Wednesday, March 13, 2019 – 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
(W.01) Performing Academic Writing in the Real World: Poverty, Disability, and Cultural Contexts in Basic Writing
Sponsored by: Council on Basic Writing (CBW)
Cluster: Basic Writing
Abstract: This interactive workshop focuses on how writing and teaching are performed in complex student and institutional contexts.
This workshop interrogates the “performance” of academic writing in real world contexts which require our students to perform student behavior and writing. The workshop responds to needs regarding how to best design writing experiences for increasingly diverse groups of students in our classrooms. Peter Adams, founder of ALP, asserts that Basic Writing Students have complicated lives: “Most of them are working, some full-time, some more than full-time and most of them are on financial aid because they come from impoverished backgrounds. Most of them are first generation to go to college.” The classroom is also always a locus for performative acts by both teachers and student. Brenda Jo Bruggermann and Debra A. Moddelmog contend that “The act of disclosing a historically abject identity in the classroom has had significant pedagogical consequences as well.[. . .]. It has also given the teacher a body, and not only a performing body but one that functions (or does not function) in physical [. . .] ways” (312). It is through these two lenses that CBW focuses its 2019 workshop.
The workshop will ask participants to write short vignettes based on real world situations encountered with Basic Writing students (multiple absences for missing the bus, dealing with child care issues, lack of funds, struggling with self-confidence, difficulty with self-advocacy). Throughout the day, these vignettes will be performed to mark transitions from one activity to another. We will return to these vignettes at the end of the day as we perform our roles as scholars of rhetoric and teachers of basic writing by continuing our work in moving toward a position statement on Basic Writing.
Speaker 1: “All Access, All In(clusive)” will allow participants to address elements of their writing classrooms (certain assignments, activities, rubrics, forms of interaction and engagement, expectations and outcomes articulated, etc.) from the outset using principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) so that learning and interactions are optimally inclusive for all kinds of learners (disabled and temporarily able-bodied) This engaged and interactive talk, workshop and discussion about teaching writing based on the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) will talk aboutthe three triangulated networks of learning as they might be developed in your writing classroom: affective (the why); recognition (the what); strategic (the how).
Poster Session 1: Teaching Students how to Perform Science Writing: Rethinking STEM Writing as a Site of Basic Writing
This session will explain why science writing is a site of BW and teach participants how to rethink their approach to teaching the genre in the context of performance. We will base our presentation on a comprehensive pilot study that explored what are essential science writing knowledge gaps that exist in basic science writers (BSW) and hinder composition performance.
Poster Session 2: “Inside Our Classroom: Basic Writing Today” will highlight the work of scholars of color
The CBW has a long-standing commitment to racial justice and inclusivity. As such, we are designating a portion of our program to highlighting the work of scholars of color, with particular emphasis on newer scholars. We will do a call for participation in Fall 2018 via our CBW-listserv, our Facebook Community Page, and our blog.
Speaker 3: Teaching with Disabilities: How does a teachers’ disability impact a classroom? What is at stake for them in their teaching? In their position within an institution? What impact does visible or invisible disability have on student awareness of these subject-positions. This speaker will discuss moving from a position of temporarily able-bodied to disabled and offer strategies for this transition as well as crowd-sourcing from participants discussion around their own experiences.
Speakers 4 and 5: Interrogating and Challenging Deficit Models in Basic Writing
Participants will explore issues that commonly affect student performance beyond traditional academic measures. Such issues might include: outside work schedules, lateness or absences in class, economic hardships, time management, struggles with traditional academic genres, lack of clarity about expectations between previous schooling and college environment. Sometimes framed as deficits in BW Conversations, instead, we will apply specific problem-solving techniques to consider how affective issues impact our classrooms and how we can support student success by acknowledging, solving (where possible) and/or directing students to additional resources and support.
In addition to looking at student success and deficit thinking in terms of students, we also assert that it is important to examine how teacher-scholars use language to engage with students. Socio-linguistic examination of teacher talk and classroom discourses are essential to creating language practices which do not reinforce rhetorics of deficit. It is common to use terms like “non-cognitive” and “affect” to describe the nuanced and complex lives our students bring to the classroom, including deeply embodied intersections of race, class, gender, and disability. These speakers examine teachers’ experiences in the classroom and invite participants to examine their classroom language practices and how they might resist or support the rhetoric of deficit.
