New Name, New Website

28 Aug

The RISD Writing Center is now officially the Center for Arts & Language.


This change reflects recent growth in our mission and in the variety of services we offer:

Peer tutoring in writing, public speaking, and visual communication

English language support for multilingual students

Advising for student publications

Learn more at our new website:

Visit us at the same location: College Building, room 240.


Serious Summer Fun

20 Jul

Had enough sun, sand, and surf? Love art and language? Whiling away the summer in Rhode Island or Brooklyn? Here are two events you won’t want to miss:

WORD: Text in Contemporary Art
Jamestown Art Center (up through August 13; curator’s tour on July 25)

BOMB Small Press Flea
Brooklyn Public Library, Central Branch (July 29, 10-4)

Writes of Passage

1 Jun

Yesterday we stopped by the Fleet Library to witness one of our favorite annual rituals—the submission of graduate students’ written theses to the Library’s permanent collection. The moment felt especially festive as library staff (including Marc Calhoun and Ariel Bordeaux, pictured below) greeted students with chocolate fortune cookies and hearty congratulations.

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We can’t wait for this new set of thesis books to reach the shelves—lots of summer reading ahead! In the meantime, one book caught our eye, so recently compiled that the ink hadn’t yet dried …


Let’s Work Together

3 Apr

The RISD Writing Center is hiring grad and undergrad tutors for the 2017–18 academic year. Tutors support peers in developing writing, public speaking, and visual communication skills and strategies by sharing dialogue, feedback, and resources.

If you’re interested in …

  • helping and learning from others
  • sharing your appreciation for writing in the context of art and design
  • interpersonal, interdisciplinary, and intercultural connection
  • the interplay between identity and communication
  • developing your own knowledge and professional experience
… see our job descriptions below for more details and how to apply. No prior tutoring experience is necessary. Call (454-6486) or stop by College Building 240 if you’d like to learn more.


Undergrad Peer Tutor Job Posting 2017

Grad Assistant Peer Tutor Job Posting 2017

Get Your Fleet Fix

20 Feb

The Fleet Library is organizing, hosting, and co-hosting three events this Spring that highlight the intersections of art, writing, and publication.


Get ready for the (un)bound publication fair on Saturday, April 8, 2017. This free event—full of exhibits, workshops, speakers, and more—celebrates experimental printed matter created by local artists, designers, and publishers. You can find more information and register to exhibit your own artist’s books, zines, etc. at this website.

(un)bound will also feature a live reading at the closing reception. If you’re interested in giving a 5-minute performance that highlights how printed matter and speech/performance are translated into each other, email with a proposal.


Check out the exhibition of artists’ books created by fellow RISD students on display until May 12, 2017. All are in competition for four prizes, including addition to Fleet Library’s Artists’ Book collection. Mark your calendar for the opening reception on Wednesday, February 22, where the winners will be announced. See the website for more details.


Fleet Library will be hosting an Art+Feminism Edit-a-thon on March 11, 2017, 1–5pm. This event is part of an annual, intercontinental push to create and improve Wikipedia pages that make visible the lives and work of underrepresented artists and to address the gender gap that exists across Wikimedia. To learn more about this local gathering and RSVP, visit the facebook page. You can also learn more about the larger movement on the Art + Feminism website.

Open for Dialogue

20 Jan


In the past year or so, and especially since the election, we have noticed more students coming to the Writing Center with texts and speech expressing views about politics, social justice, and identity. Engaging with diverse and deeply held ideas and perspectives is a privilege we take seriously. Our ongoing research and approach to tutoring emphasizes respect for individual voices, experiences, goals, and learning styles. Last weekend we participated in a workshop led by Claudia Ford (Lecturer, HPSS), who helped us understand our role in fostering respectful, open dialogues, even, or especially, when they are difficult.

We’re still honing our skills in this work—in fact, we agreed that this practice requires perpetual reflection—but we want you to know that we’re here for you. We invite you to come in if you would like support in processing and articulating your thoughts or feelings about complex topics, whether that means practicing a speech for a rally, writing a cultural critique for class, or preparing for a Facebook conversation with a friend. All opinions and beliefs are welcome, because we believe that silencing opposing views is unfair and unproductive when we should be discussing them. However, we will stand against bigotry, whether in words or in actions, and put our skills toward building a more inclusive community.

We hope you will consider visiting us as a space for safe and open discussion.

We would also like to share some of the materials and tools we have found most helpful in exploring this topic and preparing for this work:

Suggested Ground Rules for Inclusive Dialogue

Nonviolent Communication Model, The Center for Nonviolent Communication

“Effective Dialogue Skills,” Kathy Obear

“How to DO Empathy,” Alan Seid

“You Talkin’ to Me?” John C. Cavanaugh

“Let’s Not Be Divided,” Trevor Noah

Now’s the Time: A Workshop for Grad Thesis Writers

27 Oct

Sunday, November 13, 11 AM to 3 PM
College Building 346

Join Anne West (Senior Critic, Graduate Studies), Jen Liese (Director, Writing Center), and your peers from across departments and disciplines for a half day devoted to imagining, planning, launching, contextualizing, and sharing your written thesis, including …

• exemplary theses across disciplines, selected to highlight a range of styles, content, structures, and forms

• writings by artists and designers out in the world, selected to help evoke and stoke potential writing futures

• useful practices in research and documentation (both bibliographic and studio-based) 

• writing prompts throughout

• anything else you need (we welcome suggestions in advance)

• and free lunch, too

Grads in all years are welcome.

Please RSVP to by November 10.
And don’t forget … the Writing Center’s tutors work with graduate thesis writers throughout the writing process; one-time appointments can be made here; weekly or biweekly appointments with the same tutor are also available (e-mail to discuss).
Looking for more resources? Check out these handouts of particular note: