Harvard Writers at Work

Launched in 2009, the Harvard Writers at Work lecture series focuses on the ways that writing, by those at Harvard, connects academic and professional work and the broader public. The events are primarily aimed at Harvard undergraduates, with a special interest in drawing freshmen in order to inspire them at the outset of their education to see, no matter what their concentration, that writing matters and that they can create a writing life while in college and in their future careers. The series is co-sponsored by the Harvard College Writing Program, the Harvard Extension School Master’s Degree Program in Journalism, Harvard Review, the Nieman Foundation for Journalism, the Harvard College Program in General Education, and Harvard Business School Working Knowledge.

 

2013-2014 Lecture Series

Harvard's first-ever literary festival! Join us for three extraordinary days of readings and panels with writers such as Margaret Atwood, Jamaica Kincaid, Jorie Graham, Amy Hempel, and Bret Anthony Johnson. Learn craft, with workshops on spoken-word, fiction, metaphor, and poetry. Reimagine the book and its futures with Harvard's digital humanists and panelists from The Atlantic and New York Times Book Review.   

All events are free and open to the public.  

For more information, please visit litfest.fas.harvard.edu

 

Thursday, April 3, @ 7:30pm
Sever Hall 113
 

After a 25-year friendship that began in Harvard Yard, Scott Stossel and Ben Mezrich have something new in common. They have both written bestselling books. Please join us for a conversation with Stossel, the editor of The Atlantic and the author of My Age of Anxiety, and Mezrich, author of twelve books including The Accidental Billionaires (which was the basis for the film The Social Network) and the forthcoming Seven Wonders. They will discuss the choices they have made as writers and their very different paths to success.

 
 *     *     *     *     *     *

 

 

 

How to Cater a Roman Orgy: A discussion with Merry “Corky” White
Wednesday, March 26, @ 7:30pm
Thompson Room, Barker Center
 

Please join us as Boston’s preeminent food anthropologist, Merry "Corky" White, discusses the dietary history of Roman orgies, her own experiences cooking for crowds, and the joys of writing about food.

Merry “Corky” White is a professor in the anthropology department at Boston University, a researcher at the Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies at Harvard, and 2013 recipient of The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon, which the Japanese Consulate conferred upon her “in recognition of her significant contributions to the development of Japanese studies and the introduction of Japanese culture in the United States of America.” She is the author of several books, including Perfectly Japanese: Making Families in an Era of Upheaval, Coffee Life in Japan and Cooking for Crowds.

 
 *     *     *     *     *     *

 

Wednesday, February 19, @ 7:30pm
Thompson Room, Barker Center
 

Please join us for a discussion with Joshua Greene, author of Moral Tribes, about how our brains turn Me into Us, but turn Us against Them, and what we can do about it.

Joshua D. Greene is the John and Ruth Hazel Associate Professor of the Social Sciences and the director of the Moral Cognition Laboratory in the Department of Psychology, Harvard University. He studies the psychology and neuroscience of morality, focusing on the interplay between emotion and reasoning in moral decision-making. His broader interests cluster around the intersection of philosophy, psychology, and neuroscience. He is the author of Moral Tribes: Emotion, Reason, and the Gap Between Us and Them (2013).

 
 *     *     *     *     *     *

 

Thursday, December 5, @ 7:30pm
Fong Auditorium in Boylston Hall
 

You are cordially invited to join in a conversation with 2010 Pulitzer Prize winner (and former Harvard College Writing Program faculty member) Paul Harding as he reads from his new novel Enon and discusses the craft of writing fiction.

Mr. Harding is the author of the novel Tinkers, which won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. He has received a Guggenheim Fellowship and the PEN/Robert Bingham Fellowship for Writers. He was a fiction fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts, and has taught at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Harvard University, and Grinnell College.

 
 
*     *     *     *     *     *

Tuesday, October 8, @ 7:30pm
Fong Auditorium in Boylston Hall
 

In their new book Happy Money: The Science of Smarter Spending, behavioral scientists Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton describe how even a little money can buy a lot of happiness—but only if we spend it the right way. Please join us for a talk by Michael Norton as he discusses the principles of turning cash into contentment.