Workshop participants will brainstorm relevant issues from both the student and teacher perspective. Then, collectively will identify both traditional and innovative methods to support student success, resulting in a list of practices, resources, and references to share. These resources will be a tangible product of the workshop, publicly accessible.
Speaker 6: Toward a Position Statement on Basic Writing Studies During the 2017 and 2018 CBW workshop, participants worked through an intentional brainstorming processes to develop a draft of principles of basic writing studies. Building on that draft, the facilitators of this final session will lead workshop members through further discussion, debate, revisions, and ratification of those principles. Ideally, the 2018 workshop will end the day by formalizing an official position statement on the teaching and study of basic writing that might disseminated outside the organization. Workshop participants will ultimately be participants in developing and establishing a cohesive vision statement on basic writing to the CCCC Executive Council and beyond.
(W.02) Living Feminist Lives: Materialities, Methodologies, and Practices
Sponsored by: Feminist Caucus
Cluster: Community, Civic & Public
Abstract: Inspired by Sara Ahmed, this sponsored workshop explores ways to “live a feminist life” as teachers, administrators, researchers, scholars, and community members.
Sponsored by the Feminist Caucus, the Feminist Workshop will explore ways that we live our feminist practices in the work that we do. Drawing on Sara Ahmed, we urge panelists to ask “ethical questions about how to live better in an unjust and unequal world…how to create relationships with others that are more equal; how to find ways to support those who are not supported or are less supported by social systems; how to keep coming up against histories that have become concrete, histories that have become as solid as walls” (Living a Feminist Life 1). As feminists in the field of composition-rhetoric, we consider these questions central to performing our labors as educators and researchers.
This day-long workshop will focus on ways to do feminist work toward a more equitable future. The workshop features morning and afternoon panels, followed by break-out discussion groups and a rotation of interactive exercises.
1 and 2: Speakers One and Two will reflect on how they enact, embody, and teach feminist rhetorical practices in scholarship and teaching, in institutions and communities, exploring critical issues of intersectionality, power dynamics, and social justice. Speaker One will talk about how feminist rhetorics frame her practices in working with communities, drawing from three projects related to Communities Who Know, Inc., a non-profit organization. Speaker Two will explore how feminist rhetorical practices have been taken up in unexpected places, including research focused on the rhetoric of men’s rights, queer scholarship, and non-feminist spaces.
3: Community engagement projects put feminism in action, allowing students and faculty members to join critical cultural dialogues. Speaker Three will discuss a community engagement project with a Georgia refugee community, which includes over 21,000 DACA-impacted individuals. An example of feminism in action, this project moved her, her students, and the refugees, which resulted in new questions and understandings of immigration activism and advocacy. The presentation will discuss the project as well as the need for what Ahmed describes as “feminist tendencies, a willingness to keep going despite or even because of what we come up against” in community-engaged pedagogies and projects.
4: Speaker Four will offer a feminist exploration of teaching for transfer. Various models have emerged for facilitating such transfer. However, while composition studies is often distinguished by critical approaches to writing and teaching, there remains a critical element missing from the discussion surrounding transfer: feminist pedagogical practices. By applying a feminist lens, this speaker will reveal hidden biases, critically question the approach in light of gender, and question power struggles and structures in teaching models that encourage transfer.
5: Speaker Five’s presentation examines the ways the embodied experiences of women of color have historically been that of exclusion, and how we can move forward in a culture that often continues to silence such voices. This sense of exclusion, often felt in academia, is tied to the patriarchal white power structure that still pervades our national identity. In order to move forward, we must acknowledge the lived experiences of women of color. Based on the work of Chicana feminist Gloria Anzaldua, this presentation challenges us to consider how powerful the experiences and histories of marginalized voices can be.
6: When we in academia conduct research, write up our results, and publish our research in respected, refereed journals, our work often erases the individual in the name of “science” and “rigor.” In this presentation, Speaker Six argues that as researchers and as feminists we must reveal the ways meaning is made in our field, reflect with care on the personal inflections behind the academic prose, and imagine ways our work can circulate in the world in unexpected, human, non-disciplinary ways. After sharing some of the ways passion animates her current research on one 19th century woman’s insane asylum memoir, she leads the audience in discussion of the ways passion has animated their own scholarship.
