On Friday, April 7, 2017, the UConn First-Year Writing Program held our twelfth annual Conference on the Teaching of Writing, an event co-sponsored by the Aetna Chair of Writing, the English Department, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and the University of Connecticut Humanities Institute. The conference theme was Humility and Conviction, and participants considered the roles of—and tensions between—humility and conviction in writing and writing instruction. John Duffy of the University of Notre Dame delivered our keynote speech: “Radical Humilities: Post-Truth, Ethics, and the Teaching of Writing.” Presenters were asked to submit proposals responding to the following questions:
- What does it mean to write or to teach writing with humility and/or conviction?
- What is the role of humility when convictions clash—for example, between student and instructor?
- How do rhetorical concepts come into play in writing with humility and/or conviction?
- How can we reframe the relationship of writer and audience as working between humility and conviction?
- How do we negotiate differing understandings of humility and conviction across cultural boundaries?
On Friday, March 25, 2016, the UConn First-Year Writing program held our eleventh annual Conference on the Teaching of Writing, an event co-sponsored by the Aetna Chair of Writing and the University of Connecticut Humanities Institute. The conference’s theme was “Public Subjects and the Digital Realm” and issues of writing with digital tools and in digital, often public spaces were at the forefront of the conference. Alexander Reid of University at Buffalo delivered our keynote speech: “Composing with Deliberate Speed: Writing Future Digital Publics.” Reid’s talk imported Object-oriented ontology to help us consider the ways that digital tools and spaces necessarily shape the way our students communicate now and will communicate in the future. Reid argued “We do not yet know how to live in a digital media ecology,” suggesting that we who work and teach in the realm of communication think of ourselves as explorers in a developing, ever-shifting new space ripe for multi-modal expression and public sharing. Presenters were asked to submit proposals responding to the following questions:
- How do students work in, with, and against their writing environments, digital or otherwise?
- What is the relationship between public and academic discourse? How might the teaching of writing speak to this relationship?
- Is composition pedagogy designed to serve the democratic imperative of deliberative discourse? Should it be?
- How do digital public spaces shape our students’ rhetorical awareness?
- What does it mean to make student work public—and why, or to what extent, would we want to do this?
- How might digital tools and spaces serve collaborative student projects in composition courses?
- How do we negotiate different teaching models rooted in networked or in-person spaces?
Find the full program for the 2016 conference here: 2016 Conference on the Teaching of Writing Program.
On Friday, March 27, 2015, the UConn First-Year Writing program held our tenth annual Conference on the Teaching of Writing, an event co-sponsored by the Aetna Chair of Writing and the University of Connecticut Humanities Institute. The conference’s theme was “Writing as Translation,” and addressed issues of translation in the broadest sense. Writers, teachers, and writing program administrators from institutions across the United States came together to discuss translation not only as the transitioning of a text from one language into another, but as a rendering of ourselves and others in writing—and to consider questions such as these:
- How does the metaphor of translation, a mechanism for moving between language communities, points of view, and settings, open up new ways of thinking about our work?
- To what degree does our writing involve “translating” other authors or creators?
- How do we view relationships between cultural identity and writing, translingual writing and global “Englishes”?
- How might we see cross‐disciplinary work as translation?
- How do we take into account the multiple language lenses that inform academic conversations?
- How do we help our students render and make use of difficult and challenging texts?
- How do we conceive of authorship and positionality?
- What are the ways in which writing‐as‐labor translates into value?
- What does writing and the teaching of writing look like in 2015 and beyond, and how do we translate our work using the tools current in universities and culture?
Min-Zhan Lu and Bruce Horner, both of the University of Louisville, delivered a keynote address titled “Teaching Writing as Translation: A Translingual Approach” to our largest number of attendees ever. The conference concluded with a reception and roundtable discussion with Bruce Horner, Scott Campbell of First-Year Writing, Arash Zaghi from the UConn Engineering Department and Manuela Wagner from the UConn Languages Department.
Find the full 2015 conference program here: 2015 Conference on the Teaching of Writing Program.