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Personal narrative helps to put a face on social issues, an idea at the heart of Mimi Schwartz’s essay collection, When History Is Personal. In it, Schwartz explores 25 moments that have mattered in her life, mid 20th century to today, each heightened by the history and politics that shape them—from immigration to assimilation, the women’s movement, social justice, and end-of-life issues. In this combined talk and writing workshop, participants discover the power of memoir to illuminate official history, especially in our polarized age. Through in-class exercises, they also explore the potentials of combining memoir and social history in their own writing.


  • Mimi Schwartz is Professor Emerita in Writing at Richard Stockton University and the author, most recently, of When History Is Personal (University of Nebraska Press, March 2018). Her other books include the award-winning Good Neighbors, Bad Times- Echoes of My Father’s German Village; Thoughts from a Queen-Sized Bed; and she is co-author of the popular Writing True, The Art and Craft of Creative Nonfiction. A winner of a ForeWord Book Award for Memoir (2008) and the New Hampshire Best Literary Nonfiction Award (2008), she has been widely anthologized and ten of her essays have been Notables in the Best American Essays series.

Time and location

Thursday, March 7, 2019
10.30 am - 12 noon


Ruth Dill Johnson Crockett Building
Conference Room

162 Ryders Lane, New Brunswick, NJ 08901

Visitor parking
Lot 71A
Lot 82


Attendance at this workshop is limited and by application only. Registration for this event is now open. Registration deadline is 3/4 at 11.59 p.m.


The Rutgers Public Engagement Project is run by the Institute for Research on Women