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CCCC 2023 Update

13 September 2022

Dear CCCC Members,

Thank you for your patience as we make the shift from this year’s virtual Convention to next year’s in-person event in Chicago, with a virtual component for the 2023 CCCC Convention. Planning proceeds apace for the Convention, and I want to give you a few updates about what is to come.

You should receive your program notifications before the end of September.

With regard to virtual components of the Chicago Convention: in addition to livestreaming the opening session, keynote, and a few promoted sessions, we are holding seventy-five on-demand sessions for participants who need to present virtually. Priority for on-demand sessions will go to presenters who are immune-compromised, caregivers, and non-tenure-track or adjunct faculty. In addition to your acceptance email, each presenter will receive, under separate cover, an email asking you to indicate whether you require an on-demand session. We will be operating under the honour system with the hope that we can provide that option to those with the greatest need.

Prior to the Convention, you will receive information about how to upload your proof of vaccination to our Crowdpass app. We encourage participants to wear masks throughout the Convention and will make masks available at the Registration Desk. NCTE will continue to monitor and follow protocols that comply with any applicable local public health requirements and that are consistent with then-prevailing public health standards, as issued by the CDC (or other relevant public health authorities).

This year’s CCCC Annual Convention will offer some new features. These include a Muslim Prayer Room, meeting space for graduate students, and extra space for childcare, breastfeeding, and caregiver respite. I’m also really excited about our pop-up writing centres, where presenters can seek feedback on their Convention papers, workshop materials, and handouts and find guidance on the composing and delivery of land and water acknowledgements. The American Indian Caucus, under the leadership of Andrea Riley Mukavetz, is generously working with representatives from the writing centre community to prepare specialized training for volunteer tutors so they can offer culturally responsive feedback as well as take their new knowledge about land and water acknowledgements back to their home institutions following the Convention.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me or to the staff at CCCCevents@ncte.org should you have any questions. You can also find a detailed FAQ on the CCCC Convention website.

With warmest regards,

Frankie Condon

FAQ

GENERAL QUESTIONS 

Where is the 2023 CCCC Annual Convention? 

The 2023 CCCC Annual Convention will take place in Chicago, Illinois, at the Hilton Chicago, 720 S. Michigan Avenue. 

In what time zone are convention times? 

Times for all sessions are Central Standard Time. 

When will registration open? 

Registration for the CCCC Annual Convention and TYCA Conference will open in late September 2022. 

Early bird registration rates close at 11:59 p.m. ET on Wednesday, January 18, 2023 (post early bird rates are denoted with an *): 

  • CCCC/NCTE members: $205/*$240 
  • NCTE members: $230/*$270
  • Nonmembers: $280/*$330 
  • Part-time/Veteran/Retiree: $105 
  • Students: $65 
  • One-day rate, Saturday-only: $100 (does not include access to virtual content)
  • Half-day Workshops, Wednesday-only: $20 
  • Full-day Workshops, Wednesday-only: $40 
  • Saturday Workshops: $0 

Where can I find information on travel and on booking hotel rooms? 

Travel and hotel booking information is available on the registration and housing page. Our rates at the Hilton Chicago are $179 (single/double) and $199 (2 double bed/2 bath). Visit the housing website to book your hotel stay by February 2, 2023 (this has been extended from the previous deadline).

What are the hours of the Convention? 

The preliminary schedule for the CCCC Annual Convention and TYCA Conference can be found here and is subject to change. 

Attending Sessions 

Program: A link to the Convention Program will be added in January 2023. 

Policies: See the NCTE Event Policies. 

Where do I learn more about accessibility for attendees and presenters?

Visit the CCCC 2023 Accessibility Guide.

What is the format of the Convention? 

The 2023 CCCC Annual Convention will be held in person. CCCC seeks to uphold the experience of the place-based Convention and the important affordances of CCCC members learning together and from one another. #4C23 will include a virtual option for those unable to attend in person. Digital access will comprise live streaming of the Opening General Session, All-Attendee Session, Annual Business Meeting and Awards Presentation, and several promoted sessions. Additionally, up to 75 on-demand sessions will be available for persons unable to travel. Those who register to attend in person will also have access to the digital content. Please note that workshops will be in person only. Also note that Saturday-only registrants will not have access to virtual content.

How do I get a certificate of attendance? 

To request a certificate of attendance for the CCCC Annual Convention or TYCA Conference, please email CCCCevents@ncte.org at the conclusion of the events. 

For information on graduate education credits, please email profdev@ncte.org. 