7: Speaker Seven will present her journey through the archives at the CUNY Dominican Institute at the City College of New York. As a second generation Latina doing research on the exchange of ideas regarding women and sex between the Dominican Republic and the United States, she needed to “do comparative work responsibly” (LuMing Mao). In this presentation, she argues for a shift in her research lens to account for Dominican feminist history. She will provide a methodology to critically engage with various feminisms and remove our ethnocentric perspective of U.S. based feminism.
8: Speaker Eight outlines the challenge of working with three transnational archives before considering how global scholars might articulate a more critically and rhetorically cautious approach. She will invite workshop participants to examine the constitution and reconstitutions of three transnational archives in order to raise the following questions: While decolonizing archival methodologies call for postcolonial hybridity (Tuhiwai-Smith 2012) and an ethic of accountability (Walsh 2012), how is this achieved when the archive itself is dynamic, circulatory, or not indigenous? Moreover, how can these hybrid and accountable archival methodologies avoid the entrapments of “neo-colonialism” (Nkrumah 1965)?
9: When Maxine Waters’ “reclaiming my time” performance went viral in the summer of 2017, the California congresswoman extended a dialogue about temporality, frustration, and respect that Black women have used to achieve their political needs. Speaker Nine’s talk will show how “reclaiming my time” and other rhetorics of impatience highlight the public and private work of self-care that bell hooks and other feminist scholars consider essential for wellness, work that involves making “it evident to all observers of our social reality that black women deserve care” and “respect…” (hooks 40).
Meeting day/space needs: Wednesday from 9 a.m.-5:00 p.m. / AV & sound equipment, internet accessibility / Need room for 50 people.
Debriefing: Review of the workshop and plans for the future to submit to the CCCC Feminist Caucus Standing Group.
(W.03) Plant Something: Performance-Rhetoric, Community Writing, and Food Activism
Cluster: Community, Civic & Public
Abstract: This workshop will explore community food advocacy organizations and sites for food justice, community building, and education via an interactive discussion and afternoon work party.
Community gardens are emerging as important sites for social justice, community building, access to fresh food, and education. (Pena 2005, Cutter- Mackenzie 2008). Ron Finleyrenamed himself the gangsta gardener as part of a larger project to grow food for himself and his community. Integral to this project is his performance of gardening as a gangsta, a deliberate strategy he uses to redefine the gardener as sexy and appealing to urban youth so as to intervene in racist systems that create food deserts and feed the school-to-prison pipeline (Finley 2015, Fair Test 2010). In the documentary about him and other urban gardeners in LA, Can You Dig This, Finley says: “….you see the seed totally changes itself; it destroys itself and then you get life. A lot of things about life made more sense to me the more time I spent in the garden. The garden teaches a system- patience, persistence, care, that things don’t happen instantaneously you know, it is a process, everything is a process.” Embedded in Finley’s thinking is the transformative power of deliberate activist performance, along with a critique of discourse removed from action. At the end of the film he says: “Don’t call me if you want to have meetings and you sit around and talk about doing some shit. Come to the garden, wit your shovel, so we can plant some shit.” This workshop explores what this means for composition studies, for us as academics, teachers and scholars, and as members of diverse communities. It asks us to consider what this means in terms of performing the rhetoric we write: how we, as Frankie Condon suggests, “put [our] money where [our] mouth is” and “[transform] who we think we are or could be with and for others.” How can we rhetorically and physically engage in cultural and material work that contributes to projects like Finley’s and those of other urban food activists without appropriating them?
Building on the rhetorical analysis of Finley’s work and its impact in Eileen Schell, W. Kurt Stavenhagen, and Dianna Winslow’s CCCC 2018 panel: “The Language, Literacy, and Labor of Food Justice: Transforming Communities through Collective Action with Food and Farming,” this workshop investigates the ideological and material work necessary to further food justice. Understanding our field as one that is both deeply committed to praxis and also constrained at times by narrow definitions of literacy, we invite participants to a two-part, day-long workshop that creates a space for us to do as Condon suggests and “[move beyond] the self/other binary to articulating at the joint or point of interdependence between us” and in so doing, “deliberately, reflectively reach for performativity: for being and becoming just as we advocate for justice.”
