17 November 2022 | Guest Lecture: “Introduction to Public Writing“ by Prof. Irina Dumitrescu
This interactive lecture offered participants a crash course in writing for the general public, including the range of genres scholars can write in, how to find outlets open to new writers, how to pitch those outlets and how to deal with editors and revisions professionally. Further, various issues raised by “public writing” were explored, such as how to balance and integrate scholarly writing with creative work, what rigour looks like in other genres (and where we have to ensure it ourselves), and the unexpected pros and cons of public writing.
Irina Dumitrescu is Professor of English Medieval Studies at the University of Bonn, where she organizes the Bonn Lectures in the Public Humanities. She is the author of The Experience of Education in Anglo-Saxon Literature (Cambridge, 2018), a study of the role of difficult emotions in early medieval pedagogy. She has edited or co-edited four essay collections and two journal special issues, including Rumba Under Fire: The Arts of Survival from West Point to Delhi (Punctum, 2016), on the role of the arts in times of crisis. Irina is a columnist at the Times Literary Supplement and co-hosts a podcast with Mary Wellesley at the London Review of Books. Besides these publications, she regularly writes for the New York Times, New York Review of Books, Los Angeles Review of Books, Longreads, Times Higher Education, and the Chronicle of Higher Education.
As a memoirist, she has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, shortlisted for the James Beard Foundation’s MFK Fisher Distinguished Writing Award, and received the McGinnis-Ritchie Award for nonfiction. One piece was included in Best American Essays 2016, edited by Jonathan Franzen and Bob Atwan, with five others selected as notables between 2013 and 2021. Her essays have also been reprinted in Holly Hughes’ Best Food Writing 2017, Jay McInerney’s Wine Reads: A Literary Anthology of Wine Writing (2018), Longreads, The Rumpus, and in the Romanian literary journal Scena9. Her writing can be found at www.irinadumitrescu.com and her newsletter at www.irinadumitrescu.substack.com.
The lecture was co-organized with the Graduate School Practices of Literature.