Proposal database opens: March 30, 2023
Proposal submission deadline: 9:00 a.m. ET on Tuesday, May 9, 2023
Proposal notifications: Late Summer 2023
Convention dates: April 3–6, 2024, Spokane, WA
Questions and requests for coaches can be sent to CCCCevents@ncte.org.
Writing Abundance: Celebrating 75 Years of Conversations about Rhetoric, Composition, Technical Communication, and Literacy
The 2024 CCCC Annual Convention in Spokane, Washington, will mark 75 years since the first CCCC Convention was held in Chicago in April 1949. Since that time, the Convention has expanded from a two-day program with around 500 attendees to a four-day convention with several thousand participants, and a program bursting with more panels, workshops, roundtables, Standing Group and SIG meetings, and networking events than any one person could fully take in. Yet it is important that we have grown not only in terms of number of participants and panels, but also in terms of the increasingly diverse positionalities and breadth of issues from which our members work. From the beginning, CCCC has been concerned with issues of pedagogy, program administration, and research related to the teaching of college composition and communication, especially first-year writing (Bird 35). Today, our members teach and do research in areas including but not limited to African American, American Indian, Asian/Asian American, Latinx, Jewish, Islamic, Appalachian, queer/trans/LGBTQ+, disability, global, and feminist rhetoric, writing, and literacy studies; critical race theory (CRT) and antiracist approaches in rhetoric and writing studies; cultural rhetorics; environmental rhetoric and writing; digital, multimodal, and sonic rhetoric and composition; writing and rhetorics of code; community engagement; multilingual writing; writing centers; technical communication; and online writing instruction. Often, members work at the intersections of these areas of inquiry, drawing connections between, for instance, Black diasporic rhetorics and technical communication (Mckoy et al.), and disability rhetoric, labor, and course design (currie and Hubrig).
In these and many other ways, the 2024 CCCC theme, Writing Abundance, is a way of understanding both what we do and who we are as an organization and as a discipline. Indeed, CCCC members write, work, and think in abundant topics, contexts, and approaches. Yet “writing abundance” can also serve as a theory and method for taking stock of the work that we do, for reassessing the material flow of resources, for attending (Shimabukuro 22) to the deep knowledges, experiences, and capacities that all of our diverse students and colleagues bring into our courses and programs, and for imagining more just futures in rhetoric, composition, and writing studies (Royster and Kirsch; Jones and Williams; Kynard, “All I Need”).
This theme is inspired by Candace Fujikane’s Mapping Abundance for a Planetary Future: Kānaka Maoli and Critical Settler Cartographies in Hawai‘i, which foregrounds “Indigenous economies of abundance” as a refusal and rejection of capitalist rhetorics of scarcity. Fujikane, a fourth-generation Japanese settler, extends on the work of Haunani-Kay Trask, kumu hula Pualani Kanaka‘ole Kanahele, Noelani Goodyear-Ka‘ōpua, and Samuel Mānaiakalani Kamakau, among other Kānaka Maoli (Native Hawaiian) writers, thinkers, and practitioners, as she considers how Kānaka Maoli ancestral understandings of planetary abundance offer a fruitful foundation for responding to global climate change, capitalist extraction, and settler colonialism. Fujikane describes how “Capital expands its domain through the evisceration of the living earth into the inanimacies of non-life, depicting abundant lands as wastelands to condemn them and make way for the penetration of black snake oil pipelines under rivers, the seeding of unexploded ordnance in militarized zones, and the dumping of toxic wastes on sacred lands” (3). We have seen this pattern in many places, including my current home state of West Virginia and the region of Appalachia more broadly, where problematic representations of the region as “trash” have been used to justify ecological violence including mountaintop removal in the service of the coal and prison industries (Schept). Instead, Fujikane argues that “Rather than seeing climate change as apocalyptic, we can see that climate change is bringing about the demise of capital, making way for Indigenous lifeways that center familial relationships with the earth and elemental forms” (3). In this way, foregrounding abundance can serve as “a refusal to succumb to capital’s logic that we have passed an apocalyptic threshold of no return” (4)—a material manifestation of hope. Moreover, as Fujikane explains, “To map abundance is not a luxury but an urgent insistence on life” (5).
