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WRITERS ON WRITING

WC Video Podcasts

 

Writers on Writing: Caress Schenk, Political Science

 

In this inaugural episode, Lori Enns talks with Associate Professor of Political Science, Caress Schenk. Professor Schenk discusses the challenge of identifying your reading audience (even after years of publishing), reveals what annoys her about student writing (hint: she doesn’t want your ‘opinion’), explains what inspires her thinking, and describes how she ‘makes herself’ get to work.

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Writers on Writing: James Nikopoulos, Literature

 

In this second episode, Lori Enns chats with Associate Professor of Literature James Nikopoulos. Professor Nikopoulos talks about his debilitating shyness as a kid, how expository and academic writing is a type of storytelling, and how his work habits have changed over the years. In addition to snubbing both the Rolling Stones and the Beatles in favor of Radiohead, Nikopoulos reveals what most frustrates him about student essays.

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Writers on Writing: Berk Yavusoglu, Economics

 

In this 3rd episode, Lori talks with Assistant Professor Economics, Berk Yavuzoglu. Dr. Yavuzoglu discusses how writing in Economics differs from other writing in the Social Sciences (hint: equations take center stage), what Economics professors expect from student writing, and how he learned an important cross-cultural lesson during his PhD studies in Wisconsin.

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Writers on Writing: Reed Coil, Anthropology

 

In the 4th episode of SSH Writers-on-Writing, Lori talks with Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Reed Coil. Dr. Coil discusses what bones can tell us about the past, what drew him to Archeology, and what made him understand writing in the discipline (hint: reading. many. papers.). In addition to sharing an "embarrassing student moment", Dr. Coil reveals not only what he dislikes in student papers, but also a weakness for the band, Rancid.

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Writers on Writing: Mikhail Akulov, History

 

In the 5th episode, Lori Enns talks with Assistant Professor of History, Mikhail Akulov. Professor Akulov describes his experience living in two different cultures, and responds to a question from a student about the value of knowing one’s history (hint: it’s complicated). In addition to discussing the importance of “doing” history, Professor Akulov reveals his work process, his favourite authors, and the alternative career that he did not choose.

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Writers on Writing: Dr. Christian Schönbach, Biology

 

In the 6th episode, Lori Enns talks with the Chair of the Biology department at NU - Dr. Christian Schönbach. Professor Schönbach explains his research in Bioinformatics, and extensively outlines the steps that researchers take on the road to publication. In addition to describing what he does not like in student papers, Dr. Schönbach introduces us to a fascinating implication for immunogenetics: the link between DNA genetic sequences and music. 

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Writers on Writing: Peter Howie, Public Policy

 

In the 7th episode, Lori Enns talks to Associate Professor of Public Policy, Peter Howie. Dr. Howie describes highlights of his work, from his post as manager for a Canadian mining company in Suriname, his research across state borders, and his writing for government stakeholders. In addition to discussing the finer details of good writing (hint: getting to your point, removing jargon, exploiting white space), Dr. Howie reveals an appreciation for travel writing, his favorite bands, and what he would do to make the world better.

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Writers on Writing: Associate Professor Luis Rojas-Solorzano

 

In this episode (the 8th in our series), Lori talks with the Director of Graduate Studies in the School of Engineering and Digital Sciences at NU, Associate Professor Luis Rojas-Solorzano. Professor Rojas describes the writing requirements for PhD students in Engineering and the process of writing up research in collaboration with others. In addition to identifying a critical component that can make or break a paper in Engineering, Professor Rojas reveals a fondness for paella, karaoke, and his job.

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Writers on Writing: Sydney Morrow

 

In the 9th episode, Lori talks with Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Sydney Morrow. In addition to identifying what she does and does not like to see in student papers, Dr. Morrow describes her unusual pathway to Philosophy, her greatest extravagance, and her goal to enable students to “strengthen (their) minds ability to live in the hypothetical”..

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Writers on Writing: Hoyoun Koh

 

In episode 10, Lori speaks with Assistant Professor of Political Science, Hoyoun Koh. Dr. Koh talks about the path that brought him to International Relations, the types of writing that IR researchers do, and the principles of writing that he values in student papers. Need other reasons to tune in? Hear about how this ‘people scientist’ conducts research, why he discourages 'pat' answers from students, and how he would spend a lottery windfall.

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Writers on Writing: Anton Desyatnikov

 

In this episode, Lori talks with the Chair of Physics at NU, Anton Desyatnikov. Professor Desyatnikov, a "proud nerd", describes his research in nonlinear optics (in a highly accessible way) and gives us insight into what good writing looks like in Physics. Highlights include a rhetorical description of a seminal paper in Physics, the difference between writing your thesis and writing a paper for publication, and the connection between reading novels and writing science.

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Writers on Writing: Ben Tyler

 

What do computer scientists think about in their down time? How has the discipline changed in the last few years? What kind of writing do computer scientists do? Watch Lori Enns interview Associate Department Chair and Professor in the Department of Computer Science, Dr. Ben Tyler.

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Writers on Writing: Andrey Filchenko

 

In episode 12, Professor Filchenko describes the spectrum of linguistic research, which can be very specific (transcribing conversations of endangered minority languages within indigenous communities) and very abstract (discussing ‘what is language?’). Lori presses him to talk about his own interests, and we learn that they range from academic activities to decidedly unacademic pastimes. Interestingly, it is not strictly the academic activities that brought him to a life of linguistics. When asked how students could improve their work, he gives an insightful answer that feels less like a magic bullet and more like old-world wisdom. Spoiler: even his favourite swear word is an example of balance. While being “bad”, it’s still gentle.

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