Michael I. Norton is an associate professor and Marvin Bower Fellow at the Harvard Business School. His work has been published in several leading academic journals, including Science, the Journal of Personality and Social PsychologyPsychological Science, and the Journal of Consumer Research, and has been covered in media outlets such as the Economist, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post. He has written op-eds for the New York TimesForbes, and the Los Angeles Times.  In 2012, he was selected for Wired magazine’s Smart List as one of “50 People Who Will Change the World.”

 
 
*     *     *     *     *     *

Wednesday, September 18 @ 7pm
Harvard Book Store, 1256 Massachusetts Ave
 

Harvard Book Store and the Harvard Writers at Work Lecture Series are pleased to welcome author ELIZABETH GREENSPAN as she discusses her new book, Battle For Ground Zero: Inside the Political Struggle To Rebuild the World Trade Center. As the iconic skyscraper 1 World Trade Center nears completion, Battle for Ground Zero tells an unforgettable story about our country's most contested piece of land. Dr. Greenspan is a faculty member in the Harvard College Writing Program. See a recent article of hers in the Atlantic Monthly here and more information about her book here. For Harvard Book Store's listing of the event, click here.

 

2012-2013 Lecture Series

Junot

A conversation with Junot Díaz
Monday, April 8, 5:00-6:30pm
Taylor Seminar Room, Nieman Foundation for Journalism, One Francis Ave.

Please join us for a conversation with Junot Díaz, Pulitzer Prize-winning author, provocateur, science fiction enthusiast, and MacArthur "Genius Award" winner. Díaz is author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao and This is How You Lose Her.

*     *     *     *     *     *     

Finbarr

Writing on War, a conversation with Finbarr O'Reilly and Thomas James Brennan
Monday, April 1, 6:00-7:30pm
Thompson Room, Barker Center

After years in different combat zones, photographer Finbarr O'Reilly and Sgt. T.J. Brennan ended up together in Afghanistan. Their bond, forged under fire, has been renewed as they each face the painful aftermath of combat back home. Sgt. Brennan has turned to writing in his quest to overcome post-traumatic stress disorder and is now a frequent contributor to the New York Times At War blog. O'Reilly uses his Nieman fellowship at Harvard to study psychology and the impact of trauma on mind and body. Both are now collaborating on a book telling their story of friendship, loss, struggle and recovery.

*     *     *     *     *     *     

Louisa Hall

A reading from The Carriage House by Louisa Hall
Monday, March 25, 7:30-8:30pm
Thompson Room, Barker Center

The Carraige House is the debut novel by Louisa Hall, whose poems have appeared in publications such as The New Republic, The Southwest Review, and Ellipsis. A 2004 graduate of Harvard College, she went on to play squash professionally for three years before writing The Carriage House

*     *     *     *     *     *     

Out of Eden

Out of Eden: the Walk
The Nieman Foundation for Journalism & National Geographic Magazine
Thursday, December 6, 7:00-8:30pm
Thompson Room, Barker Center

In January 2013, journalist Paul Salopek will start walking out of Africa, following the pathways of the first human migration about 60,000 years ago. Toting a small laptop and a satellite phone in his rucksack, Salopek will report on the major issues of our day — poverty, conflict, climate change, local innovations — from the ground level, living among the people he will cover from Ethiopia to Patagonia.

Salopek's HWW talk can be viewed here, and coverage of his journey can be found by visiting www.outofedenwalk.com

*     *     *     *     *     *    

The Art of the Book Review

The Art of the Book Review: Three Book Review Editors in Conversation
Thursday, November 8, 5:30-7:00pm
Straus Common Room, Harvard Yard

Three distinguished editors discuss the art of book reviewing in America today. Nicole Lamy, Book Review Editor of the Boston Globe, Megan O'Grady, Books Editor for Vogue magazine, and Jennifer B. McDonald of the New York Times Book Review discuss the rewards and difficulties of their work at three of the country's most prestigious periodicals. Moderated by Christina Thompson, editor of Harvard Review.

*     *     *     *     *     *     

Steven Pinker

A talk by Steven Pinker, "The Sense of Style: Writing in the 21st Century"
Wednesday, November 7, 5:30-7:00pm
Sever Hall 113

Why do we find it so hard to convey our ideas when we write? And how can we learn to do it better? Harvard College Professor and award-winning author Steven Pinker suggests answers from the modern sciences of mind and language. Steven Pinker is an experimental psychologist and one of the world’s foremost writers on language, mind, and human nature. His latest book is The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined.