What are the Convention policies? 

By attending the Convention, all attendees agree to follow NCTE Event Policies on Health & Safety, Code of Conduct, Mutual Respect & Anti-Harassment, Demonstrations, and Use of Multimedia.

Dependent Care

CCCC does not provide dependent care services. Check with your hotel staff for available services. CCCC will again offer Caregiver Grants through an application process. Applications are due by January 9, 2023.

Bringing Guests to the CCCC Convention

If you plan to bring a partner or dependent onsite to the CCCC Convention, please contact CCCCevents@ncte.org as soon as possible. All attendees, including guests, will need to provide proof of full vaccination against COVID 19 per the health and safety policy.

REGISTRATION QUESTIONS 

Is there a cut-off date for registration? 

Early-bird registration rates will end at 11:59 p.m. ET on Wednesday, January 18, 2023. 

Will registration be available onsite? 

Attendees will be able to register online until the start of the Convention and onsite in Chicago. 

Are there discounted rates? 

CCCC offers highly discounted rates for students at $65 and for part-time, retired, or veteran faculty at $105. 

Is there funding available? 

Yes! Please visit the Funding Opportunities page for details. 

Why are the virtual and in-person registration rates the same? 

Costs to produce the CCCC Annual Convention are significant when in one format. Expanding the access to both in-person and digital expands costs exponentially. Doing so allows us to provide the opportunity to attend and learn to as many people as possible, but it is not without a financial burden. CCCC works hard to keep registration fees as low as possible, including lower than other teaching organizations with similar in-person-only events. In an effort to continue this commitment, the costs are the same regardless of which format attendees choose to attend. This also means that attendees can change registration types in the event that plans change.  

The CCCC Annual Convention is designed to be a robust in-person experience, and we are stretching to continue with digital components developed during the height of the pandemic. We continue to lean into innovation. In a time of such a challenge, we are working to provide invigorating professional learning in an inclusive way for as many circumstances as possible. 

MEMBERSHIP QUESTIONS 

How do I become a CCCC member? 

To learn more about the benefits of membership, including discounts on CCCC Annual Convention registration, please see our website. 

HEALTH & SAFETY QUESTIONS 

What is CCCC’s Health and Safety Policy? 

Please see NCTE Event Policies for information on the Health and Safety policies. 

Am I required to be vaccinated against Covid-19? 

Yes, please see NCTE Event Policies for additional information. 

What other protocols will CCCC put in place related to the pandemic? 

CCCC will continue to monitor and follow protocols that comply with any applicable local public health requirements and that are consistent with then-prevailing public health standards, as issued by the CDC (or other relevant public health authorities). More information will be available on these policies as the 2023 CCCC Annual Convention and TYCA Conference approaches.

NCTE Event Policies

NCTE expects all participants to adhere to the following policies while in attendance at the CCCC Annual Convention and TYCA Conference. NCTE reserves the right to dismiss any participant from the Convention whose conduct is inconsistent with these policies.

HEALTH & SAFETY POLICY

NCTE takes the health and safety of its personnel and all guests at events very seriously. In light of ongoing concerns regarding COVID and communicable health risks more generally, NCTE is requiring all attendees to be fully Vaccinated against COVID 19 to attend the 2023 CCCC Annual Convention and TYCA Conference. Prior to the event you will be asked to submit proof of vaccination using Crowdpass digital health-clearance program. In addition to the vaccine verification, NCTE may implement additional appropriate health and safety protocols in light of the public health circumstances existing at the time of each NCTE event. NCTE will follow protocols that comply with any then-applicable local public health requirements and are consistent with then-prevailing public health standards as issued by the CDC (or other relevant public health authorities). Those protocols may include some or all of the following: self-monitoring, symptom screening, contact tracing, use of face coverings, social distancing, or other safety measures. Additional or enhanced measures may apply to certain events or activities in light of the particular circumstances and risks. Compliance with the protocols adopted by NCTE may be mandatory for in-person attendance and participation at the event. Additional information regarding the specific health and safety measures, and any necessary consents by you, will be communicated to Attendees before the event.

After patiently, eagerly waiting for the opportunity to meet in person once again, we are all working together to make this a rewarding, enjoyable, and safe event. Accordingly, you agree that you will not attend the event if within ten (10) days preceding the event, you have tested positive or been diagnosed with COVID or other communicable disease; or experienced any new or unexplained symptoms commonly associated with COVID or other communicable disease. Further, you understand and agree that NCTE may share any COVID-related information about you that NCTE receives as part of such health and safety protocols with public health authorities or other regulatory agencies, as required by applicable law.

