The Pearce Center for Professional Communication is dedicated to sponsoring events that allow students and faculty the opportunity to expand their knowledge and professional skills inside and outside of the classroom. This year, the Pearce Center supported events across campus by proudly collaborating with the Department of English, the English Majors Club, the Arts & Humanities Literature Committee, the College of Arts and Humanities and more to bring engaging speakers and programs to campus. The Pearce Center is proud to support these endeavors to further the educational experience and creativity of the Clemson student body.

Common Read: Desiree C. Bailey’s “What Noise Against the Cane”

In partnership with the Department of English’s Arts & Humanities Literature Committee, the Pearce Center helped to sponsor this year’s Common Read events. In 2020, the committee and other English faculty decided to initiate a Common Read for the students and faculty in general
education literature courses as a means of acknowledging the Black uprisings of 2020. Common Read organizer Maya Hislop said, “The Common Read (as well as the Common Read film series) arose out of a spirit of urgency to speak not only to generations of anti-Black violence but to also engage the University in conversations around the various kinds of resistance to that violence.” In Fall 2022, the Common Read was the book of poetry “What Noise Against the Cane” by Desiree C. Bailey, and the semester culminated in her keynote address. In the Spring, the Common Read continued with a four-part film series and discussion featuring “Black Orpheus,” “Daughters of the Dust,” “Small Axe: Mangrove” and “Small Axe: Lovers Rock.” The event organizers plan to continue the expanded Common Read and film series in the future.

Summer Publishing Institute

In the summer of 2022, the Pearce Center helped to send undergraduate English major Jordan Green to New York University’s Summer Publishing Institute. The annual program is an intensive study of books, digital and magazine media where students attend interactive workshops, strategy
sessions, networking events, meetings with publishing teams and lectures taught by industry leaders. Green worked on hands-on projects to get real experience with content creation, editing, marketing, sales and the digital aspects of publishing. Upon her return to campus in the fall, Green met with the Pearce Interns to present on her experience, discuss what she learned at the institute and answer questions about the publishing industry.

English Majors Poetry Contest

The English Majors Club hosted its first poetry contest as a part of the Literary Festival this year. Participants were granted around 30 minutes to create an impromptu poem, which were judged by a mixture of English Majors Club students and English department faculty. Winners were announced live at the event, and the first, second and third place winners won gift card prizes provided by the Pearce Center.

Clemson Literary Festival

The 16th annual Literary Festival ran from March 29 to March 31, 2023. The event consisted of various activities, such as the book fair on R.M. Cooper Library bridge, literary trivia, faculty, student and visitor readings and an open mic night to wrap up the end of the festival. Among the visiting readers were several distinguished authors, including keynote reader Jericho Brown, Clemson writer-in-residence Desiree C. Bailey, Samuel Amadon, Liz Countryman, Santee Frazier and many more. Bringing together a community of literature lovers and fostering a shared connection over reading and writing, the Literary Festival is always a celebrated event.