Mar. 16, 2012

Graff, Birkenstein to Address 'Demystifying the Academic Game' March 19


GENESEO, N.Y. -- Two scholars from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) will address "Demystifying the Academic Game" March 19 at 10 a.m. in SUNY Geneseo's MacVittie Union Ballroom. Gerald Graff, professor of English and education, and Cathy Birkenstein, a lecturer in English, will make the joint presentation, which is free and open to the public.

Graff is a former president of the Modern Language Association of America and one of his generation's most influential commentators on education. His widely cited 1987 book, "Professing Literature: An Institutional History," was recently reprinted in a Twentieth Anniversary Edition by the University of Chicago Press.

In addition, he authored the 1992 book "Beyond the Culture Wars: How Teaching the Conflicts Can Revitalize American Education," which introduced the phrase "teach the conflicts" to describe a pedagogical approach that treats internecine critical dispute as an opportunity to show students how theoretical disagreements help to constitute academic disciplines. He also wrote "Clueless in Academe: How Schooling Obscures the Life of the Mind," a book published in 2003 which called on academic professionals to demystify academic culture; and, with Cathy Birkenstein, "They Say/I Say": The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing, a handbook published in 2006 for teaching writing as a species of "conversation" that has set records for sales in colleges and high schools.

Birkenstein is co-director of the Writing in the Disciplines program at UIC. In addition to co-authoring "They Say/I Say," she has published essays on writing in "College English," "The Chronicle of Higher Education," "Academe," and "College Composition and Communication."

Additional information on their talk is available by calling 245-5273.

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David Irwin
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(585) 245-5516