Call for Participants: Op-Ed writing workshop on Defending the University

Call for Participants: Op-Ed writing workshop on Defending the University

Application deadline: Monday, October 10
instructor: Rick Perlstein (journalist, author of Nixonland)
Saturday, November 5 / 9:30 AM – 4 PM
McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB

As part of its yearlong “Public Goods” series, the IHC invites interested faculty and other members of the campus community to participate in “Defending the University,” an Op-Ed writing workshop.  This daylong workshop is designed to provide a set of journalistic skills and practical techniques that can help academics demonstrate to the wider public how and why higher education is a vital, valuable public good that deserves support even – perhaps especially – in times of fiscal distress and economic turbulence.

The “instructor” for the workshop will be Rick Perlstein, a noted journalist and author who has published widely on the opinion pages of the nation’s leading newspapers, as well as in such venues as The New Yorker, The American Prospect, The Nation, The New Republic, The Village Voice, Slate, and the Huffington Post. For two years Perlstein was an editor of Lingua Franca: The Review of Academic Life. He is the author, most recently, of Nixonland: the Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America.

This workshop is prompted by the widespread misunderstanding, sometimes amounting to disdain, which has seeped into the public discourse when it comes to the purpose and promise of the University of California and other public institutions of higher education. Therefore, we hope that those attending the workshop – it will be limited to fourteen individuals – may draw upon their own experiences and expertise, in the classroom, the archive, the studio, and the state to craft an 800-word Op-Ed piece that offers an account of what we do, how it is useful, and why this work deserves financial and moral support from the citizenry. Organizers of the workshop will help writers place their work in print or on-line.

If you are interested in participating in the workshop, please send a brief application e-mail by Monday, October 10 to IHC Associate Director Emily Zinn:  In your email, please identify your interests and describe in general terms the kind of opinion piece you propose to write. Graduate students, lecturers, and staff, as well as ladder faculty are urged to apply. Those accepted must send a draft Op-Ed to Mr. Perlstein by Monday, October 31 at 5:00 PM and should plan to bring a laptop to the workshop. Please contact Emily Zinn for further information.

This workshop is sponsored by the IHC’s Public Goods series and the UCSB Center for the Study of Work, Labor, and Democracy.  For further information about the Public Goods series, visit: