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Department of Writing

What do Barack Obama, Henry David Thoreau, and Ithaca College writing professor Eleanor Henderson have in common? All have written books selected for IC’s First-Year Reading Initiative. In fact, Professor Henderson’s first novel, Ten Thousand Saints, is the book all freshmen received at their Summer Orientation.

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As soon as IC students finish their last exams on the South Hill, most pack up and leave for their summer vacations, jobs, or internships back home with astonishing speed. But not everyone heads home for the three-month break. If some upperclassmen could pass along one piece of advice, it's this: spend at least one summer in Ithaca. 

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The 15th annual Finger Lakes Film Festival kicked off this past Sunday with a public reading at Buffalo Street Books. The kick-off, centered around the theme of International Relations and Microtopias, featured readings from IC professor Naeem Inayatullah and novelist Sorayya Khan. “I, IR: International Microtopias” took place at Buffalo Street Books, Ithaca’s only cooperatively-owned independent bookstore. The event, held in the back room of the bookstore, was packed with students, community members, and fellow faculty members.

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“Do you want to take the easy way or the curvy way?” Associate Professor Barbara Adams asks us, and then we’re off – on the “easy way” to New York City. There are seven of us squeezed into this van, writing Professor Adams at the wheel and six students behind her. Following us to the city a few hours later is another car with more students, driven by writing professor Catherine Taylor. Taylor is Assistant Professor for the new course that we all share: Editing and Publishing.

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Eleanor Henderson has lived up to the saying “practice what you teach” with a whirlwind summer after her debut novel Ten Thousand Saints was published by Ecco.

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