As I read this work, I began to think about how the concept of abundance as informed by Kānaka Maoli ways of knowing can inform and help us to reinterrogate various aspects of the work that we do as teacher-scholars in rhetoric, composition, and writing studies. Writing Abundance suggests that we critically interrogate how capitalist logics of scarcity, surplus, and competition circulate and influence our working conditions, research, and pedagogical praxis. For instance, how often do we hear that “there’s just not enough in the budget” as a way of upholding oppressive arrangements—as a way to rationalize layoffs, create competition among departments and programs, reject curricular revisions that better reflect the realities and lived experiences of multiply marginalized students, or to refuse to recruit and retain faculty of color, pay adjunct or graduate student workers a living wage, or reduce class sizes? How often are we told that there are simply not enough candidates of color to admit into our graduate programs or to hire and promote? What realities do such rhetorical strategies obscure? How are abundant feelings and expressivities of racialized people perceived and at times rejected in academe and other predominantly white spaces (Yoon 33)? And yet it is indeed important to acknowledge that abundant does not mean infinite. How often are we as academic workers made to feel like there’s just not enough time to do all the things that we need or want to or are supposed to do? When we understand our work in terms of abundance, what other questions and paths forward emerge?
Writing Abundance encourages me to take stock of how the growth we have seen in this organization is largely a result of the abundant and ongoing work of BIPOC scholars who have, for decades, spoken up about CCCC’s “hidden policies and practices [that] . . . prohibited and discouraged full participation by African Americans” (Davis 9), took action as part of the 1969 NCTE Task Force on Racism and Bias in the Teaching of English, advocated for Students’ Right to Their Own Language (Smitherman) and linguistic justice for Black students (Baker-Bell 20), increased access through the creation of the Tribal College Faculty Fellowship with the leadership of the American Indian Caucus in 2003 (Neff), made space for BIPOC and other minoritized attendees at the Convention (Adsanatham; Anderson, “The Words”; Bizzaro; Davis), and fought for the broader inclusion of BIPOC knowledges and experiences in conversations about rhetoric and the teaching of college composition and professional writing (Blackmon et al.; García et al.; Sano-Franchini et al.). As often as we may be told that we need to create new knowledge by finding “gaps” to fill, we might ask ourselves—what does it mean to attend to these abundant histories? How is writing abundance restorative as it “enables us to experience moments of wonder, even in the difficult work we do, and we grow the desire to return to this work again and again” (Fujikane 17)?
This abundance is sometimes felt as a source of anxiety by some, as it raises questions about the identity of our scholarly communities, and the affordances of making space for others. At times, this anxiety is a manifestation of white supremacy—a fear of displacement among the dominant, oppressive group. I think, for instance, of the murder of Vincent Chin, and how scarcity rhetorics are so often weaponized to exclude Asian, Mexican, and other immigrants of color in the service of white supremacy. After all, to work from an economic model of scarcity is to work from the presumption of competition, exclusion, and gate-/boundary-keeping. It comes with the mindset that if “they” get more, I get less. Yet we should also consider what structures must be disrupted, altered, expanded, reconfigured to make room for new abundances, including high school dual enrollment teachers, or folks from adjacent fields. How do we make sense of how change—which can certainly be uncomfortable—is a necessary part of the growth of any discipline or professional organization, and how do we plan a way forward with this necessity in mind? How can we adopt an abundant mindset that actively resists what bell hooks referred to as imperialist white supremacist capitalist patriarchy—the interconnected, global systems of domination that inform our current social order?
For me, abundance is a way of foregrounding how much I don’t know and should not ever presume to know about Kānaka Maoli ways of knowing, nor of other cultures and communities of which I am not a part. I come to this work as a yonsei (fourth-generation Japanese), second-generation Korean person of settler ancestry born and raised in Waipahu, a former sugarcane plantation town, and Honolulu, the capital of the Hawaiian Kingdom since 1850. My paternal great-grandfather came to Hawai‘i as a “workman” from Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan, on July 29, 1898, weeks after the annexation of Hawai’i, and five years after the illegal overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom by white American businessmen in 1893. He settled on the island of Maui, where my father later grew up, in the town of Wailuku. My mother came to Hawai‘i from South Gyeongsang Province, Korea, by way of California in the 1970s, not long after the passage of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, which eliminated quotas based on national origin, and at a time when South Korea was under authoritarian rule by a military dictator (Im; Kim and Vogel; Kim and Klug) who came to power with the support of the US government (Kim 70). I eventually left Hawai‘i for a PhD in rhetoric and writing, and I stayed away for a career in academia. As I reflect back on this personal history, I feel grateful to have grown up in a place where the culture, language, history, and ongoing presence of the people indigenous to the land were clear and present in my schooling and day-to-day life. I remember how we learned ‘Ōlelo Hawai’i, the language of the Indigenous people, from a kumu who regularly visited with our class in kindergarten. I remember how the food of the Indigenous people was regularly served for public school lunch. I think of how the local vernacular, Hawai‘i Creole English, is heavily influenced by Hawaiian language. I remember how Native Hawaiian history and culture was an ongoing and important part of my education from elementary school through college. Inevitably, all of these things and more—including the places I have lived since then—have influenced how I experience the world around me. Still, my knowledge of Hawaiian culture, history, and rhetorics is so very limited.
