Middlebury Will Participate in Calderwood Seminars in Public Writing

February 20, 2018

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – Middlebury will adopt the Calderwood Seminars in Public Writing, a program created at Wellesley and now expanding to five other schools, including Amherst, Bard, Georgetown, and Wesleyan. The program was developed by David Lindauer, Wellesley’s Stanford Calderwood Professor of Economics, in 2013 to help students learn to translate and communicate complex arguments to a broad audience.

“The virtue of public writing, beyond its marketability as a skill, is that it requires students to be able to synthesize and integrate information—and to understand it well enough to communicate it to a nonspecialist audience,” said Middlebury Vice President of Academic Affairs Andi Lloyd. “It’s a great capstone experience.”

Middlebury will introduce its first seminars during the 2018–19 academic year. So far, three faculty members in history, Italian, and economics have expressed interest in teaching one of the seminars.

Juniors and seniors can elect to take the seminars, which engage students in a final review of their major while fine-tuning their writing skills and preparing them for careers in their field. The program was founded on the principle that public writing is different from academic writing—and is central to life beyond college.

The program’s pilot expansion to Middlebury and elsewhere is supported by a grant from the Calderwood Charitable Foundation.