CODE OF CONDUCT

NCTE expects all participants to adhere to the following policies while in attendance at both the Virtual and In-Person CCCC Annual Convention and TYCA Conference. NCTE reserves the right to dismiss any participant from Convention whose conduct is inconsistent with these policies.

MUTUAL RESPECT & ANTI-HARASSMENT POLICY

NCTE is committed to producing events where everyone may learn, network, and socialize in an environment of mutual respect. Therefore, some behaviors are expressly prohibited: harassment or intimidation related to gender, gender identity and/or expression, sexual orientation, disability, race, age, religion; deliberate intimidation, stalking, or following; harassing photography or recording; sustained disruption of talks or events; inappropriate contact and unwelcome sexual attention. Participants are expected to observe this code of conduct policy in all venues and events. Contact eventcommunications@ncte.org if you believe you have been harassed or that a harassing situation exists. All reports will be directed to NCTE leadership immediately.

DEMONSTRATIONS POLICY

Demonstrations and protests will be conducted in a peaceful and organized manner, will be within the policies of the venue, and will be compliant with federal, state, and local laws. Such activities are strictly forbidden in exhibition space, and protesters will not be permitted to block the entrance to traffic flow within the exhibit area. NCTE retains the right to permit protests to occur in predetermined areas and to terminate any protests that occur on its property or property NCTE is renting, leasing, or otherwise using for a specific time to host an event. Attendees who do not uphold these standards may jeopardize their membership and/or event participation.

Individuals and groups interested in demonstrating/protesting should contact our Convention Operations Team, at eventcommunications@ncte.org to register their plans and obtain further details.

USE OF MULTIMEDIA

By attending the Convention, you acknowledge and agree that NCTE, or others acting on its behalf or through sponsorship or exhibitor contracts, may take photographs and video (by any means) and/or make sound recordings during the Convention (including through the digital event platform and via social media) and that you may appear in such photographs and videos and be heard in such sound recordings, and that NCTE may edit and use the footage it captures for marketing and promotional activities (including through social media) now and in the future, and for any other lawful purpose in the ordinary course of its business.

Please be respectful of presenters and other attendees when photographing, videoing, or sound recording any part of any Convention sessions or other content. Please request permission of presenters before photographing or recording and/or posting on social media. Live streaming out any part of the Convention on a personal device is prohibited.

Committee on Assessing Whiteness for Equity, Understanding, and Change within CCCC/NCTE (March 2025)

Committee Members

Frankie Condon, Co-chair
Mara Lee Grayson, Co-chair
Clare Bermingham
Cheryl Glenn
Doug Kern

Committee Charges

Charge:

  • To work with the Chair of CCCC within the first two weeks of Task Force formation to develop a robust charge that encompasses the following objectives outlined by the current chair of CCCC:
  • To be courageous and bold in pursuing the following:
    • Assess the operation of white privilege, whiteliness, and whiteness within CCCC and NCTE.
    • Survey and expose tacit and intentional racism within CCCC and NCTE.
    • Detail how within CCCC and NCTE whiteness and racism or antiracism activities have historically affected leadership roles and members within the organization.
    • Identify any “unwritten rules” that have a disparate impact on minorities, and that may intentionally or unwittingly buttress white privilege.
    • Consult with members of colour in CCCCs, listening to their concerns and feedback.
    • Consult with other members of all backgrounds listening to their concerns and feedback.

Action: Imagine and offer tangible options for what might be done to advocate for recognition and intervention in the problem of white privilege, whiteliness, and whiteness as they function within CCCC and NCTE.

CCCC Statement against War Crimes

June 2022

All forms of injustices—particularly those caused by warfare, climate injustice, crimes against humanity, and/or political instability brought on by colonization—threaten educational systems and the safety of students and teachers everywhere. As a community of scholars committed to social justice who teach students and work with scholars from around the world, it is time to broaden our attention, both individually and collectively.

CCCC stands in solidarity with those students and teachers whose lives and livelihoods are threatened by war, by crimes against humanity, by political instability, by climate injustice, and by famine. We see you in US writing classrooms, in refugee settlements, and in your own communities and schools where you face danger daily, and we thank you for your commitment to learning even in the face of physical violence, knowledge suppression, and linguistic imperialism.

