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On Writing

On Writing is a series of conversations with faculty and other advanced writers at Vanderbilt about their writing practices. Conversations examine the ways in which a given writer generates ideas, cultivates a style, and responds to various writing situations.

Spring 2023

The Writing Studio and the English Language Center invite you to join us for a panel discussion on supporting multilingual undergraduate writers in the classroom. Join Jose Luis de Ramon Ruiz, Graduate Teaching Fellow at the Center for Teaching; Cameron Sheehy, Graduate Writing Consultant at the Writing Studio; Romy Frank, Senior Language Teaching Specialist at the English Language Center; and Rongchao Tang, Language Teaching Specialist at the English Language Center.

The discussion will be held on March 3 in Commons 233 at 12:15 pm. Lunch will be served. To join, please RSVP here:


Fall 2022

On Writing First Books

The Writing Studio and the Graduate School invite you to join us for a panel discussion on first books. Join Assistant Professor of Political Science and author of The Obligation Mosaic, Allison Anoll; Assistant Professor of History and author of Locusts of Power: Borders,Empire, and Environment in the Modern Middle East, Samuel Dolbee; and Assistant Professor of Public Policy and Education and author of Scripting the Moves: Culture & Control in a “No-Excuses” Charter School, Joanne Golann for a conversation about their experience of writing their first book.

The discussion will be held on November 15 in Alumni Hall 117 at 4:15 pm. Refreshments will be served beginning at 4:00 pm. To Join, Please RSVP on Anchor Link.

Fall 2019

On Writing: How to Write and Op-Ed

Professor of Communications Bonnie Dow, Assistant Vice Chancellor of Strategic Communications Ian Morrison, Professor of History Moses Ochonu, and Associate Professor of Earth and Environmental Science Jonathan Gilligan discuss the dos and don’ts of writing an op ed. They discuss the structure, audiences, and purposes of this unique piece of writing. See the link below for tips from this useful and informative panel discussion.

How to Write an Op-Ed

Spring 2019

On Writing: Discussion on First Books

Assistant Professor of History and author of Slave Emancipation and Transformations in Brazilian Political Citizenship, Celso Castilho, Assistant Professor of Spanish and author of Home Away from Home: Immigrant Narratives, Domesticity, and Coloniality in Contemporary Spanish Culture, Michelle Murray, and Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Religious Studies and author of Jinnealogy: Everyday life and Islamic theology in post-Partition Delhi, Anand Taneja, will discuss writing their first books. The panel discussion will be recorded in the VIDL Studio and made available on the Writing Studio website. Please check back soon for a recording of the event.

Spring 2018

On Writing: Writing Beyond the Academy” – Wednesday, March 21, 4:15pm in Alumni Hall 100

Spring 2017

On Writing: Publishing Your Journal Article

Wednesday, February 224:00-5:00 PM, in Garland Hall 101. This event is part of the 2016-17 Arts and Science Graduate Student Seminar Series.

Please join us as journal editors from the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences discuss the academic publishing process and give advice for getting your work published in academic journals.  This panel will feature Lutz Koepnick, who has served on the Editorial Board of PMLA and the Advisory Board of German Studies Review; William Fowler, Founding Editor and Editor-in-Chief of Ancient Mesoamerica; and Eva Harth, Associate Editor of Polymer Chemistry.  Jeff Shenton, Assistant Director of the Writing Studio, will moderate the panel.  All Vanderbilt University graduate students are welcome to attend.  Refreshments will be served.

Spring 2016

“Hello from the Other Side”: Lessons from Vanderbilt Faculty on Writing Multiple Books

Please join us for a conversation with Associate Professor of Political Science and Philosophy Brooke Ackerly, Professor of History and Director of Women’s and Gender Studies Katie Crawford, and Assistant Professor of Anthropology Markus Eberl on their “best books” and how the writing process evolves from one project to the next.

Friday, February 12th, 12:30-2:00 PM

Alumni Hall Lounge, Room 100


On Writing events from previous Semesters

Fall 2015


Join the Editorial Team of the People’s Guide to Nashville, an alternative guide to Nashville rooted in an ethic of deep participation with the people who constitute the city. The guide is an educational tool about Nashville’s cultural, political, economic and social movements and is co-constructed with the people who have been a part of these efforts. We’ll discuss the challenges and joys of producing writing as a group!

Co-Sponsored by the Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities

October 22 4-5:30pm in the Robert Penn Warren Center.


Spring 2015 – Research, Advocacy, and the Academy: Making Writing Count

Wednesday, February 25, at 4:30pm in Alumni Hall 100.

Join George Hornberger, University Distinguished Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth and Environmental Science, Craig E. Philip Professor in Engineering, Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences, and Director of the Vanderbilt Institute for Energy & Environment; Laura Carpenter, Associate Professor of Sociology and Interim Director of Women’s and Gender Studies; and Ted Fischer, Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Center for Latin American Studies, for a conversation about combining one’s academic passions with public advocacy.

Fall 2014 – Journal Article Superstars

The Writing Studio “On Writing” Series will present “Journal-Article Superstars” onThursday, October 23 at 4:30pm in Alumni Hall 100. Join prolific article writers Scott Aiken (Philosophy), Scott Juengel (English), and Jim Fraser (HOD) for a discussion about researching, writing, and publishing journal articles.

Spring 2014 – Dissertations: Afterlives and Reincarnations

The Writing Studio “On Writing” Discussion Series will present “Dissertations: Afterlives and Reincarnations” on Tuesday, March 18 at 4:15pm in Alumni Hall 201. Join Jen Fay (Associate Professor of Film Studies and English), Richard Lloyd (Associate Professor of Sociology), and Beth Shinn (Professor and Chair of the Department of Human and Organizational Development) as they discuss the possibilities for the dissertation after graduation.

Fall 2013 – On Writing: Discussion on Writing First Books

Join Assistant Professor of Jewish Studies and author of The Business of Identity: Jews, Muslims, and Economic Life in Medieval EgyptPhil Ackerman-Lieberman, Assistant Professor of Communication Studies and author of Washed in Blood: Male Sacrifice, Trauma, and the CinemaClaire King, and Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the City College of New York and author of Brown Out, Man Up! Basketball, Leisure, and the Making of Desi MasculinityStan Thangaraj, for a conversation about writing their first books.