During the morning workshop, we will open with a discussion of our work; the work of our field; our students’ work; the work of being human in a more-than-human world; and the work of being good neighbors to the diverse people, plants, and other inhabitants of our communities. As Paul Lynch underscores, in the apocalyptic turn in composition studies, worsening material conditions of climate change necessitate both assessment and commensurate performative action to address visceral realities: rising student hunger on college campuses and food insecurity across the globe; the encroachment of for-profit industry into public education and the privatization of other public services and spaces; and troubles posed by climate change demand that we compose a better world (Lynch 2012, Welch and Scott 2016, Broton and Goldrick-Rab 2017, FOA of the UN 2017, Newfield 2018, IPCC 2017). Citing new materialism, indigenous theories of kinship, and activist rhetoric, facilitators will present research and projects that address these challenges, including food justice, social media, and community writing (Gries 2015, Riedner and Mahoney 2008, House 2014, Pennell 2018, Cushman and Blackburn 2013). During the second half of the morning, we will split into small groups for interactive planning sessions that will employ permaculture and retroactive path analysis to visualize ways forward while also focusing our attention on the material at hand (Mollison 1978, Hemenway 2015, Gare 2001).
During the afternoon, we will travel off-site for work parties that pair our words with action. We will partner with area organizations Grow Pittsburgh and 412 Food Rescue to assist in planting seedlings in a greenhouse with the former and perform a “food rescue” with the latter. Working with advocates at these food justice organizations will invite participants to think, talk, touch, and taste as they engage with the spaces and places of Pittsburgh communities and make material-discursive connections with our own campuses and classrooms. Practicing what the morning session will define as relational literacy, such connections will prompt us to consider how to better serve our home communities with our students. Following the model of Transition Townswe will learn more about permaculture and consider applications in other settings (Hopkins 2006). Finally, we will practice using social media during our work party to create an intervention in the convention narrative to draw attention to the material conditions in Pittsburgh, and highlight the work the Pittsburgh community partners are doing to move to better futures as possible actions we can take back to our home communities (Massumi 2002).
(W.04) Performing Our Lives: Creative Nonfiction and (the Art and Rhetoric of) Representation
Sponsored by: Creative Nonfiction Standing Group
Cluster: Creative Writing
Abstract: Participants will explore creative nonfiction through writing to prompts and discussing teaching strategies and issues.
This workshop, sponsored by the Creative Nonfiction Standing Group, invites participants to experience a day of writing creative nonfiction and exploring ideas for teaching this multi-faceted genre. The life writing and other genres of creative nonfiction are steeped in the fraught question of representation. How do we represent ourselves? How do we represent others? What are the ethical gains and costs of these endeavors? This workshop focuses on the craft and ethics of composing in these genres as we write to perform ourselves and our lives and learn how to teach our students to do so.
9:15 Prompts 1 & 2
9:30-10:30 Writing time & sharing
10:45 Presentation 1
11:15 Prompts 3 & 4
11:25-12:30 Writing time & sharing
12:30-1:30 Lunch (sharing of writing encouraged)
1:30 Presentation 2
2:00 Prompts 5 & 6
2:10-3:00 Writing time & sharing
3:15 Prompts 7 & 8
3:25-4:15 Writing time & sharing/revision
4:15-4:50 Reading of excerpts from the day’s writing; reflections on teaching approaches
SPEAKER 1 (prompt): Hide and Seek
Write about something you’ve hidden: perhaps it’s a letter, a gift, a bottle, a scar, a bill, your web browser history, a tattoo, your natural hair color. Write about what you’ve hidden but also seek understanding, whether you’re seeking to understand your own motivation or the particular effects (on yourself and others) of hiding something.
SPEAKER 2 (prompt): Whose Memory Is It Anyway?
Memories tug at us, haunt us, ground, and inspire us. But memories are rarely wholly our own. Choose a memory that includes one or more people and write about the time/place/event from one of these other perspectives. Or write about a memory you treasure, but that was largely constructed for you – think, perhaps, of family or community lore that you weren’t necessarily present for and yet have memories of through stories and/or pictures.