CCCC stands against injustice wherever literacy learning and students’ access to education are threatened. This demand is inclusive of students and scholars around the world, of all those who must cross borders at great risks, and of all who teach, study, write, and speak under traumatizing conditions.

Today, we stand in solidarity with our colleagues and students in and from Ukraine. We also stand in solidarity with students and scholars in and from places affected by war and violence, including Ethiopia, Myanmar, Haiti, Afghanistan, Palestine, Cameroon, and Yemen.

We stand in solidarity with our colleagues and students who oppose the war crimes inflicted on citizens, immigrants, and visitors.

As a community of educators and scholars, we will work to open our scholarly resources to fellow scholars and students in generous collaboration. We will work to open our classrooms, writing centers, and professional resources for access to you and your students. And we will work to make the conditions under which literacy learning is happening in the face of war crimes visible in our understanding of teaching writing.

This position statement may be printed, copied, and disseminated without permission from NCTE.

CCCC Wikipedia Graduate Fellowship Program

2022-23 Call for Applications

Are you interested in digital activism, knowledge equity, and public rhetorics? Make a real difference in public access to knowledge and explore your own research interests through the CCCC Wikipedia Graduate Fellowship Program.

Applications due: Monday, May 30, 2022

Fellowship period: July 2022–June 2023

Time commitment: 10 hours/week July–Aug; 5 hours/week Sept–June

Award: $1,500 USD

The Conference on College Composition and Communication Wikipedia Initiative (CCCCWI) is accepting applications for the 2022-23 CCCC Wikipedia Graduate Fellowship Program. Graduate students in writing studies and closely related fields are invited to apply. The fellowship is aimed at emerging scholars who are 1) invested in digital activism and knowledge equity, and 2) interested in hands-on experience with Wikipedia, Wikidata, and the digital public humanities.

Established in 2019, the CCCC Wikipedia Initiative proceeds from the conviction that public scholarship and knowledge equity on Wikipedia serve as fundamental groundwork for social justice. We are developing skills, cultivating inclusive community, and building structures of support and recognition for scholars of writing, rhetoric, literacy, and language studies who want to engage with Wikipedia as a form of global public scholarship.

2022-23 CCCC Wikipedia Graduate Fellows will each receive a $1,500 award in recognition of their one-year appointment to advance and expand the work of the CCCCWI. Applications are due Monday, May 30, 2022. (See the application overview below for details.)

What do CCCC Wikipedia Grad Fellows do?

CCCC Wikipedia Graduate Fellows participate in Wikipedia and Wikidata training activities, collaborate on group projects, and lead individual projects that extend the work of the CCCCWI.

The 2022-23 cohort of fellows will work with CCCCWI leadership on shared projects aimed at highlighting writing studies related content gaps across different language Wikipedias and engaging editors with the support and resources they need to address knowledge inequities. Tasks include:

  • Improving the categorization of Wikipedia articles related to writing studies scholars and topics
  • Expanding bibliographies and resource lists to support citation equity
  • Developing Wikidata queries that showcase content gaps across language Wikipedias
  • Creating article worklists based on these queries to establish goals for WikiProject Writing
  • Revising and expanding help documentation and curriculum

Individual fellows will also take the lead in developing and executing a project aligned with the CCCCWI’s goal of engaging scholars in writing studies to edit Wikipedia within their field(s) of expertise. Project ideas will be refined in conversation with Dr. Melanie Kill (CCCCWI Chair), Savannah Cragin (CCCC Wikipedian-in-Residence), and the project mentor identified by the fellow. (See the project types overview below for details.)

Who should apply?

We welcome graduate students interested in digital activism, knowledge equity, and public rhetorics. If you meet the following criteria, we look forward to reading your application:

  • Currently enrolled in a graduate program in writing, rhetoric, composition, literacy, and/or language studies or a closely related field
  • Experience and investment in work supporting diversity and equity
  • Strong research, writing, and communication skills

All experience levels with Wikipedia or Wikidata are encouraged to apply. (See gaining experience on Wikipedia and Wikidata below if you’re interested in getting oriented with the Wikimedia movement.)

We are particularly interested in applicants who have one or more of the following:

  • Experience working in a community organizing, non-profit, or social justice role
  • Spoken and/or written language skills in a language other than English
  • Experience with Wikidata or data science (i.e., SPARQL)
  • Experience contributing to Wikipedia
  • Familiarity with the open knowledge movement
  • Experience with outreach via social media and graphic design communication skills

This is by no means a comprehensive list. If there is another skill set or experience not mentioned here that you believe would further the goals of the initiative, we highly recommend submitting an application that describes your project ideas and how you see yourself contributing.

