Register for the University Writing Program’s 2014 Conference

Published: November 1st, 2012

Category: Featured, News

Pedagogy in Practice and Philosophy, 2014

Fundamental Questions: What is College Writing?

University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida
January 31st and February 1st, 2014
Friday, 10:00 PM to 6:30 PM
Saturday, 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM

  • Download Updated Schedule (Coming Soon)

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 ( 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.

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Directions & Location

The University Writing Program’s 2013 Conference, Classroom Matters: Pedagogy in Practice and Philosophy will be held at the University of Florida (UF) in Gainesville, Florida, USA. UF is Florida’s largest and oldest university, and is among the nation’s most academically diverse public universities. UF has a long history of established programs in international education, research and service. The campus includes more than 2,000 acres and 875 major buildings. The University of Florida has 23 colleges and schools and 129 research, service and education centers, bureaus and institutes. More than 100 undergraduate majors are offered in 94 undergraduate degree programs. The extended campus includes the Phillips Center for Performing Arts, the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art and the Florida Museum of Natural History.

Area Maps

Coming Here – Out-of-Town Visitors

Gainesville Regional Airport is serviced by Delta and US Airways. It is possible to fly into Jacksonville, Orlando or Tampa International Airports, rent a car, and drive to Gainesville (all approximately 2 hour drives). All major rental car agencies service Gainesville.

From Gainesville, Florida
Gainesville Regional Airport to the University of Florida = 8 miles

  • Driving Directions
    Exit airport turning west (right) onto NE 39th Ave. First light turn south (left) onto Waldo Rd. Turn west (right) onto 16th Ave. Turn south (left) onto 13th St. After approximately 3 miles, the University of Florida will be on your right.
  • Gainesville Regional Transit Service (RTS)
    Local bus service between the airport and campus, only Monday through Friday, $1.50 each way. See Route 25 (page 50) in the RTS schedule or use the trip planner on the RTS website (you can enter “airport” and “reitz union” in the Start and End boxes).
  • Car Rentals
    • Avis Rent-A-Car: (800) 331-1212
    • Budget Rent-A-Car: (800) 527-0700
    • Enterprise Leasing Co.: (800) 736-8222
    • Hertz Corp.: (800) 654-3131
    • National Car Rental: (800) 227-7368
  • Taxis
    Taxis are available at the airport upon request after you arrive.

From Orlando, Florida
Orlando International Airport to the University of Florida = 122 miles

  • Driving Directions
    You will be driving on toll roads, so you will need some cash in USD. Take the North Exit road from Orlando International Airport to SR 528 (Beeline Expressway). Take SR 528 (Beeline Expressway) west to the Florida Turnpike-North. Florida turnpike merges with I-75. Stay on I-75 until Exit 387, Gainesville-Newberry Rd. (SR 26). Go east (right) on Newberry Rd., which becomes University Ave. After several miles, the University of Florida will be on your right.
  • Shuttle Information
    Red Coach Bus Service – serves Tallahassee, Gainesville, Orlando, Tampa, Miami

From Jacksonville, Florida
Jacksonville International Airport to the University of Florida = 82 miles

  • Driving Directions
    Take JAX Airport Rd. to I-95 South to I-295 South to I-10 West to US 301 South to SR 24 West to Gainesville.
  • Shuttle Information
    We don’t know of any services still running between Jacksonville and Gainesville.

From Tampa, Florida
Tampa International Airport to the University of Florida = 137 miles

  • Driving Directions
    Take the SR-60 ramp to I-275/ Downtown, Merge onto N Memorial Hwy/SR-60 E, Take the exit onto I-275 N toward I-4, Take the exit onto I-75 N, Take exit 384 toward Gainesville.
  • Shuttle Information
    Red Coach Bus Service – serves Tallahassee, Gainesville, Orlando, Tampa, Miami

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Hotel Accommodations

The conference will take place at the Hampton Inn & Suites in downtown Gainesville. A block of rooms has been reserved at a special rate for participants. The deadline for reservations at that rate is January 9, 2014. Follow the link below to reserve your room: [link forthcoming].

  • Hampton Inn & Suites

101 SE 1st Avenue, Gainesville, FL 32601
(352) 240-9300

Other area accommodations are also available:

For other hotels and local restaurants visit the Gainesville Visitor’s Bureau.

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Area Attractions

The city of Gainesville was established in 1854. Gainesville continues to rank as one of the best places to live in the United States. Situated in the heart of North Central Florida, the area basks in Gulf breezes that make summer days warm and nights comfortable and cool. A delight for nature lovers, 65 percent of the county’s 969 square miles is a forest wilderness dotted with scenic lakes and wetlands. There are 40 nature parks within 50 miles of Gainesville where visitors can picnic, swim, hike, camp or enjoy some boating or fishing. The area has six fresh water lakes and seven excellent golf courses.

Nine miles south of Gainesville, Micanopy is located in southeastern Alachua County between I-75 and US 441. The streets are canopied with ancient oaks and are lined by private homes and storefronts that time seems to have forgotten. Most of the buildings are on the National Historic Register. In fact, Micanopy is the oldest inland settlement in Florida.

Cross Creek
This picturesque community in southeastern Alachua County was made famous by Pulitzer-Prize-winning author of The Yearling , Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. Her farmhouse and orange grove are now a State Historic Site operated by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection Division of Parks and Recreation. The area is a favorite among visitors who want to see the lush Florida of Rawlings’ novels and stories, and meet the local characters.

Crystal River
Fifty miles south-west of Gainesville is an unspoiled playground. Most noteworthy, Crystal River is home to the largest herd of endangered manatees in the US, which congregate primarily in the beautiful Crystal and Homosassa Rivers. They can be seen from the riverbanks or by engaging local guide services for a boat or up-close snorkel encounter. These gentle giants average 10 feet long and weigh 1,200 pounds.

St. Augustine
Seventy five miles north-east of Gainesville you will find the US’s oldest city. As with any location steeped in history, there are many exciting museums in the area.

Ichetucknee Springs State Park
Forty miles north of Gainesville you can tube, kayak, canoe or snorkel down the Ichetucknee River at a mere one mile per hour. The river teems with vegetation, bream, catfish, redbellies, striped bass and stumpknockers. Wild rice, once a staple of native populations, still grows at the river’s edge. Elsewhere, there are graceful flowering spider lilies, bromeliads on overhanging roots and beaver scrapings on tree trunks. Above, kingfishers fly and goldfinches trill. Just relax and enjoy the ride.

The Suwannee River
Forty miles west of Gainesville, the Suwannee River flows through south Georgia and north Florida before emptying into the Gulf of Mexico. The name “Suwannee” is thought to have been derived from the American Indian word meaning “black, muddy water.” Immortalized in the Stephen Foster song, “Old Folks at Home,” the river is known around the world.

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