Public Writing and Civic Engagement Workshops: Enroll Now

Amid overlapping social and ecological crises, ASLE seeks to further members’ efforts to engage meaningfully and effectively with public audiences. We’re thrilled to announce new, virtual opportunities in 2021 to learn with members deeply engaged in public work.

Space is limited; please enroll early for this opportunity to identify, develop, and enhance your skills. Workshop series goals include:

  • building the capacity of ASLE members for doing public engagement;
  • elevating the work of public writing and public engagement by ASLE members;
  • strengthening relations among a community of practitioners in public EH.

Workshops will be 60 minutes in length, with an optional 20-minute informal “deepen the conversation” time at the end; include interactive breakouts and moderated discussion; take place on Zoom. With limited slots available, ASLE members will have priority for enrollment; to find out more about ASLE membership or join, visit our Membership page. Enrollment is free, but registration in advance is required via this REGISTRATION FORM.

George Handley: Friday January 29, 1-2pm EST

This workshop will discuss with the “why” of public engagement, as well as some suggestions for finding the right register, tone, and vocabulary to reach diverse and local audiences beyond the academy. Handley will share some thoughts about how this process has actually changed and deepened his own scholarship and teaching in a feedback loop. He will emphasize the importance of speaking to other people’s core values rather than merely to our own.

George B. Handley is Professor of Interdisciplinary Humanities and Associate Director of the Faculty Center at Brigham Young University; his latest book is the novel American Fork.  He lives in Utah and currently serves on the Provo City Council, and has experience in public speaking and writing for the public on environmental values.

Anthony Lioi: Friday, February 26, 1-2pm EST

This workshop will focus on the letter to the editor as a tool that can be used to influence local and regional politics. Lioi will review the strict requirements of the form, including the voice of the concerned voter, research, demand for action, and word count. He will discuss the way in which the letter must be targeted to particular newspapers and the politicians or groups of politicians who hold decision-making power over the problem at hand. He will outline the way groups of letter writers should work together over time to achieve specific goals, and how these groups can leverage social media once letters are published. Breakout groups will work on identifying the issues they want to address and the allies they want to work with.

Anthony Lioi is Professor of Liberal Arts and English at Juilliard and author of Nerd Ecology: Defending the World With Unpopular Culture. He lives in New Jersey, and is involved with a letter to the editor project with a focus on immigrant rights and anti-ICE activism at the county level.