Vol. 7 / Fall 2016

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.

Female Serial Killers: An Unseen Threat

Vickie Williams

Vickie Williams is from St. Louis, Missouri. Her academic interests are chemistry and history. Vickie is a member of Pep Band, Davidson Singers and Turner Eating House, and is involved with the Theater Department. Her interests include research, education, theater, writing and music. She also participated in Service Odyssey and is interested in service. Her essay was written for Dr. Lewis’s Writing 101: True Crime.

A Misconceived “Sweet Home Alabama”

Emilee Lord

Emilee Lord is an intended Hispanic Studies major from Asheville, North Carolina. This past year she volunteered at Davidson’s animal research facility and local veterinary clinic. She is a Terry Scholar and a member of Warner Hall. This summer she worked towards completing her pre-med requirements and did research with the National Park Service on the calf-dropping locations of Western North Carolina’s elk population. She enjoys hiking, swimming, and anything else that can be done outside. Her essay was written for Dr. Ford’s first-year writing course called “Xenia and Xenophobia”.

My Olympics: The Reality of My Dreams

Caroline Yarbrough

Caroline Yarbrough is from Greensboro, North Carolina.  While undecided about her major, she is interested in English, History, Art History, and Religion.  She is a member of the cross country and track teams and received the Helen DeVane Carnegie Award, presented to Davidson’s most outstanding freshman athlete.  On campus, she is involved in Reformed University Fellowship, Warner Hall Eating House, and serves as Co-Chair for the the Dinner at Davidson for the Davidson Trust’s auction.  Off campus, she is an active volunteer in the Davidson College Presbyterian Church Nursery and coaches a local elementary school’s Girls on the Run program. Her essay was written for Dr. Campbell’s first-year writing course entitled “Leisure and Play.”

Racism Awareness Prompted by Personal Testimony

Miles Powell

Miles Powell is an economics major from Philadelphia, PA.  Last year, he tutored middle school students at the Ada Jenkins Center and became involved with the Davidson Investment and Financial Association. This summer, Miles is in New York City interning at Pzena Investment Management. Miles’ passions include camping, traveling, finance, politics, and writing. Written shortly after Ta Nehisi Coates’ Davidson visit, this essay is his final paper for Dr. Van Hillard’s course, “The Public Intellectual Writer.”

Foucauldian Competition

Caroline Okel

Caroline Okel is from Charlotte, North Carolina. Although she has not declared, she plans on majoring in economics and pursuing a minor in mathematics. At Davidson, she is the publicity chair for 1972, a member of RAC, a CatsConnect mentor, and a member of Connor Eating House. Her essay was composed for Professor Katie Horowitz’s Writing 101 course, “What is a Body?”.

Musical Meaning: An Exploration of How Music Affects the Artist and the Audience

Jenna Reed

Jenna Reed is from Salt Lake City, Utah. Though not entirely certain, she currently intends on pursuing a degree in Biology and Neuroscience. At Davidson, Jenna is deeply involved in Dance Ensemble, and she acts as a creative writer and editor for the Davidson chapter of Odyssey. She has a passion for science, social justice, community service, reading, writing, music, and dance. Jenna wrote this essay for Dr. Gregory Weinstein’s class Writing World Music.

A World Being Turned Upside Down

Kamran Shahbaz

Kamran Shahbaz is an intended economics and political science dual major. Fairview High School alum from Boulder, Colorado, Shahbaz enjoys editing writing, eating Chipotle, rewatching old movies, listening to dance music, and celebrating Stephen Curry. His main interests include traveling the world, increasing cultural awareness, and starting a nonprofit for education in Afghanistan. Shahbaz wrote his essay for Dr. Jonathan Berkey’s first semester Islamic history class: The Middle East, 1453-Present (Islam in the Modern World).

Differentiation, Democracy, and Questions of Display

Kat Forbis

Katerina Forbis is an intended Psychology and Economics double major. She is from Greensboro, North Carolina. On campus, she is a member of Turner House, Reformed University Fellowship, and Relay for Life. Additionally, Katerina is a Chidsey Leadership Fellow. She has previously interned at New City Ventures and volunteered with Artworks for Youth in South Africa. Her interests include traveling, running, and reading. Her Essay was written for Professor Katie Horowitz’s first-year writing course entitled “What is a Body?”