Nicole B. Wallack

Nicole B. Wallack

Research Interests


Nicole B. Wallack (B.A., McGill University, 1988; M.Sc., University of Edinburgh, 1989; Ph.D., New York University, 2004), is the Director of Columbia University’s Undergraduate Writing Program and a Senior Lecturer-in-Discipline in the Department of English and Comparative Literature. She teaches seminars on writing pedagogy, writing studies theory, American literature and film, creative nonfiction and literatures of fact, public intellectuals, and undergraduate essay-writing courses.  As a Senior Associate at the Institute for Writing and Thinking at Bard College, she conducts intensive seminars on writing-based teaching for educators across disciplines to enhance their intellectual lives and devise inherently purposeful curricula from kindergarten through graduate school.  

Her scholarship focuses on the history, pedagogy, and aesthetics of the American essay; rhetoric and composition; writing studies; writing program administration; teacher education; and educational history.  She also writes on the literature and film of city life. Her articles, essays, and reviews have appeared in collections as well as Fourth Genre, Essay Daily, and Public Books. Her recent book, Crafting Presence: The American Essay and the Future of Writing Studies (Utah State University Press, 2017)offers theoretical and pedagogical arguments for how an essay-based pedagogy in high school and college can enact the goals of a liberal education more effectively and ethically than “college and career readiness” paradigms.

She is the Vice President of the Council of Writing Program Administrator’s Metro-Affiliate group in New York; she has served on the Committee for Contingent Labor in the Profession for the Modern Language Association (2012-2015) and the Editorial Collaborative for The Profession (2016-)She has represented non-tenure eligible faculty in the Humanities on the Faculty Affairs Committee of Columbia University’s Senate since 2013. In 2017-2018, she was the Co-Chair of the Lecturers Study Committee for the Arts & Sciences, which has produced the first comprehensive report and recommendations on the status of lecturer-rank faculty at the university.