Essay in Public

Brown, URI and the New School present a free one-day conference on the future of long form journalism and academic research. The event is for publishers, journalists, academics and tech executives and will take place at Brown’s Creative Arts Center, Tuesday, April 8, 2014 9AM-6PM, Englander Studio, Granoff Creative Arts Center, 154 Angell Street, Providence.

Providence, R.I. - The Essay in Public Conference asks how might we re-imagine the publication of long form essay in the current political and cultural climate?

Editors and journalists along with university academics will come together at Brown University to examine “The Essay” as it manifests in scholarly articles and long-form journalism. During the conference participants will talk about how to better reach or create a “humanities” audience.  We will also explore opportunities for existing (print and electronic) publications to become more transnational, more inclusive of both academic and non-academic writers, and hold a substantial focus on the arts, humanities, and civic life.

Unlike other conferences, there are no formal papers. It’s a conversation about the future.

The conference’s organizers: Patricia Ybarra (Brown University), Martha Elena Rojas (University of Rhode Island), and Wendy S. Walters (Eugene Lang College, The New School University) will moderate conversations about the following topics: technology and the long-form essay; writing for the hybrid audience; the role of transmedia in disseminating research and long-form journalism; and new forms of public intellectual work in a neoliberal age. Following each panel’s curated discussion each forum will be open to input from the public.  Sponsors include the Creative Arts Council and the Department of Theatre Arts and Performance Studies at Brown.

Panelists include:

Joshua Benton, The Nieman Journalism Lab, Harvard University

Mary Cappello, English and Creative Writing, University of Rhode Island
John Cayley, Literary Arts and Digital Language Arts, Brown University
Sam Ford, Affiliate, MIT Comparative Media Studies, Futures of Entertainment Conference

Marcial Godoy-Anativia. Editor of e-misférica, The Hemispheric Institute 
of Performance and Politics (NYU) 

Julia Kumari Drapkin, Multimedia Science Reporter, ISeechange
Lonny Lippsett, Oceanus Magazine, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution 
Amanda McCormick, Social Media Professional, Digital Educator
Ralph E. Rodriguez, American Studies and English, Brown University

Harry Stecopoulos, Editor, The Iowa Review, The University of Iowa

The conference is free of charge. Attendees are asked to register at

Inquiries about the content of the conference can be directed to,, or