What happens when?
  • May 30, 2022 – Deadline for application submission. This includes your cover letter, CV, and project ideas overview. Your project mentor’s letter of support should be received by Savannah Cragin (CCCC Wikipedian-in-Residence) at savannahcragin@berkeley.edu by this date.
  • June 6-12, 2022 – Selection committee will meet with finalists for brief, informal online interviews.
  • June 13-19, 2022 – Applicants will be notified.

If you have any questions or concerns about the application process, please email Savannah Cragin (CCCC Wikipedian-in-Residence) at savannahcragin@berkeley.edu.

Appendix 1: Project Types Overview

These fellow-led projects will draw on each fellow’s particular skill sets, community investments, and academic interests to support knowledge equity and public scholarship on Wikipedia. Applicants must identify a project mentor to help support their project goals throughout the fellowship. The mentor may be a faculty advisor, a faculty member at another institution, and/or a Wikipedian or Wikidatan community member doing knowledge equity work. (If the project mentor is a faculty member, it is not necessary for them to have prior experience with Wikipedia or Wikidata). Potential projects could include:

  • Writing studies community engagement projects involving members of a defined academic community as co-creators, for example through Wikipedia article assessment and worklist curation. Deep relationships within and commitment from the community are important. (For example, you might collaborate with a CCCC SIG or standing group or an organization like DBLAC or Anti-Ableist Composition.)
  • Wikipedian community engagement projects, including organizing meetups, workshops, edit-a-thons, contests, or resources supporting public engagement with writing studies research and knowledge. The ability to translate expertise into a relevant format in a way that will genuinely engage the intended public is crucial, as are skills and connections that will bring the public to the programs. (For example, you might collaborate with WikiProject Women in Red or AfroCROWD.)
  • Creative outreach and audiovisual projects pertaining to writing studies and Wikipedia and/or Wikidata, including podcasts, social media campaigns, short films, or graphic design. The ability to frame a narrative and articulate complex ideas in a compelling way is crucial, as is expertise in the relevant design technology and in distribution. (For example, you might create work we can showcase on the CCCCWI website and/or the WikiProject Writing Twitter account).
  • Public or classroom curriculum projects that develop adaptable training resources, activities, and participatory projects for a specific audience. These projects take up the work of teacher training and create instructional materials that support writing teachers (at any level and in any context) to teach Wikipedia editing in ways informed by writing studies pedagogy. (For example, you might work on developing a unit or focus for an FYC course that encourages instructors to edit alongside their students or develop a continuing education course on writing for Wikipedia).
  • We welcome other innovative projects that create engaging pathways for writing studies scholars to contribute to Wikipedia. This can relate to any aspect of the initiative’s goals, including but not limited to unique collaborations, diversifying our outreach practices, and developing compelling storytelling and branding that aid in the goal of establishing a culture of writing studies scholars editing Wikipedia as a form of public scholarship.
Appendix 2: Application Overview

This appendix provides an overview of the application process. There are four documents to submit. The applicant will upload items 1-3 when they complete the online application. The applicant’s mentor will submit item 4 (the letter of support) via email.

  1. Cover letter: Include a cover letter introducing yourself and highlighting academic and non-academic skills and experiences that make you an ideal CCCC Wikipedia Graduate Fellow. We’d love to know how your project ideas and this fellowship fit into your current work and future goals. Tell us about your diversity and equity work. Describe your language skills. Describe your experience with Wikipedia and/or Wikidata and include your username (even if you are just getting started).
  2. Résumé/CV: Include a résumé/CV highlighting the work most relevant to your project ideas, as well as any previous public-engagement experience, if applicable.
  3. Project ideas overview (1,000 words total / 2 project ideas): Include an overview describing two (2) project ideas you could develop and implement during the fellowship period. Once the fellowship period begins, these project ideas will be discussed and one of them developed and completed in collaboration with CCCCWI key stakeholders. When articulating your project ideas, keep in mind the complexities of the communities or landscapes you are engaging with. Clear and concise descriptions of project activities, outcomes, and plans to address anticipated challenges will give reviewers greater confidence. For each project idea, please complete steps (a-d) in fewer than 500 words:
    1. Project title: Provide a descriptive title for your project idea
    2. Project summary: Provide a compelling overview of a project you would like to complete as an organizer extending and expanding the work of the CCCCWI. Briefly summarize the project goals, including at least one key output (e.g., an activity or product). Projects that involve individual contributions to Wikipedia or Wikidata should do so with the aim of understanding a process or problem and developing the infrastructure for writing scholars to engage in similar work. Think of yourself as part of the organizing team for the CCCCWI rather than a participant.
    3. Project alignment: Describe how each project idea aligns with the CCCCWI’s goals of engaging scholarly editors within writing studies fields to contribute to Wikipedia. Specifically, elaborate on how you will engage CCCCWI participants and/or specific scholarly communities. Additionally, describe how the project helps combat knowledge inequities within writing studies-related content on Wikipedia.
    4. Project investment: Describe why you are the right person to lead this project. Please discuss your relationship to the communities you plan to collaborate with.
  4. Project mentor letter of support: Ask your project mentor to email a brief letter of support to Savannah Cragin (CCCC Wikipedian-in-Residence) at savannahcragin@berkeley.edu. The letter should:
    1. Briefly evaluate the value and significance of the applicant’s project ideas
    2. Assess the applicant’s relevant skills and ability to carry out proposed project ideas
    3. Indicate a commitment to support the fellow and their proposed project ideas
Appendix 3 – Gaining Experience on Wikipedia and Wikidata

