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Summer Section

Graduate students are eligible to enroll in the annual summer institutes, which alternate between the Caffyn Institute, taught by KU English faculty, and the Holmes Institute, taught by visiting faculty. Below you'll find the course description for our current summer institute as well as past institute instructors.

2023 Summer Institute

ENGL 790: Writing for Diverse Publics

Instructor: Randall Fuller (

This course, open to all English graduate students, will provide an intensive workshop devoted to writing for audiences beyond specialists in our field. (We will, however, discuss the form of the academic essay in some depth.) Writing for larger publics is becoming an increasingly important facet of humanistic careers within and without the academy. We will encounter approaches and techniques for writing op-eds, podcasts, book reviews, and general interest articles and books—all based upon your classroom and dissertation research. Course readings will include work by practitioners of public humanities, including Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Claudia Rankine, Stephen Greenblatt, Jill Lepore, Saidiya Hartmann, and others. Topics will include how to make theory legible for general audiences without sacrificing its complexity; the relationship between narrative and argument; and the role of humanistic knowledge for social activism. The class will be supplemented with Zoom visits by writers and editors, and the final product of class will be a portfolio of polished writing, including an op-ed, a podcast script, and a full-length essay.

Past Summer Institutes

2022  Rita Felski, UVA

2020  Jeffrey Masten, Northwestern

2018  Cary Wolfe, Rice

2016  Wendy Wheeler, London Metropolitan

2014  N. Katherine Hayles, Duke

2012  Patrick Brantlinger, Indiana

2010  Lawrence Buell, Harvard

2008  Susan Gubar, Indiana

2007  Karma Lochrie, Indiana

2006  Priscilla Ward, Duke

2005  John P. Farrell, Texas

2004  Alan Golding, Louisville

2003  Helena Michie, Rice

2002  Dana Nelson, Kentucky

2001  Frances Dolan, Miami of Ohio

2000  Susan K. Harris, Penn State

1999  Mary Poovey, NYU

1998  Myra Jehlen, Rutgers

1997  Valerie Wayne, Hawaii

1996  Paul Fussell, Penn

1995  Nancy Armstrong, Brown

1994  Scott Russell Sanders, Indiana

1993  Eric Sundquist, UCLA

1992  Constance Penley, UCSB

1991  Sharon O’Brien, Dickinson College

2017    Giselle Anatol, KU

2019    Kij Johnson, KU

2021    Phil Drake, KU