Writing for the Public

Bringing Humanities Research to a Wide Audience

This special workshop is designed for faculty members who seek to write and publish for broad audiences. The workshop will include practical exercises, information on pitching and crafting articles and book manuscripts, and collaborative discussion of participant writing. Participants will leave the workshop with a project proposal or short article ready to pitch or submit for publication.

Writing for the Public will take place Thursday, January 23 and Friday, January 24, 2020. The workshop will be led by Christopher Schaberg, Dorothy Harrell Brown Distinguished Professor of English at Loyola University of New Orleans.  Schaberg is founding co-editor (with Ian Bogost) of an essay and book series called Object Lessons, “a home for lucid, imaginative, concise writing about specific things—from conches to neckties, cinnamon ferns to sewing needles.”  Schaberg and Bogost won National Endowment for the Humanities support for a series of NEH Institutes on public writing around the United States.  Schaberg is the author of The Textual Life of Airports: Reading the Culture of Flight (2012), The End of Airports (2015), Airportness: The Nature of Flight (2017) and The Work of Literature in an Age of Post-Truth (2018).  He is editor (with Robert Bennett) of Deconstructing Brad Pitt (2014) and Airplane Reading (2016, with Mark Yakich).

Professor Schaberg will give a public talk, Object Lessons: From Private Idea to Public Humanities at 5 p.m., Thursday, January 23.

Writing for the public is open to all full-time faculty members in the humanities, broadly construed. Visiting faculty are eligible to apply. Participants must commit to writing and circulating a suitable article or proposal with the workshop group no later than Friday, January 17, 2020. Participants are also expected meet with a small peer group during the week prior to Christopher Schaberg's visit; to provide constructive feedback on the work of all other participants (including one or more written commentaries); to attend all workshop sessions; and to attend Professor Schaberg's talk at 5 p.m. on Thursday, January 23.

Applications are due December 1, 2019. To apply, please submit a c.v. and a statement of no more than one page describing your proposed project and your interest in the program.  In your statement, please indicate your position and years of service at Miami and the current status of your project.  In selecting participants, the Humanities Center Steering Committee scholarly record, potential public of the proposed topic or project, progress on the project, and career stage.  Please submit your application as a PDF titled "[YourLastName] Workshop Application" to  Please write “Scholarly Publishing Program” in the subject heading of your message.

In order to help the Humanities Center gauge preliminary interest in the program for planning purposes, potentially interested faculty are encouraged to register their interest on this form. Please direct questions or suggestions about this workshop to Tim Melley at

Book Proposal Workshops

Helping Faculty Members Publish Their Monographs

From Dissertation to Book." The workshoip was coordinated by Steve Conn, W. E. Smith Professor of History and provided one-on-one consulations with Nancy Toff, Executive Editor at Oxford University Press, The Humanities Center's 2018 Book Proposal Workshop was be led by Elaine Miller, Professor of Philosophy, and included one-on-one consultations with Courtney Berger, Senior Editor and Editorial Department Manager at Duke University Press.

In some years, the Book Proposal Workshops is not offered so the the Center can offer programs on Writing for the Public or Digital Humanities methods.  

Call for Applications to the January 2021 Workshop

The Humanities Center's 2021 Book Proposal Workshop is open to all full-time faculty in the humanities, broadly construed.  Application is simple: please submit a c.v. and a brief (one-paragraph) statement describing your book project and your interest in the program.  In your statement, please indicate your position and years of service at Miami and the current status of your project.  

In selecting participants, the Humanities Center Steering Committee will consider scholarly record, progress on the project, and career stage.  Applications are due Friday, December 1, 2020 to  Please write “Book Proposal Workshop” in the subject heading of your message.

Selected participants agree to submit to the Humanities Center a draft book proposal of at least 4 single-spaced pages by 5 p.m. Sunday, January 7, 2018.  All proposals will be circulated shortly thereafter to members of the workshop for review and critique.  Participants are expected to provide detailed written and oral feedback on all other proposals. The workshop will meet Tuesday, January 16, 12p.m.-4 p.m., and Wednesday, January 17, 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.  Tuesday's session will begin with a lunch at which participants can get to know each other, and Wednesday's session will concluded with a reception and a presentation on humanities grant applications.  Applicants should keep open Thursday, January 18 as a make up day in the event of snow.

Topics covered will include the transition from dissertation to book, the creation and submission of a first book  proposal, contacting and working with editors, and repurposing the book proposal for grant applications. All members of the workshop will receive detailed feedback on their proposals (and, to some extent, on their books) from peers and the workshop coordinator.  Participants will receive $250 to support their research as well as a one-on-one consultation with a university press editor early in the spring semester. The editor will also give a talk on scholarly publishing, and workshop participants are expected to attend.  Applicants should realize that visiting editors are consultants only and are not on campus to solicit material for publication.

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