellness,” and his brother, cereal magnate Will Kellogg. November 21, 2017 recording (mp3)
Clare Croft is a dance theorist, historian, and sometimes dramaturg. Her most recent project, Queer Dance: Meanings and Makings, will be published as anthology and website by Oxford University Press in March 2017. She is also the author of Dancers as Diplomats: American Choreography in Cultural Exchange (Oxford, 2015), which received the Congress on Research in Dance’s 2017 Outstanding Publication Prize. She has written for a wide range of venues, including The Washington Post and Austin American-Statesman; academic journals including Theatre Journal and QED: A Journal in Queer Worldmaking (forthcoming); and various performance venues, including Fusebox Festival and the TBA Festival. She is Assistant Professor of Dance at the University of Michigan.
Phlip Deloria is the Carroll Smith-Rosenberg Collegiate Professor in the College of Literature, Science and the Arts at the University of Michigan, where he has appointments in the Departments of History and American Culture and the Programs in Environment and Native American Studies. He received his Ph.D. in American Studies from Yale University in 1994, and came to Michigan in 2001, following six years at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Professor Deloria’s research focuses on the social, cultural and political histories of the relations between American Indians and the United States. His prizewinning 1998 book Playing Indian, traced “Indian play” from the Boston Tea Party to the New Age movement, while his 2004 book Indians in Unexpected Places, examined the ideologies surrounding Indian people in the early twentieth century and the ways Native Americans challenged them through sports, travel, automobility, and film and musical performance. He is in the process of completing American Studies: A User's Guide, which surveys methods of interpretation and writing, and Toward an American Indian Abstract, an extended piece of art criticism. November 15, 2016 recording (mp3)
Robin Queen is Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Linguistics, Germanic Languages and Literatures, and English Language and Literature and Chair of the Linguistics Department at the University of Michigan. She is a sociolinguist with strong interests in the relationship of language variation and social cognition. She has done research on intonation and prosody; contact-related language change; language, gender, and sexuality; human-canine interaction involving language; and language variation in the mass media. Her most recent book, Vox Popular: The Surprising Life of Language in the Media (2015), is aimed at providing an informed lay audience a window into the many ways that language variation circulates in fictional television and film. She was the co-editor (with Anne Curzan) of the Journal of English Linguistics from 2005-2011.
Bruce Conforth, holds a Ph.D. in ethnomusicology, folklore, and American Studies (Indiana University) specializing in American traditional music. A faculty member of the University of Michigan’s Program in American Culture, he researches American Roots music, especially the country blues, and has established himself as one of the foremost experts on the life and music of blues great Robert Johnson. He teaches courses in the blues, folk music, and folk culture. He has published extensively, given numerous lectures and keynote addresses, and appeared on radio and TV stations worldwide. His most recent book is African-American Folksong and American Cultural Politics, and he is completing, with co-author Gayle Dean Wardlow, the definitive biography of Robert Johnson. November 17, 2015 recording (mp3)
Phoebe Gloeckner is Associate Professor in the Stamps School of Art & Design at the University of Michigan, where she teaches courses in comic arts and interactive books. Her writing, drawing and illustration takes many shapes and forms, including A Child's Life and the extraordinary The Diary of a Teenage Girl (2002), which was recently adapted by Marielle Heller into a feature film that premiered at Sundance in January. She received a Guggenheim Fellowship for her ongoing work concerning the family of a murdered teenager living in Ciudad Juárez, a project that redefines boundaries not only between genres and mediums, but between author, reader and subject. March 3, 2015 recording (mp3)
Laura Kasischke is the Allan Seager Collegiate Professor of English at the University of Michigan, where she has won a number of awards for her teaching, including the Henry Russel Award, 1923 Memorial Teaching Award, and a Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award. She has published nine collections of poetry and nine novels. Several of her novels have been made into feature length films--including THE LIFE BEFORE HER EYES, starring Uma Thurman, and WHITE BIRD IN A BLIZZARD, starring Shailene Woodley. Her fiction has been translated into many languages, and her last four novels have been international best-sellers. For her eighth book of poetry she received the National Book Critics Circle Award. The collection was also a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. November 20, 2014 recording (mp3)
Maria Cotera is an Associate Professor of American Culture, Latina/o Studies, and Women’s Studies. Her work focuses on US/Third-World feminist theory, Latina feminism, and the intellectual genealogies of women of color. Her book Native Speakers: Ella Cara Deloria, Zora Neale Hurston, Jovila Gonzalez Mireles and the Poetics of Culture won the NWSA Gloria Anzaldua Prize. Professor Cotera is currently working on a book titled Chicana por mi Raza: The Hidden History of Chicanas in the Second Wave. Recorded February 6, 2014 (mp3).