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Public Scholarship


I am committed to helping colleagues communicate the implications of their academic work to a wider public. Especially in this politicized digital age, scholars must find effective ways to offer facts, evidence and understanding to fellow citizens.


The afterword to my book Write No Matter What describes the nature and value of learning how to write for the public. I offer workshops on "Becoming a Public Scholar" that detail why doing scholarly journalism benefits scholars, universities and the public. The workshops offer guidance in, and nonfiction narrative techniques for, public academic writing.

I have presented ideas about media, culture and modern life to a wider audience in both personal essays and public lectures, and continue to write personal essays based in my scholarly work.  


“Let’s Not Medicate Away Student Angst Chronicle of Higher Education, June 15. 2003, B5.  

(reprinted as: “Should We Use Medication to Deal with the Angst of College and Young Adulthood?” in Taking Sides: Clashing Views in Lifestyle Development, Andrew M. Guest, editor, McGraw-Hill 2007).

Emotional Choices: what story you choose to believe about antidepressants reveals a deeper truth about who you are,” Reason magazine, v. 35, no. 11, April 2004, pp. 28-35.  

(reprinted as “The Moody Blues: to med or not to med,” San Francisco Chronicle, April 18, 2004).


“Why is Picasso Famous? Art, Celebrity and Becoming a Fan,” Walker Art Institute, Minneapolis MN, June 2007.

“Experiencing the Arts: why art is good but is not 'good for us,'” keynote address, Engage/Enquire: international visual arts organization; Margate, Kent, UK November, 2011.

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