Department of English

September 4, 2009

Litrenta Lecture Hall, Toll Science Center, 3:30 p.m.

Demystifying the Academic Game: How Schools and Colleges can Demystify Academic Intellectual Culture for all Students

Gerald Graff, prominent literary historian and educator, author of Professing Literature and Beyond the Culture Wars, and the president of the Modern Language Association in 2008, focuses in his recent work, Clueless in Academe, on ways that "schooling obscures the life of the mind" and argues that schools can develop better writers and thinkers among all students, not just the high-achieving few, when teachers share with students the basic rules and moves of the game of academic argumentation that they use themselves. Putting his argument into practice, Graff co-wrote in 2006 with his wife, Cathy Birkenstein, a textbook for teaching writing, "They Say/I Say": The Moves that Matter in Academic Writing. The book is widely used in schools and colleges and continues Graff's longstanding efforts to revitalize American education. Graff and Birkenstein both teach at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Sponsored by: The Sophie Kerr Committee and the Dean of the College