SPEAKERS 3 & 4 (presentation): Performing the Liminal: Creative Nonfiction as Lived Practice
Creative nonfiction occupies liminal space, existing at the interstices of various genres and definitional contradictions. CNF both bridges and frustrates divides between creative and academic modes; personal and scholarly. Far from a vexed position, this interstitial placement is powerfully productive in genre, method, and pedagogy. The presentation discusses the ways that CNF’s generativity derives from its liminality and argues that CNF develops student capacity to inhabit liminal spaces and derive the benefit of negative capability, perhaps more effectively than rhetoric-based models of composition instruction.
SPEAKER 5 (prompt): Performance (and Frame)
For this exercise we’ll generate titles as the first act of writing performance, using those titles to frame lists of rapid-fire details. For inspiration, we’ll skim two essays from Brevity—Brian Arundel’s “The Things I’ve Lost” and Gretchen Legler’s “Things That Appear Ugly or Troubling but Upon Closer Inspection Are Beautiful.” Students asked to do this essay have come up with such gems as: “Times I Wish My Car Had Broken Down” and “Relationships I’ve Lost Because We Kissed During the Wrong Scene of a Movie.”
SPEAKER 6 (prompt): The Microscope and the Telescope
Change the lens on a writing-in-progress. View the experience from a microscope: If there is skin, look at the pores; if there are leaves, study the veins. Change to the telescope: Leap from first person POV to third. Move from explaining the present to exploring the past or speculating on the future. Write an earth-bound experience from the vantage point of the moon. How do the lenses change what you offer the reader?
SPEAKER 7 (presentation): True Stories as Witness to the Human Condition
This presentation will examine common elements of true stories that witness to the human condition, using David Sedaris’s “Let It Snow” as a tragi-comic case in point. These stories, highly specific, yet universal, are about people on the edge. They are full of surprises, problems to solve, possibilities, resilience, advocacy, and hope, expressed through plot, characters, dialogue and action. Their life-saving power provides models for all to hear and tell their own.
SPEAKER 8 (prompt): Letter
Adapted from psychologist James Pennebaker’s work with expressive writing and healing, this prompt invites participants to write a letter to someone they have an intimate connection with such as a partner, family member, or close friend. Choose an unresolved conflict to immediately or eventually address in the letter. The conflict could be something smaller like stealing your sibling’s Halloween candy or larger like addressing an infidelity.
SPEAKER 9 (prompt): Sense Memory
We well know the power of the senses of smell and taste and their connection to memory: your grandmother’s perfume, fresh-mown lawns, chess pie, etc. What about the flip side of that scenario? How do smell and taste remind us of how we’ve evolved and what we’re glad to leave behind?
SPEAKER 10 (prompt): Performing Silence
Think of a time when you deliberately performed silence. Was your silence an act of resistance, or an expression of accord? Did it signal acquiescence, humility, compassion, distrust? Return to the moment with your body and the space it inhabited: where were you, and what were you doing? Zoom in: what was happening in your muscles, your gut? First describe the details that conveyed your silence’s meaning. Then, if you like, give direct voice to the words underneath that silence.
SPEAKER 11 (prompt): Spectacular Opera Performances: Do They Strike a Chord?
According to American composer Robert Starer, “The sung word is stronger than the spoken word. It evokes hard-to-reach places in the human soul.” After listening to two spectacular opera performances, see if they strike a chord with you. Does the sung word resonate with something in your soul? Given the plot and the opera characters’ plight, what might be shared human experiences? Do the characters remind you of a time when you were in a similar situation?
(W.05) Remixing Performance in Games
Sponsored by: Council for Play and Game Studies
Cluster: Information Technologies
Abstract: Participants will explore theories of play and games emphasizing performance, remixing existing games to create new performances, and concluding with an escape room challenge.
Similar to how academic writing demands students perform in strange and often uncomfortable ways, games demand performance of players. Within games, play, mechanics, and narrative intertwine to create a multi-layered ethos that players perform. As the embodiment of gameplay often elicits emotions from and between them, players come to empathize with (Isbister) or critically resist and subvert (Sicart) the specific subject positions and narratives that games create for them. But games have become so pervasive and commonplace that we hardly recognize how they support prevailing rhetorics of power. Nonetheless, even the simplest of games offer the means with which students not only develop their abilities to comprehend these power structures but also tactically subvert them. This remixing of games, in other words, demands that the students performthrough the processes of critical inquiry, interpretation, and presentation which in turn transfers to their composition practices.