It’s been 15 years since I lived in Hawai‘i, yet these experiences instilled in me an understanding of the importance of coming to a place that is not one’s own as a visitor and with a mindset of learning. I now recognize this mindset as one that relies on a Kānaka Maoli ontology of planetary abundance. So, how does writing abundance encourage a mindset of humility and responsibility with our specific positionalities and discursive contexts in mind, as scholars like Bo Wang suggested (387)? How is the need for this mindset made clearer by Brandy Nālani McDougall and Georganne Nordstrom’s articulation of the rhetoric of kaona, which is often understood as a Native Hawaiian poetic device that describes the layers of “hidden meaning” within Kānaka Maoli meaning-making practices? How does writing abundance encourage us to come to Native Hawaiian and other BIPOC and marginalized rhetorical traditions not to know or to understand, but to re-frame and re-think what we thought we knew, to feel out the limits of our own knowing (Homer)? How are these limits also reflected in the line in Kiese Laymon’s Heavy, when LaThon says, “This that black abundance. Y’all don’t even know [emphasis mine]” (66)?
Attending to Abundance in Spokane
Spokane, Washington, where we will convene for CCCC 2024, is a place with an abundant and ongoing history of Indigenous presence, labor, organizing, and other rhetorical activity. The Spokane Tribe of Eastern Washington fished, hunted, harvested, and gathered along the Spokane River long before European contact. “The Spokane Tribe of Indians ancestors inhabited much of northeastern Washington which consisted of approximately 3 million acres” (“The History of the Spokane Tribe of Indians”). “The people of the Spokane Tribe have persevered through loss of land, forced relocation, and loss of their economic and spiritual base (the salmon). They are resilient, and they are thriving” (“Spokane Tribal History”). According to the Pacific Islander Community Association of Washington, “Historical records suggest that the presence of Pasifika [Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders] date back to the 18th century . . . [Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders] were brought in to support the early missionaries, laboring for early business ventures in the area, and contributing to the economic tenure of enterprises, such as the Hudson Bay Company. These early NH/PIs, many of whom eventually settled in the Northwest, left their imprint on Washington’s social and economic life” (“Our History”). The earliest known Latinx settlers came to eastern Washington with Spanish ships in the late 1700s (Guzman). Europeans began settling in the area in 1810 (Ruby and Brown 38). African Americans settled in Spokane in the 1880s and 1890s and opened businesses, founded churches, and made advancements in civil rights (Mack, Black Spokane xvii; Mack, “Crusade”). From the 1880s to the 1940s, there was a thriving Chinatown in Spokane, which supported Chinese laborers who came to Spokane in the 1850s and 1860s to work in the railroad and mining industries (Kershner). Japanese settlers came to Spokane in the 1890s as railroad workers (Harbine). Spokane also has a long history of labor organizing.
This too-brief history barely scratches the surface, but I offer it here because I believe it is important to recognize how these diverse and abundant communities have taught, made meaning, and nurtured relationships in Spokane for many generations. Demographic data shows us that Spokane is a predominantly white place. Yet if there is one thing I have learned from working and living in predominantly white spaces in academia, it’s that if we pay attention, we will find that even in these places there are long histories of BIPOC, queer, feminist, disabled, and other communities who are present and who have been doing the work of advocacy and justice and community building and culture making. These folks have been at the front lines, and their abundant histories are important. Yet white supremacy so frequently overtakes and covers over the presence and persistence of minoritized people, and as a result, their histories, needs, concerns, and ways of knowing and being, rendering them scarce and seemingly insignificant. Why does white supremacy become the single story we tell about certain places? How might writing abundance help us better attend to these spaces and ongoing presence? As we come together in Spokane next April, let us all consider how we will approach this place with care, most of us as visitors, alongside and in relation to these abundant communities and lands. Let us all be open to learning from the abundant knowledges and practices of the diverse Indigenous people of the Pacific Northwest Coast of North America. For instance, how might the Indigenous practice of potlatch, the ceremonial sharing of gifts and property (“Potlatch”), connect with our theme of writing abundance, and what might we learn from these practices? How might we come to this place with deep, abundant, and diverse histories and communities to learn, not to know or to understand, but to feel out the limits of what we thought we knew, to better situate ourselves amongst these multiple relationships?
