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Vol. 1 / Fall 2010

Call for Papers

Commonplaces is dedicated to publishing writing produced in any courses across the College taken by Davidson students in their first year. We invite writers to submit work produced during the 2016-2017 academic year to be considered for publication in the 2017 issue. We seek academic and intellectual writing of any length that demonstrates a commitment to understanding and its expression, and encourage submissions from the full range of natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities.

Submission Guidelines


Van E. Hillard, College Writing Program


Commonplaces is an annual publication of the Davidson College Writing Program.
©Davidson College, Davidson, NC.

The Excitement of the First Year

Van E. Hillard
Director, College Writing Program

Tanzania: An African Success Story?

Quinn Libson

Quinn Libson discovered her love of African history, culture and politics while on a gap year in Botswana, South Africa and Senegal. While she hasn’t yet selected a major, she hopes to be able to incorporate her interest in Africana studies into her eventual area of academic concentration. Quinn’s work was developed in Professor Ken Menkhaus’ Politics of Africa course.

The Personal Vision of Alberto Giacometti

Claire Ittner

Claire is a rising sophomore from Atlanta, Georgia.  She is planning to be either an English or Art History major, or some combination of the two.  She recently studied in and wandered around Kyoto for the summer.Claire’s essay was written for Professor Larry Ligo’s Modern Painting and Sculpture course.

“La Divine:” Suzanne Lenglen’s Extraordinary Brand of Femme Moderne in Interwar France

Garrett Sauey

As a sophomore at Davidson, I have enjoyed taking and plan to continue taking courses in the English, History, and Spanish departments. I am definitely a “grammar nerd” who loves learning new facts, but usually facts from the humanities and other social sciences. Other than a Davidson student, I am an avid tennis player and follower of professional tennis. I enjoy reading and writing and would like to think of myself as cultural analyst, a critic of TV shows, movies, music, and pop culture of all types and standards. Garret’s work was produced in Professor Patricia Tilburg’s History 228: The Making of the Modern Body: Gender, Sex, and Politics in France.

This Is Water

Kelly Wilson

Although born in Ohio, Kelly lived in Caracas, Venezuela for the first six years of her life before moving back to Cincinnati. As a sophomore at Davidson, Kelly is a Chidsey Leadership Fellow and a News Editor for The Davidsonian.  She is also involved with the Pre-Business Society and is currently devising a proposal for a Center major in Neuroeconomics, the application of neuroscientific and economic ideas to study how people make decisions, particularly when money is involved.  Her other interests include cooking, thrift shopping, running, poetry, and listening to NPR. Following her graduation from Davidson, Kelly intends to work for a major corporation and eventually earn her MBA. Kelly’s work comes from Professor Christine Marshall’s English 101: Writing Marginality.

The Unity of Postmodern and Ancient Ideas in T.S. Eliot’s “Rhapsody on a Windy Night”

Yuxi Lin

I am currently a prospective English and Economics major. I love literature, especially the works of T. S. Eliot. They have endurance–every reading rewards me with a different experience or a new discovery. Yuxi’s work was produced in Professor Suzanne Churchill’s English 220: Literary Analysis course.

Mothering Relationships in Pan’s Labyrinth

Adriana Nassar

My name is Adriana Nassar and I am a rising sophomore.  By taking Film and Media studies and a writing class on film, I have realized that I enjoy analyzing movies by interpreting techniques such as lighting, editing, sound, and storylines.  Although I am a biology major, movies are a large part of my life and I am even the Film Committee chair this year for the Union Board. Adriana’s work was produced in Professor Maggie McCarthy’s Writing 101: Writing Criticism of Film.

The Failed Opportunity of FLOW: For Love of Water

Garrett Smith

Garrett Smith is a Davidson sophomore. He graduated first in his class at Burns High School in 2009 and is now interested in neuroscience studies. He currently lives in Polkville, NC. Garrett’s work was produced in Professor Van E. Hillard’s Writing 101: Nothing If Not Critical.

Blurring the Lines

Caroline Figgie

I am currently a sophmore at Davidson, with my major as of yet undecided, although I am leaning towards the sciences. I went to Greenwich Academy for high school, a private school in Connecticut. I’ve always enjoyed studies that highlight logic and analytical thinking, and my first-year writing course encouraged me to incorporate both into my essays. Caroline’s essay was produced in Professor Shireen Campbell’s English 101: Dangerous Words and Spin.

Melodrama or Simply Drama: Hope of Women Examined in Ruined

Hannah Jordan

Hannah Jordan, a sophomore from San Antonio, Texas, plans to major in English and minor in music. She plays violin in the Davidson College Symphony Orchestra and is a part of the RUF servant team. In her spare time, she enjoys drinking coffee at Summit, writing letters, and spending time with her hall mates. Hannah’s work was produced for Professor Ann Fox’s English 101: Writing about Drama.