To begin, workshop participants will briefly survey theories underpinning approaches to various types of performance in games. Play is typically divided into at least three identities or roles simultaneously occupied by players: a person playing a game (social role), a player working within the parameters of a game (player role), and a character in a world (performative role) (Fine; Hendricks; MacKay; Cover). These roles are determined and constrained by game mechanics, the operations and actions that are possible to perform in a game. Facilitators will encourage participants to analyze how these game elements convey rhetorical spaces and possible roles that players can perform through play.
As Ian Bogost argues in Persuasive Games, game procedures, specifically the mechanics and rules of gameplay, create embodied arguments for players. However, as Miguel Sicart notes, games create a dialectical interplay between procedural gameplay and the often ideologically-laden narrative worlds they represent. Changes made to game mechanics necessarily alter the messages they communicate and performances they evoke. In the next section of the workshop, small groups will collaborate on disrupting one of several games provided to them. In the game of tic-tac-toe, for example, how do familiarity and pattern recognition elicit performances that simulate the banal and “everyday”? How might we intervene in these simulations to disrupt the roles players perform? What narratives are evoked when the Xs and Os are replaced with other tokens? What tactics need to be reconfigured if we manipulate the familiar 3×3 grid? As a result, the interplay between the narrative world and the mechanics that enact its ideology thrusts players into a particular performative roleor ethos, similar to ancient Greek notions of ethos as habituated action (Hawhee; Holmes).
The second part of the workshop will consist of a stations-style breakout session, allowing participants to explore examples of classroom-ready games in action, each station guided by a facilitator or two. Specifically, we will make use of the full spectrum of games: live-action role playing games, tabletop role-playing games, augmented and virtual reality games, board games, card games, and mobile games. We will challenge participants to critically examine the game mechanics and the worlds they build at each station, then purposefully and meaningfully remix one game mechanic in order to create a new rhetorical world. Specifically, participants will re-envision how these mechanics can teach by embodying a particular ideological narrative world, but then we will introduce a critical disruption by introducing the idea of remix: asking them to use the same mechanic to embody a different ideological narrative or to use the same narrative to embody a different game mechanic. Through play, they will then investigate the types of performances their alterations encourage, and the group will reflect on their experiences. We will explore questions of how games elicit performance and perform upon players, focusing on cooperative performance and which performative qualities mesh effectively with writing. For instance, traditionally, tic-tac-toe is a game of dominance where one player tries to defeat the other by claiming a line of space first. What happens when the winner is destroying the claimed space with toxic chemicals? How could the goals and rules of the game change as a result? What happens when the winner is setting aside the space for a national park? How could players renegotiate the rules to make the game cooperative, freeing up more space for conversation?
Finally, we will conclude with an “escape the workshop” challenge that utilizes clues participants earn as they participate within the workshop, and in order to figure out the clues, they will have to perform the workshop’s themes of remix, creative thinking, and collaboration. Escape Rooms demonstrate the power of games that intensify play through the situational narrative of escape as well as demanding that players inhabit a role; at the very least they play as themselves trying to escape the room, but escape rooms can do much more world building to push players to take on other types of roles. As such, our escape room scenario will particularly emphasize the conference theme of performance. CCCC 2018 featured an Escape Room game themed around composition, and this was so well-received by our community, we want to involve that format in our workshop.
Sources/References to consider:
• Jesse Schell, The Art of Game Design + deck of lenses
• Tracy Fullerton, Game Design Workshop
• Katherine Isbister, How Games Move Us: Emotion By Design
• Jennifer Grouling Cover, The Creation of Narrative in Tabletop Role-Playing Games
• Douglas Eyman and Andrea Davis, Play/Write: Digital Rhetoric, Writing, Games
• Amy M. Green, Storytelling in Video Games: The Art of the Digital Narrative
• Debra Hawhee, Bodily Arts: Rhetoric and Athletics in Ancient Greece
• Steve Holmes, The Rhetoric of Games as Embodied Practice: Procedural Habits
• Miguel Sicart, The Ethics of Computer Games
• Miguel Sicart, “Game, Player, Ethics: A Virtue Ethics Approach to Computer Games,” International Review of Information Ethics, 4, 13-18.