Proposal Development for CCCC 2024
I invite proposals that enact Writing Abundance in diverse and numerous ways, but that are always grounded in material realities, keeping in mind that the embodied, cultural, and virtual are also material. Below are some questions that may help folks connect their work with the conference theme. This, of course, is not a comprehensive list, and proposal writers are encouraged to think beyond what’s provided here in ways that are most helpful for them.
Writing Abundance as Heuristic
- How can writing abundance encourage us to take stock of where we are and how the material flow of resources within postsecondary institutions corresponds with what we say we value? How can sensing material abundance help us reckon with inhospitable labor conditions and unequal distribution of resources in the academy? How might it be a way into what James Rushing Daniel refers to as an anticapitalist composition?
- How do scarcity rhetorics circulate in postsecondary institutions, and what are the implications as related to the teaching of writing and to the administering of writing programs? For instance, how do scarcity rhetorics impact graduate student and adjunct labor exploitation? What strategies and approaches might we use to disrupt capitalist economies of scarcity in the academy?
- How might the abundant knowledges of Black, Indigenous, people of color, and other multiply marginalized communities bring nuance to our understandings of rhetoric and writing broadly? How might such perspectives challenge how we understand technology and who is technological (Banks; Haas)? How might such perspectives challenge logics of scarcity within our research, teaching, and service? How will we highlight this abundance by not relegating the works of, for example, Asian American rhetorical scholarship, “to independent study, final seminar papers, individually tailored reading lists for prelims—in short, restricted roads of individual inquiry, special interest topics, segregated study” (Shimabukuro 5)?
- Relatedly, how does writing abundance challenge deficit models of thinking about minoritized communities, including our students and colleagues of color? (Giovanni). What abundant perspectives do two-year-college or newer generations of scholars bring to larger disciplinary conversations, and how will we seriously and openly attend to these perspectives?
Writing Abundance as Pedagogy
- How can a practice in writing abundance contribute to the work that we do in the classroom (including the virtual “classroom”)? What would it look like for a theory of writing abundance to make its way into our writing assignments, literacy narratives, writing center sessions, and service-learning pedagogies? For instance, how can a pedagogy informed by Indigenous economies of abundance encourage us to teach writing in ways that are attuned to local native histories and knowledges (Anderson, “Remapping”) or attentive to land-based literacies and rhetorics (Rìos)? How might writing abundance inform the assessment of student writing? And what are the limits of trying to think through how Indigenous ways of knowing can ever truly come together with established systems of formal education (Meyer)?
- What are effective and thoughtful ways to invite students’ abundant knowledges and experiences to shape our teaching with care and reflexivity? For example, how will we do so in ways that do not treat marginalized students as representatives of their culture? Or, how might we engage in what Terese Guinsatao Monberg referred to as “recursive spatial movement” for service-learning courses, a theory and pedagogy that recognizes the positionalities of students of color and students from other underrepresented communities? (21).
- How can writing abundance encourage us to teach college composition and professional writing in ways that do not reinforce capitalist logics, including logics of scarcity and competition; narrow, anti-Black definitions of professionalism; or the prioritization of job preparation as the sole or even primary purpose of postsecondary education?
Writing Abundance as Scholarly Practice
- How is settler colonialism—the displacement, suppression, and marginalization of Indigenous people and culture for the benefit of settlers (which includes all nonnative people) who have come into dominance (Trask, From a Native Daughter 25)—embedded into academic work? How does this displacement and marginalization of Indigenous people and culture in higher education intersect with capitalist economies of scarcity? Moreover, how do such capitalist economies of scarcity position us to interact with places and lands, for instance, when we do a national or international job search? How are we positioned to interact with places and lands when conferencing? What are ways to disrupt these positionings on an individual or systematic level?
- How do current research, writing, and publication norms reinforce settler colonial logics and capitalist economies of scarcity, and how might we revise those practices? How can writing abundance help challenge what Carmen Kynard called out as “white settler logic in suggesting new arrivals, new beginnings, and/or new possibilities on already hallowed grounds” (“Troubling the Boundaries” 187)? How can writing abundance trouble narrow conceptions of expertise and point us in the direction of citation justice?