*     *     *     *     *     *     

Fearless Journalism:  Printing What Someone Else Does Not Want Printed
Wednesday, October 24, 7:30-9:00pm
Thompson Room, Barker Center

A conversation with Richard Parker, co-founder of Mother Jones and Senior Fellow of the Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. Writing to power, like speaking to power, is never easy. Not because it's hard to write, but because it's often hard to publish, and worse, harder still to see and feel that you've affected power. Richard Parker will discuss the founding of Mother Jones, famous this election cycle for publishing Mitt Romney's "47%" remarks. He will also give you practical tips on how to write--and edit--to get heard and make a difference.

*     *     *     *     *     *     

Coming Into Her Own: Michelle Obama's political transformation, and how it may help sway an election
Tuesday, October 9, 12:30-2:00pm
Taylor Seminar Room, Walter Lippmann House

Jodi Kantor , New York Times correspondent and author of The Obamas, in a conversation with Ann Marie Lipinski, Curator at the Nieman Foundation and former editor of The Chicago Tribune. With an introduction buy Whitney Johnson, author of Dare, Dream, Do: Remarkable Things Happen When you Dare to Dream.

Jodi Kantor has covered the world of Barack and Michelle Obama since the beginning of 2007, also writing about Hillary Clinton, John McCain, Sarah Palin, Richard Holbrooke, Eric H. Holder Jr., Mitt Romney and many others along the way. Click here to view footage from this event.

 

2011-2012 Lecture Series

A talk by Wendy Lesser, editor and founder of The Threepenny Review
April 2nd, 7:30-9:00pm
Woodberry Poetry Room, Lamont Library 
 
Are you interested in creating your own literary magazine? Come hear a talk by Wendy Lesser, Harvard alum, founder, and editor of one of America's great literary magazines, The Threepenny Review. Ms. Lesser will speak about what she has learned about starting up and running a premier literary review for the past 30 years. Her talk will be followed by a Q & A period. 
 
*     *     *     *     *     *      
 
A Conversation on the Craft of Writing with Paul Harding
April 4th, 4:30-6:00pm
Lippman House, 1 Francis Street

 

You are cordially invited to join in a conversation with 2010 Pulitzer Prize winner (and former Harvard College Writing Program instructor) Paul Harding at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism. Many of this year's Nieman Fellows will be in attendance, and the event will be an opportunity to participate in a conversation about the craft of writing with some of the best writers and journalists in the country.

*     *     *     *     *     *    

Tom Perrotta: a reading from The Leftovers
March 7th, 6:30-7:30pm
Harvard 202
 
The Leftovers is the most recent novel by Tom Perrotta, whose six other novels include Little Children and Election, both of which were made into critically acclaimed movies. A graduate of Yale, Tom Perrotta has taught writing at the Harvard Extension School and in the Harvard College Writing Program.
 
*     *     *     *     *     *    
 
Writing the First Rough Draft of History: A Decade of Reporting from Inside Iran
February 9th, 7:30-8:30pm
Science Center Hall A
 
Nazila Fathi is a journalist, translator and commentator on Iran. She reported out of Iran for nearly two decades until 2009 when she was forced to leave the country because of government threats against her. She has written for the New York TimesTime magazine,  Agence France Presse, the New York Review of BooksForeign PolicyNieman Reports, and the online publication, openDemocracy. She has been a guest speaker on CNN, BBC, CBC, and NPR. A Nieman Fellow in 2010–11, she is currently a Shorenstein Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School.
 
*     *     *     *     *     *    
 
Writing Narrative Journalism: a conversation with Gay Talese and Esquiremagazine's Chris Jones
November 18th, at 2:00pm
Fong Auditorium, Boylston Hall 
 
Literary journalism icon Gay Talese writes for the New Yorker and is the author of critically acclaimed non-fiction books including The Kingdom and the Power and Fame and Obsurity. Esquire magazine writer-at-large Chris Jones is a two-time winner of the National Magazine Award and is the back-page columnist for ESPN The Magazine
 
*     *     *     *     *     *     
 
Harvard Medical School Professors Jerome Groopman and Pamela Hartzband, "Alone and Together:From the New Yorker to the New England Journal of Medicine"
November 14th, at 7:30pm
Thompson Room in the Barker Center
 
Jerome Groopman, MD, and Pamela Hartzband, MD, are on the faculty of Harvard Medical School and on the staff of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. They have collaborated on several articles for the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the New England Journal of Medicine among others.
 
