Exposé is a publication of the Harvard College Writing Program


First Digital Printing

Printed by Jeff Nguyen

Copyright © 2010–11, President and Fellows of Harvard College


Neue Helvetica/Georgia. Helvetica was designed by Max Miedinger and Eduard Hoffmann. One of the few typefaces that displays in a range of font weights online, Helvetica is distinctive for its neutral contours and clear letter forms. Matthew Carver designed for the Microsoft Corporation the serif font Georgia, whose large x-height makes it legible for long stretches of onscreen copy.

Cover Art: Zachary Sifuentes


Tad Davies
Zachary Sifuentes
Joaquin Terrones

Executive Editor

Doug Woodhouse

Fiction Editor

Karen Heath

Digital Editor

Jeff Nguyen

Associate Editors

Justine De Young
Jim Herron
Jonah Johnson
Matt Levay
Donna Mumme
Lindsay Silver Cohen

Prize Committee

Pat Bellanca
Jim Herron
Tom Jehn


Pat Bellanca, Justine De Young, Liz Greenspan, Jim Herron,
Jonah Johnson, Courtney Lamberth, Cameron Leader-Picone,
Matt Levay, Michele Martinez, Donna Mumme, Tess O’Toole,
Emily Shelton, Lindsay Silver Cohen, Rebecca Summerhays,
Michelle Syba, Andrea Volpe, Steven Wandler, William Weitzel.

Web Development & Design

Tony Killian
Jeff Nguyen
Jascha Smilack
Zachary Sifuentes
Joaquin Terrones

Special Thanks

Academic Technology Group at Harvard University
Yale University Press


For more than 20 years, Exposé has annually showcased outstanding essays written by students in Harvard’s first-year course in the Harvard College Writing Program. All students are required to take “Expos,” a tradition since 1872. Expos asks students to work intensively with their teachers on the skill of writing thoughtful arguments that respond to challenging ideas, complex debates, and puzzling social phenomena.

The work is not easy. Over the course of a semester, students must tackle three essay assignments on topics likely unfamiliar to them. For each assignment, students must negotiate difficult texts and concepts, and draft and revise their essays as deadlines

in multiple courses loom. But as the essays in this issue attest, students in Expos answer the challenge with impressive grace and powers of reflection.

With this year’s issue, we inaugurate a new era for Exposé as we begin to change the magazine’s scope in order to feature excellent analytical writing not only by freshmen but also by other writers in our Harvard community—upperclassmen, Harvard professors in various fields, and alumni. As this academic year unfolds, we will also begin to feature interviews with our writers discussing their work, their composing and revising process, their approach to crafting argument, and their conception of audience. By including a broader range of writing along with our authors’ commentaries, we hope to show freshmen in Expos the characteristics and practices of good writing beyond their Expos classes.

Our thanks go to Gordon Gray, whose generosity allows us to publish Exposé. We are grateful as well to the Writing Program faculty who helped select the work for this issue: Pat Bellanca, Justine De Young, Liz Greenspan, Jim Herron, Jonah Johnson, Courtney Lamberth, Cameron Leader-Picone, Matt Levay, Michele Martinez, Donna Mumme, Tess O’Toole, Emily Shelton, Lindsay Silver Cohen, Rebecca Summerhays, Michelle Syba, Andrea Volpe, Steven Wandler, and William Weitzel. We also thank Karen Heath and Jane Rosenzweig, who selected the two

winning entries for this year’s Ecker Short Story Prizes. Special thanks to Doug Woodhouse, our executive editor.

We also want to give particular thanks to the Academic Technology Group and the Presidential Instructional Technology Fellows at Harvard University who made the transition from a print publication to an outstanding interactive online format possible. Tony Killian, Jeff Nguyen and Jascha Smilack deserve our heartfelt thanks.

We reserve our greatest thanks for our authors whose work appears in this issue. For our student authors, we thank them for the great care they have shown with their arguments and with the process of revision as their essays continued to evolve. We also thank the teachers who guided our student authors along the way. For our faculty and alumni authors, we are grateful for their keen interest in becoming involved in an innovative project that supports the mission of teaching undergraduates the craft of writing. With each of their pieces of writing, all of our contributors have given our readers—whether in Expos classes this year or for the years to come, whether here at Harvard or beyond—an invitation to join a memorable intellectual conversation.

Tom Jehn
Sosland Director
Harvard College Writing Program

Tad Davies
Zachary Sifuentes
Joaquin Terrones


Exposé, the annual journal published by the Harvard College Writing Program, features a cross section of writing from the University community. The current issue is being powered by Publishize JS, a digital typography and annotation framework developed by Jeff Nguyen. To learn more about Exposé's print and digital aspects, visit the About page.