- How does writing abundance encourage us to disrupt colonial divisions of humanity (Lowe), for instance, through the siloing of minoritized rhetorics in syllabi and edited collections, or through “divide and conquer” approaches to writing program administration?
Writing Abundance as Administrative Practice
- How can “Indigenous economies of abundance” help us understand the phrase “not enough in the budget” as a capitalist ontology? How might it suggest that we translate such discourses into statements about what is materially valued within postsecondary institutions and in society more broadly? What are equitable and just ways to communicate those values within and beyond organizations?
- Relatedly, how can attention to writing abundance enable a more just redistribution of resources in our institutions and in our broader communities? What possibilities exist for pushing back on unjust and inequitable budget models in our institutions? How can writing abundance help us create structures for supporting the diverse students we recruit and enroll in tangible ways that they can recognize and feel? How are scarcity rhetorics used to justify the exclusion of content that centers minoritized perspectives in university curricula, and what options exist for responding to such rhetorics?
- How are rhetorics of abundance and scarcity present in conversations about academic hiring and the availability of various positions in academia? How might such rhetorics foreclose other viable possibilities within or beyond academia?
Writing Abundance as Methodology
- How can writing abundance support restorative and social justice–oriented projects and practices? How can abundance help us reimagine and take action toward just futures in the discipline and in our communities (Jones and Williams)? How can it encourage us to take on projects that challenge logics of competition and foreground possibilities for alliance across, for instance, Indigenous and Asian immigrant communities (Carpenter and Yoon; King)? That is, how can writing abundance help us trouble what Lisa King referred to as a risk of “creating parallel narratives of oppression . . . rather than finding ways to dismantle the systems that created that oppression” (47)? Moreover, how might it help us build more thoughtful and responsible coalitions between Indigenous and settler peoples (King; Trask, “Coalition-building”)? How might it help us “turn potentially devastating conditions into renewed possibilities for abundance”? (Fujikane 3)
- What does it mean for settler scholars to learn from “Indigenous economies of abundance” without engaging in cooptation or appropriation? How will we take the time to learn about the broader context from which such ideas have emerged, and how will we share what we have learned while acknowledging or even foregrounding the Indigenous thinkers and writers who have inspired us?
- How does writing abundance coalesce with other methodologies in rhetoric and writing studies—such as “rhetorical attendance” for the study of rhetorical history to help us “‘recognize . . . invisibility’ in our research,” for example? (Shimabukuro 23).
Criteria for Proposal Review
Regardless of role or session type, reviewers for the 2024 Convention will use the following criteria to evaluate proposals:
- Engages with the conference theme, Writing Abundance in postsecondary writing research, teaching, and/or administration, whether explicitly or implicitly. In other words, proposal writers are not required to use the conference theme in their panel titles. Given the conference theme, writers are welcome to pose questions they may not yet be able to answer, that speak to a recognition of existing abundances, in their proposal.
- Reflects an awareness of diverse audience needs relevant to the topic.
- Practices citation justice. The proposal is situated in relation to existing scholarship and research in the field, and uplifts and amplifies Black, Indigenous, Asian, Latinx, and other multiply marginalized perspectives. The proposal may also describe how the presenters will learn from other minoritized communities to further their thinking about the topic.
- Demonstrates a concrete and specific plan that aligns with the criteria for the selected session type.
Due Date for Proposal Submission
Proposals are due to the CCCC 2024 submission portal by 9:00 a.m. ET on Tuesday, May 9, 2023.
I hope you will join us in Spokane. 💙
2024 Program Chair
My deep appreciation to Sheila Carter-Tod; Robyn Tasaka; Peter Krch; Julie Lindquist; Terese Guinsatao Monberg; Carolyn Commer; the CCCC American Indian Caucus Co-Chairs: Lisa King, Andrea Riley-Mukavetz, and Kimberly Wieser; and the CCCC Officers—Holly Hassel, Staci Perryman-Clark, Frankie Condon, and David Green—who provided feedback on previous drafts and discussed ideas with me during the development of this CFP. Thank you, all, for your time, intellectual labor, and support.
Graphic elements for the 2024 CCCC Convention feature the work of Remelisa Culitan, a Spokane-based artist and arts advocate. For more about Remelisa’s work, see their online portfolio at https://www.remelisa.com/.
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Proposal database opens: March 30, 2023
Proposal submission deadline: 9:00 a.m. ET on Tuesday, May 9, 2023
Proposal notifications: Late Summer 2023
Convention dates: April 3–6, 2024, Spokane, WA
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