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Nicole B. Wallack

Speaker; Director of Columbia University’s Undergraduate Writing Program; Senior Lecturer-in-Discipline in the Department of English and Comparative Literature

Nicole B. Wallack (B.A., McGill University, 1988; M.Sc., University of Edinburgh, 1989; Ph.D., New York University, 2004), is the Director of Columbia University’s Undergraduate Writing Program and Senior Lecturer-in-Discipline in the Department of English and Comparative Literature. At Columbia, she teaches seminars in writing studies, educational history, creative nonfiction, American literature and film and public intellectuals. Since 1998, she has served as a Senior Associate of the Institute for Writing and Thinking at Bard College, where she conducts intensive seminars on writing-based teaching for educators across disciplines to enhance their intellectual lives and devise inherently purposeful curricula from kindergarten through graduate school. For the Modern Language Association, she co-designed and currently co-leads its Mellon-funded Reading and Writing Pedagogy Institute. The Institute will be hosted by Columbia University in summer 2021 in partnership with the Society of Fellows/Heyman Center.

Her scholarship focuses on the history, pedagogy and aesthetics of the American essay; rhetoric and composition; writing studies; teacher education and educational history. Her articles, essays and reviews have appeared in collections as well as Fourth Genre, Essay Daily, and Public Books.  Her book, Crafting Presence: The American Essay and the Future of Writing Studies (Utah State University Press, 2017), offers theoretical and pedagogical arguments for how an essay-based pedagogy in high school and college can enact the goals of a liberal education more effectively and ethically than “college and career readiness” paradigms. She is co-editing a new anthology for Edinburgh University Press, The Edinburgh Companion to the Essay.