We welcome applicants who are committed to learning how to edit or looking to expand their knowledge of Wikipedia and Wikidata’s editing culture. Below are some resources, initiatives, and events that we hope will pique your interest, get you started editing, and deepen your experience with Wikipedia.

Initiatives, projects, and organizations of interest
Recent Scholarship on Wikipedia
Getting started with Wikipedia
Getting started with Wikidata

CCCC 2023: Statement from Program Chair Frankie Condon

April 13, 2022

Dear Friends,

I write with a heart full of gratitude to members of the CCCC trans community and allies who reached out about the 2023 CFP and Adrienne Rich’s endorsement and amplification of transphobia. I should have known her history and the truth is that I could have known without laying on you the added emotional labor of instructing me. I recognize my culpability and rededicate myself to educating myself and holding myself accountable so you don’t have to. I have now removed the reference from the CFP.

You deserve a field and a CCCC organization unfettered from transphobia and that, as Latinx trans writer and performance artist Heath V. Salazar urges, neither forgets nor denies but rather contends with its past in service of creating and sustaining a more equitable, more just, more fulsome future. And you deserve a conference like that as well. I commit to you that I will do everything I can to make that conference a reality.

With Love,
Frankie

P.S. You can read about Heath V. Salazar here:
https://www.alunatheatre.ca/be-a-part-of-it/residencies/heath-salazar/

You can see an interview/performance:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QvdE9W0E8ms

And another performance here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ey7uZpQMNPM

2023 Call for Proposals

Statement from Program Chair Frankie Condon
April 13, 2022

Doing Hope in Desperate Times

Dear Colleagues,

Dearly Beloved,

Dear Friends,

I’ve learned a lot during the pandemic. One thing I now know for sure is that however much I love my solitude, I need all of you. I miss the energy, the vibe, the hustle, and the hum of CCCC. I miss the learning—the deep, lovely, hard, sometimes bitter, always energizing learning that, face with face, one with one, all with all, togetherness makes possible. During the years since last we met in person, like many of you, I have also wrestled with despair. I have always known, but not felt so deeply until now, the truth that we live in a broken world. The crushing tides of climate change and its resulting ecological disasters; the spread of COVID across the globe; endless war, poverty, famine, and the mass migration of peoples that coincide with a rising tide of authoritarianism, nationalism, extrajudicial violence, white supremacy, ethnocentrism, racism, Islamophobia, antisemitism, homophobia, transphobia, and misogyny—come near to breaking me. I have wondered whether deep affiliative relations beyond my homeplaces are even possible. Honestly, if the pandemic and all the other terrors to which we have been exposed have brought out the best in us (at least, that’s what cable news says), they’ve also unleashed our inner jerks; loosed ignorance so profound as to numb our capacity to even look at one another let alone speak with one another; launched political opportunism and manipulation so deadly that democracy looks to be in its death throes—and, as it dies, looks to be taking with it our capacity to imagine and reach for the kindness, compassion, and empathy that must be the foundation of social, economic, and political justice struggles.

