Monday, November 9, 2009

Teaching Writing for Social Justice

The SUNY Council on Writing has issued a call for proposals, for its annual conference, on the topic of Teaching Writing for Social Justice, taking place March 26 & 27, 2010, in Plattsburgh, New York.

The keynote speaker, Dr. Nancy Welch of the University of Vermont has focused her most recent scholarship on reclaiming the rhetorical strategies and tactics of U.S. social justice and labor movements for tackling the challenges to public writing and voice today.

The conference aims to consider the roles writing and writing instruction can, yet often fail, to play in making our larger political and economic contexts more equitable. Particular consideration will be given to proposals that explore how to define social justice through the teaching of writing.

The conference organizers encourage proposals exploring the juxtapositions and intersections particular to writing and social justice, such as:

o How do writers and teachers (re)construct identities that reflect and challenge their own and others' experiences of social injustice?
o How do program and student outcomes interact to limit and/or promote individual and social progress?
o How do departments support professional development for part time writing faculty that increases security and improves working conditions?
o What service learning opportunities do writing programs offer their students and faculty? What are their problems and possibilities?
o When and where are composition and rhetorical theory being applied for critical purposes? Are there contexts where such applications should be avoided?
o Can writing teach its practitioners to productively challenge yet wisely respect certain individual, social and ecological limits?
o How can the practices of writing, reading and critical thinking combine to promote social justice?
o How is writing an inherently revolutionary act?

Proposal Guidelines
Papers or panel abstracts should be no more than 400 words, including a brief description of individual presentations. In your abstract, include all contact information, the title of your paper or panel, and a description of your technology needs. Sessions will run 90 minutes, and panels may comprise 2-4 people. To present, registration is required upon acceptance.

Proposal Submission
Please send inquiries and proposals by January 15, 2010 to Nichole Bennett-Bealer at or Tom Friedrich at

hat tip:  Ben Opipari


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