Clark Honors College Invites Proposals for Seminars in Public Writing

The Robert D. Clark Honors College (CHC) invites course proposals for participation in a new interdisciplinary program, the Calderwood Seminars in Public Writing, beginning in Winter term 2020. The CHC welcomes proposals from both CHC and non-CHC faculty members.

Calderwood Seminars in Public Writing are advanced-level, writing-intensive courses offered in the CHC that build upon the knowledge students have gained through their respective majors, draw upon their familiarity with the CHC’s approach to interdisciplinary inquiry, and challenge them to communicate the breadth and depth of their academic training to a broad audience, both within and beyond the university, through a range of public-writing genres. Calderwood Seminars are capped at 12 students and are ordinarily limited to Juniors and Seniors. In the CHC, Calderwood Seminars will be offered as 400-level colloquia in Winter and Spring terms. Faculty members selected to teach Calderwood seminars are eligible to receive course development funds to defray the costs associated with special activities or inviting guest speakers.

To date, the Calderwood Seminars program has been offered at a select number of private liberal arts colleges. Thanks to the outreach of Professor David Lindauer at Wellesley College and the generous support of the Calderwood Charitable Foundation, expansion of the program is now planned and a limited number of public institutions, including the University of Oregon, are being considered.

Key elements of Calderwood Seminars in Public Writing include:

  • Seminars targeted at Juniors and Seniors that draw on skills learned in prior courses and that empower a student’s “voice” on a disciplinary topic or interdisciplinary area of study;
  • Seminars that emphasize public writing, which is defined as the translation of complex arguments and specialized knowledge for a broad audience beyond the academy;
  • Seminars that foster a collaborative experience, with students writing and rewriting assignments in response to the comments and editing of their professors and, crucially, their peers.

Short proposals (1-2 pages in length) are requested by November 5 at 5 p.m., and should be submitted via email to

Questions about the Calderwood Seminars program or about the content and design of course proposals may be directed to Rebecca Lindner, CHC Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies, at

Course Proposals should include:

  • Title and short course description (200-300 words);
  • Course objectives;
  • A list of 5 possible public writing assignments;
  • Indication of course organization and/or tentative course schedule (Weeks 1-11).

Proposals should also include an indication of teaching availability by term and year. The first phase of the Calderwood Seminars program extends over 3 years. Applicants may propose either a one-off or a multi-year commitment, beginning Winter term 2020.

To assist applicants in the development of a brief course proposal, the following information resources are available via links below or attached to this CFP:

  • The Calderwood Seminars in Public Writing webpage at Wellesley College;
  • Professor David Lindauer’s slides from the faculty presentation at UO on October 16, 2018;
  • A selection of course syllabi from current Calderwood Seminars;
  • Successful 2018-19 Calderwood course proposals (N.B. these proposals are designed for a semester system; CHC Calderwood Seminars will be 11-week courses);
  • A Q&A document provided by Wellesley College.