But, in my lowest moments, I remember what Dr. Cornel West teaches: hope is action. Hope “enacts the stance of the participant who actively struggles” against the evidence of our brokenness. Here’s a hard truth: the catastrophes we face are humanmade, in particular by the exercise of power of a few over and against the many—against the earth, itself, and all the teeming life that call this planet home. Here’s another hard truth: a lot of the many have gone along to get along and packaged our acquiescence in the frippery of moral rectitude. And here’s one more hard truth: doing hope is much harder than wringing hands or assigning blame. Many of us are outraged, enraged, all the rage. Indeed, to riff on Derrida, the evidence seems incontrovertible that the future—if there can be any future for us—is bleak. Cornel West, however, does not eschew rage. Nor does he capitulate to despair. Neither should we. As Dr. Cornel says, “Only a new wave of vision, courage, and hope can keep us sane—and preserve the decency and dignity requisite to revitalize our organizational energy for the work to be done. To live is to wrestle with despair yet never to allow despair to have the last word” (2005).

I invite you to a 2023 CCCC Annual Conference dedicated to doing hope. Together, let’s evaluate anew the relationship of our field’s prevailing theories and practices to the perpetuation of systems, structures, institutional policies, procedures, and practices that—by design—oppress, exclude, exploit. Together, let’s see if we can both imagine and make manifest, as trans writer and performance artist Heath Salazar might say, a CCCCs organization “where people do right by one another . . . a [field] which has no chance of faltering because it will refuse to forget its past” (2018). Let’s admit that the tyranny of western argument over our field and the attachment of “personal,” like an epithet-filled ball and chain, to narrative are not serving well our students, ourselves, or the public and political discourses our teaching helps to shape.  Let’s bust some binaries . . . between self and other and us and them on one hand and between genre and method and argument and narrative on the other. The known has failed us. So, I am inviting you to do hope at the outside edges of our knowns. To follow Fanon in re-membering “that the real leap consists in introducing invention into existence. For the world through which [we] travel, [we are] endlessly creating [ourselves]” (1967).

To experiment, to try, to essay into learningful unlearning, into uncertainty attended by curiosity and wonderment, I’m asserting that we should admit our failures, address the evidence that—in our communities as across the world, in our institutions, our classrooms, our writing, speaking, teaching, and learning centres—things are not looking good. And if they do look good to you, chances are there are folks whose lives and lived experiences you’ns ain’t lookin’ at. So, let’s ask crazy hard questions and see if we can talk about them without certainty but with a real commitment to being together in the talking.

Let’s go to the places and ways our lives as teachers, scholars, writers, rhetors, performers, learners, and just-plain-folks intersect and let’s see if we can imagine an ethical relation undergirded by a shared commitment to doing hope. And if the old ways—our known ways of doing teaching, research, writing, talking, performing, and learning—have failed us, let’s experiment; let’s mesh methods, methodology, genres, languages, discourses, codes. Let’s embrace ALL the trans: transnational, translingual, transmemoration, multiracial, multi-ethnic—and transgender, transexual, transforming. Let’s be “the baddest bitch in the room, until we go to the next room” (The Vixen).

Here are some questions meant as provocations, not be-all-end-alls:

  • What can we learn together when we seek out possibilities for deep relationship with collaborators, fellow troublemakers—for doers of hope across
    • identities and identifications
    • national borders
    • global, regional, and local histories of struggle
    • institutional spaces or pedagogical fields: the writing centre, the writing program, the writing classroom, for example?
    • disciplines (bring a mathematician to CCCC or sumthin!)?
  • As scholars, teachers, rhetors, what might we learn or unlearn, what erased knowledges might we recover or reclaim; what new knowledge might we produce; how might we teach differently as transnational allies, accomplices, co-researchers, and co-writers?
  • What might we do together as intersectional accomplices in the production of new knowledge—where we understand intersectionality as an “analytic sensibility, a way of thinking about identity and its relationship to power” that makes visible the “many constituents within groups that claim them as members but often fail to represent them” (Crenshaw)?

Dr. Aja Martinez told us that “narrative has always been theoretical” and “counterstory as methodology is the verb, the process, the critical race theory-informed justification for the work whereas counterstory as method is the noun, the genre, the research tool.” And Lee Maracle told us that “creative non-fiction is bound by the original foundations handed to us by ancestors, ceremony, laws, and our relationship to creation. We place our obligations before us when we re-member . . . We need to draw upon the tangled web of colonial being, thread by thread—watch as each thread unfurls, untangles, shows its soft underbelly, its vulnerability, its strength, its resilience, its defiance, its imposition, its stubbornness.”

