Writing & Public Discourse
Writing about what matters. Having the courage and conviction to speak up and speak out. These are hallmarks of what it means to learn and study at Smith College, and to live a life as an engaged global citizen who is ready to address society’s challenges. Thanks to a dedicated faculty and staff, and supported by prestigious foundations, Smith is transforming how we teach students to write across courses, disciplines, programs and events, with public discourse at the center. Students don’t just practice writing in the classroom, they get a chance to put their ideas into action and make a difference in the world.
Read more about the program in the Winter 2022 issue of the Smith Alumnae Quarterly.
Thanks to nearly $1.6 million in funding, since 2019 Smith has embarked on writing and public discourse initiatives that will continue through 2022 and beyond. These initiatives involve every level of the college, from revising and developing individual courses, to bringing on new faculty members, training faculty in a Writing Enriched Curriculum, and infusing the college at an institutional level with a philosophy that puts writing and public discourse at the forefront.
Smith students express insightful opinions based on compelling evidence and strong argument. They regularly publish articles in mainstream media outlets and scholarly journals, either independently or with faculty. The Jacobson Center provides editorial guidance.
Ideas That Resonate
Olivia Petty ’26, “Pull Up a Chair: A Student Perspective on Free Speech,” Smith Alumnae Quarterly, January 10, 2023.
Helen Bezuneh ’23, “It’s Time We Talk About Blackfishing,” Ms. Magazine, January 13, 2022.
Hanna Beck ’23, “Feminist Wishes for 2022: We Were Never Meant To Do This Work Alone,” Ms. Magazine, with Martha Garbarini ’22, December 30, 2021.
Leela de Paula ’23, “Smith’s $500K donation solidifies its relationship with city,” Daily Hampshire Gazette, December 27, 2021.
“My Words Could Help Others”
Juliet Schulman-Hall ’22 discusses her experience in a Calderwood Seminar—and how working on everything from film reviews to scholarly articles helped her reach her full writing potential. She has now started a career in journalism at a nonprofit news organization.