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An uncommon education: Ep 4

By Safiya Merchant
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A writer worth reading

bicentennial word markFor those who embrace “the new, the unusual, and the radical” on the printed page, the University of Michigan has long been revered as a mecca of innovation and creativity.

The University’s commitment to writing–from research writing to creative writing–is “just in our DNA,” says Jim Burnstein, director of the Screenwriting Program in Screen Arts & Cultures. “Writing is at the core of all education.”

This video, “A Writer Worth Reading,” is the fourth installment in Detroit Public Television’s series “An Uncommon Education: Celebrating 200 Years of the University of Michigan.” And here we are able to explore the University’s great literary legacy, from the earliest students who came to Michigan in hopes of winning a Hopwood Award to the renowned novelists, poets, journalists, and creative writers changing our world, one word at a time.

Tune in every month!

An Uncommon Education: Episodes

This short-form documentary series airs on DPTV throughout 2017 as part of a multimedia effort to recognize 200 years of the University’s role as an educator and institution in the state, nation, and world. Vignettes appear in one-minute broadcasts on DPTV during prime-time and weekend station breaks.

Spread over 10 broadcast and web vignettes, the series tracks the evolution of how the institution ignited the sparks necessary for world-changing minds, attitudes, and accomplishments from the 19th century through the new millennium. Even the earliest stories of the University’s origins will not just deal with sepia-toned recollections, but will trace the repercussions of those events into our contemporary times and the future.

A new vignette airs every month, culminating with a broadcast special to air in December 2017.

Star sightings

Guests include President Mark Schlissel, former President Mary Sue Coleman, Athletic Director Warde Manuel, author and Michigan Today contributor James Tobin, Spectrum Center co-founder Jim Toy, and Angela Dillard, the Earl Lewis Collegiate Professor of Afroamerican and African Studies in the Residential College, and associate dean of undergraduate education, LSA.

Series topics run the gamut, including the role of science at U-M, the University’s musical legacy, global outreach, social justice on campus, innovation, and the work of Michigan Medicine, U-M’s academic medical center.

The videos also will appear on the U-M YouTube channel.

“An Uncommon Education: Celebrating 200 Years of the University of Michigan” is made possible by a grant from the Stanley & Judith Frankel Family Foundation.

Safiya Merchant

Safiya Merchant

SAFIYA MERCHANT is a staff writer for The University Record, the official source for faculty-staff news at the University of Michigan. Prior to joining U-M, Merchant was a reporter for the Battle Creek Enquirer and the Daily Herald Media Group. She also has written for The Seattle Times and the Chicago Sun-Times.