*     *     *     *     *     *     
 
Harvard Law School Professor Jonathan Zittrain, "The Future of Writing--and How to Stop It"
October 6th @7:30pm
Thompson Room in the Barker Center
 

Mr. Zittrain is Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Professor of Computer Science at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and co-founder of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society. His research interests include battles for control of digital property and content, cryptography, electronic privacy, the roles of intermediaries within Internet architecture, human computing, and the useful and unobtrusive deployment of technology in education. In addition to discussing some of the ideas in his book The Future of the Internet -- And How to Stop It, Professor Zittrain will talk about his own craft of writing and the state of writing in the digital era. His talk will be followed by a question and answer period.   

*     *     *     *     *     *     
 
On the Art and Craft of Travel Writing
October 4th @ 7:30pm
Straus Common Room
 
How do you vividly capture a travel experience for readers who weren't there with you? What makes for memorable travel writing? How do you get your travel writing published? Come hear a panel of professional travel writers discuss the art and craft of travel writing. Adam Sachs, contributing editor, Travel + Leisure and Bon Appétit; Danielle Pergament, executive editor, Lucky Magazine and New York Times travel writer; Josh Dean, travel writer and former deputy editor of Men's Journal.
 
*     *     *     *     *     *     
 
 

 

2010-2011 Lecture Series

 

April 20th
Woodberry Poetry Room, Lamont Library
 

In this workshop, Anne Bernays, who teaches fiction writing at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism, will lead hands-on exercises for freeing up your imagination, overcoming fear of the blank page, and crafting compelling stories. Author of nine novels, including Professor Romeo and Growing Up Rich, Anne also wrote one of the most widely used textbooks in creative writing, What If, with Pamela Painter. Her articles and essays have appeared in the New York Times and other major publications

 
 *     *     *     *     *     *

 

March 29th
Thompson Room, Barker Center
 

Paul Harding has an MFA in fiction from the Iowa Writers' Workshop (2000) and was a 2000–2001 Fiction Fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center, in Provincetown, MA. He taught Expos at Harvard for a number of years until 2008. Harding has published short stories in Shakepainter and The Harvard Review. Tinkers, for which he won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize in Fiction, is his first novel.

 
 
*     *     *     *     *     *

March 21st
Thompson Room, Barker Center
 

Since the very first days after the 9/11 attacks, Ground Zero has been a charged and controversial public square. This conversation with cultural anthropologist Elizabeth Greenspan (author of a forthcoming book on Ground Zero, based upon her research in New York City in the immediate aftermath of the attacks) explores how struggles to define the site's future often double as contests over language and speech - contests to control who may, and may not, speak, and which stories may, and may not, be told.

 
 *     *     *     *     *     *

 

 

March 1
Thompson Room, Barker Center
 

Martha Minow, Harvard Law School Dean and Jeremiah Smith, Jr. Professor of Law, will speak about her new book, In Brown's Wake, which investigates the legacy of the landmark Supreme Court ruling Brown v. Board of Education.

 
 *     *     *     *     *     *

 

February 7th
Thompson Room, Barker Center
 

Jill Lepore is the David Woods Kemper ’41 Professor of American History. She is the author of, most recently, The Whites of Their Eyes: The Tea Party's Revolution and the Battle over American History and the novel Blindspot, co-written with Jane Kamensky. Lepore is also a staff writer at The New Yorker.

 
 *     *     *     *     *     *

 

March 8th
Fong Auditorium, Boylston Hall
 

James T. Kloppenberg is the Charles Warren Professor of American History, specializing in American and European intellectual history.

 
 *     *     *     *     *     *

 

October 13th
Fong Auditorium, Boylston Hall
 

Tracy Kidder is the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winning author of Mountains Beyond Mountains and Strength in What Remains and the A.M. Rosenthal Writer in Residence, Shorenstein Center, Harvard University.

 
 *     *     *     *     *     *