Sweetland Center for Writing's Writer to Writer series lets you hear directly from University of Michigan professors about their challenges, processes, and expectations as writers and also as readers of student writing. Each semester, Writer to Writer pairs one esteemed University professor with a Sweetland faculty member for a conversation about writing. 

This month Writer to Writer welcomes Dr. Howard Markel. Acclaimed medical historian, Dr. Howard Markel is the George E. Wantz Distinguished Professor of the History of Medicine and Director of the Center for the History of Medicine at the University of Michigan. He is a professor of pediatrics, psychiatry, public health management and policy, history, and English literature and language. His work reaches a wide range of audiences and has had a broad impact on national and international health policy and on the public’s understanding of medicine. 

Dr. Markel serves as editor-in-chief of the health policy journal The Milbank Quarterly and is a frequent contributor to the New York Times, PBS NewsHour.org, and national radio and television shows. From 2006 to 2015, he served as the principal historical consultant on pandemic preparedness for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. His historical epidemiological work has influenced strategies employed by the WHO, the CDC, and the Mexican Ministry of Health. 

Dr. Markel is the author, co-author, or co-editor of ten books, including the award-winning Quarantine! and the national bestseller An Anatomy of Addiction. He has written over 450 articles and book chapters for scholarly and popular publications. He was a regular contributor on NPR’s Science Friday and has appeared in several acclaimed film documentaries, including, most recently, Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies on PBS. 

Dr. Markel has delivered lectures across the United States and in Europe and has spoken at U.S. government agencies, departments and the White House. His work has been recognized with numerous grants, honors and awards. In 2008 he was elected as a member of the National Academy of Medicine. In 2015 was awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation fellowship. 

A native of Detroit, he earned his bachelor’s (1982) and medical degrees (1986) at the University of Michigan. He completed his pediatrics residency and fellowship and Ph.D. in the history of medicine, science and technology at the Johns Hopkins Hospital and Medical School. In Fall, 2018, Pantheon/Random House will publish his new book, Corn Flakes, about Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, who invented the concept of “wellness,” and his brother, cereal magnate Will Kellogg. 

Writer to Writer takes place at the Literati bookstore (124 E. Washington) on Tuesday, November 21st from 7-8pm and is also broadcast live on WCBN radio (88.3FM). These conversations offer students a rare glimpse into the writing that professors do outside the classroom. You can hear instructors from various disciplines describe how they handle the same challenges student writers face, from finding a thesis to managing deadlines. Professors will also discuss what they want from student writers in their courses, and will take questions put forth by students and by other members of the University community. If there's anything you've ever wanted to ask a professor about writing, Writer to Writer gives you the chance.