Joining the Conversation: The Nuts and Bolts of Academic Writing

Lecturer: Dr. Stephanie Carwin 

Course dates: 28 January + 4 February  2023, 2–6pm (CET)

While the act of writing is often thought of as a solitary task, and indeed in some ways it is, academic writing is a more collaborative act, in that it is an invitation to join the conversation and engage with the voices and ideas of others who have wrangled with topics or areas of interest similar to your own. Addressing the existing literature or current curatorial praxis offers a context through which you can clarify your own thinking and arguments and strengthen your own voice in the process. Therefore, this course will involve practical work that focuses on engaging with others’ arguments while clearly expressing your own.

Strengthening your voice also means being able to write in a clear and concise manner, so this course will also include the nuts of bolts of translating your thoughts into crisp and convincing sentences, especially for those students for whom English is not their native tongue.

The course will be tailored to the individual students participating in the class, and therefore will adjust according to the specific needs of the participants. A short writing sample – either a text that the student wishes to revise or a response to a text provided by the course leader – will be requested prior to the beginning of the course.

Dr. Stephanie Carwin recently completed her PhD in Visual Arts at Université Paris 8–Vincennes-Saint-Denis. She is a longtime independent translator and copy editor for art institutions and academic periodicals, including the OnCurating journal, while also having a background in teaching English as a foreign language and experience working at several museums and art centres in Europe. She holds a Master’s in Aesthetics from Université Paris I–Panthéon-Sorbonne, as well as an MA in Museum Studies from Marist College, and has presented papers at several international conferences, including “The Museum on Show: A Critical History of Display, 1969-2019” at the Louvre Museum (2021); “The Museum Confronted with the Art of Its Time: Bicentennial of the Musée du Luxembourg, 1818-2018” at the Musée d’Orsay (2018); and the ICOFOM conference and resulting publication Defining the Museum of the 21st Century at the Sorbonne Nouvelle (2017). Previously, she wrote and directed two short films and wrote original theater pieces as a founding member of the Street School Artist Collective theater company in Los Angeles and San Francisco.