Fundamental Questions: What is College Writing?
The University of Florida’s University Writing Program invites proposals for its second annual conference, “Fundamental Questions: What is College Writing?” The theme for the conference asks a question that has troubled composition instructors for at least the past hundred years. While numerous theories and approaches to teaching college writing exist, many of the same essential concerns drive our quest for the “right” way to teach. In fact, looking at our field from the outside would beg us to ask whether there is an identity crisis in Rhetoric and Composition. As such, our conference invites topics that engage with or extend beyond the following questions:
- What is “college writing” and what should it be?
- What are essential skills and concepts for college writing?
- Is Process dead? If so, what is taking its place?
- Are the Modes of Discourse obsolete or do they provide valuable lessons?
- What should be the content of college writing courses: Literature, Public Writing, Writing in the Disciplines?
- Should Writing in the Disciplines courses supplant F-YC?
- How have online courses changed college writing?
Rather than having participants read from papers for twenty minutes, we welcome proposals for ten-minute presentations that directly address matters in or of the college writing classroom. The objective is to create an opportunity for panelists to interact other conference participants. We envision the conference as a diffuse, wide-ranging conversation about teaching practices and philosophies, in which participants draw on their own pedagogical experiences, reflect on successes and challenges, and connect with other writing instructors through a variety of potential topics. Participants will be grouped into panels based on their proposals, but we hope that this emphasis on discussion will allow interplay between the various panels throughout the conference.
Keynote Speaker: Cheryl Glenn is the Liberal Arts Research Professor of English and Women’s Studies, and the Director of the Program in Writing and Rhetoric at Penn State University. The author of The St. Martin’s Guide to Teaching Writing and Rhetoric Retold: Regendering the Tradition from Antiquity Through the Renaissance, Glenn is an award-winning researcher, teacher, lecturer, and mentor.
Plenary Speaker: Kathleen Blake Yancey is the Kellogg W. Hunt Professor of English at Florida State University, and the Director of its graduate program in Rhetoric and Composition. Co-founder of the journal Assessing Writing, Yancey’s latest volume is the co-edited Electronic Portfolios 2.0; she is also the Editor of College Composition and Communication (CCC).
Submit a short abstract (max. 200 words) to Lyndsay Brown (email@example.com) by November 20, 2013. Include the name of the conference in the email’s subject line, and include your name and university affiliation in the attached abstract. We welcome abstracts from teachers of all levels, and especially encourage graduate students to submit.