  • So, when we act on these understandings of methodology, method, and genre, what possibilities or knowledge-making open when we braid creative nonfiction, counterstory, narrative with critical rhetoric, narrative inquiry, and critical discourse analysis?
  • Can we lay aside our compulsion to commemorate that which we believe we know as teachers, scholars, writers, and colleagues and instead embrace what Kyo Maclear calls “transmemoration”: the practice of narrating one’s life or history without denying or suppressing the truth of other lives, other narratives—“coming to terms (to language) with the ways in which our identities and understandings are unevenly implicated in wider social and symbolic formations structured on power and inequality” (as cited in Condon, 2012: Maclear, 1998, p. 155)?
  • How can we use our talk, our teaching, our writing (our citing, baby!) to amplify, to lift up, to elevate those whose voices in our field have too long been ignored? Think graduate students, adjunct, parafaculty, and staff whose labour is exploited. Think emerging scholars—particularly those coming from historically marginalized and oppressed, equity-deserving communities: Black, Indigenous, and Peoples of Colour, Peoples with disabilities, neurodivergent Folks, 2SLGBTQIA+ Folks?
  • How can we encourage, create, and draw on laughter in service of survivance to thrive, to learn, and to turn our minds, spirits, and our energy toward creating worlds where the idea of a future is imaginable?

This is my love letter—to the folks in the discipline, some of them now passed on, who raised and nurtured me, challenged and troubled my knowns, believed in me, or wondered aloud with me what the hell I was doing and saying and why. To the emerging scholars, the young folks in the field who are smart as hell, who speak up and out, who are courageous and determined—and inspiring! To my contemporaries, my friends, my colleagues whether I’ve met you or not, who, with love and rage put the field on blast.

Keep yourselves safe, get vaccinated, get boosters, stay home, charge into 2022 CCCC Annual Convention online with delight. And let’s make Chicago 2023 a thang.

All My Love—Truly,

Frankie

Frankie Condon
2023 Program Chair

Important Dates

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CCCC Statement on Teaching and Learning about Race, Racism, Critical Race Theory, and Social Justice in the College Curriculum

Conference on College Composition and Communication
March 2022

The National Council of Teachers of English (the umbrella organization of the Conference on College Composition and Communication) previously cosigned the AAUP “Joint Statement on Efforts to Restrict Education about Racism” in June 2021, affirming that teachers and students “deserve nothing less than a free and open exchange about history and the forces that shape our world today.”

Since the affirmation of that statement, however, legislative efforts throughout multiple states in the US have sought to undermine students’ educations about racial history and racism under the umbrella of objections to critical race theory (see, for example, the 2021 article “Legislating against Critical Race Theory, with Curricular Implications in Some States” and PEN America’s “In Higher Education, New Educational Gag Orders Would Exert Unprecedented Control Over College Teaching” by Young and Friedman).

As the CCCC Executive Committee, we support both academic freedom and academic responsibility. The professional roles of educators—as those trained in a range of content and instructional methods—are unacceptably undermined by this legislative overreach. We affirm the importance of using all the theoretical and scholarly tools available to support student learning, including scholarship of critical race theory, disability studies, and feminist and gender justice, among others.

Faculty in writing studies should have agency in designing educational experiences that are historically accurate and that attend to practices of rhetorical ethics and equitable literacy education more generally. There is no question that the disciplinary studies of language, composition, and rhetoric take place within larger power systems (e.g., colonialism, white supremacy, capitalism, patriarchy, heteronormativity, and other structurally asymmetrical power relations that shape our world). Writing teachers need to support students in recognizing the full range of linguistic and rhetorical tools that can be used to reproduce and reinforce such power systems. Writing teachers need to support students in learning to speak and write in service of exposing and dismantling injustices produced by those systems. This work can only be accomplished through historically accurate, honest, well-informed course readings, writing assignments, and classroom conversations.

As an organization and a field of practice, we are committed to resisting attacks on curricula and pedagogies that make visible legacies of racial oppression. Likewise, we are committed to supporting curricula and pedagogies that work toward equity and social justice. Our organization’s mission is as follows:

CCCC advocates for broad and evolving definitions of literacy, communication, rhetoric, and writing (including multimodal discourse, digital communication, and diverse language practices) that emphasize the value of these activities to empower individuals and communities.

In the interests of empowerment, we object to mischaracterizations and erasures of injustices as well as denial of persistent inequities.

We call upon other institutional entities within higher education (for example, administrators and offices) to join us in our resistance to legislative bodies and actions that seek to undermine our responsibilities as educators.

This position statement may be printed, copied, and disseminated without permission from NCTE.

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