• Ian Bogost, Persuasive Games: The Expressive Power of Videogames
• Mary Flanagan, Critical Play
(W.06) Lights, Camera, Action: Performance and Performing in Writing Center Origins
Cluster: Writing Programs
Abstract: This workshop reviews creating, building, founding, and/or redesigning Writing Centers. Bedford St Martins is providing lunch and the St. Martin’s Sourcebook for Writing Tutors for all workshop participants.
ACT I. Vision/Missions (9:00-9:45)
Session Performers: Performer 3, Performer 5, Performer 10
Just as a movie director has a vision for a screenplay, we need a vision for our centers. When we build a brand-new writing center, or significantly re-vision an existing writing center, creators can use vision/mission statements to represent and name the work the center performs for the campus community. This section of the workshop will focus on working with vision/mission statements, using campus-based research to craft the statements, thinking through ways to focus these statements, problematizing these performances of vision/mission by reviewing sample statements, and crafting our own new (or re-visioned) statements.
ACT II. Space (9:50-10:35)
Session Performers: Performer 1, Performer 8
Whether it’s a one-act play or the latest Oscar winner, the setting of a performance has an immediate effect on the audience. It prepares us for how to approach a given situation. The same holds true for our writing center spaces. When building a writing center from the ground up, what sort of design/aesthetic choices need to be made? This section will discuss some of the conversations that need to be had in designing a new writing center, as well as bring in scholarship to support the idea of a welcoming space. Participants will be able to work together to brainstorm how best to design their writing center space, while also considering common roadblocks like budgetary constraints and administrative pushback.
ACT III. Budget (10:40-11:25)
Session Performers: Performer 1, Performer 3
Budget performances can be Oscar winning or Rotten Tomato worthy. In this section, we will conduct some impromptu performances of identifying budget topics. Then, we will ask co-star audience participants to imagine themselves in A Field of Their Dreams where drama and fantasy collide into Writing Center budget episodes. We will work together to identify budgetary needs and find solutions to meet those needs that at least qualify as worthy mentions. Audience participants will receive handouts and worksheets to assist in their future independent performances.
ACT IV. Outreach (11:30-12:15)
Session Performers: Performer 6, Performer 9, Performer 10
Performance-rhetoric allows writing centers to think about outreach as “making our relations” with others across and beyond our campus communities. In this workshop segment, participants will continue to work with their vision/mission statements, identifying campus and community partners and common initiatives. We will explore the collaborative roles of advisory boards, WAC initiatives, and regional and international organizations. Through these discovery performances, we will consider how collaborative roles can shape or reshape our values. Audience participants will receive contact information for their regional and national/international organizations.
****INTERMISSION (Lunch Break (12:15-12:45))****
Lunch is hosted by Bedford/St. Martin’s
includes a copy of The St. Martin’s Sourcebook for Writing Tutors
ACT V. Tutors (12:45-1:30)
Session Performers: Performer 4, Performer 5
To have a great show, directors need performers. In the Writing Center Community Theater, our main performers are our tutors. ACT V will review tutor roles, the talents that tutors bring to their roles in collaborative learning, and the advantages and disadvantages of working with undergraduate peer tutors, graduate students, and professional tutors. With an eye towards diversity in casting (hiring), engaging tutoring as performance and hiring as casting, we will roleplay with workshop participants.
ACT IV. Tutor Training: (1:35-3:30)
Performers: Performer 1, Performer 4, Performer 5, Performer 7
Any good production is supported by a cast of thousands. Performers in ACT IV will consider how we direct our resources and relationships to support tutor education and training. How can we leverage university partnerships. As with any script writing workshop, Performers and audience participants will discuss scripts that include climactic performances, such as: collaborative partnering between high school and university Writing Centers, options for initial training and for sustaining quality writing tutoring (with and without partners) and certification opportunities.
ACT VII. Assessment (3:35-4:45)
Session Performers: Performer 1, Performer 2, Performer 5
Engage and leverage your writing center data. Learning to perform the role of resource advocate for your center is often learned on the job for many writing center directors. Come participate in an interactive session that focuses on developing measurable learning outcomes, building annual reports that effectively tell your center’s story, and training tutors to create post session narratives that highlight the work they do in meaningful ways. Learning the dance of the annual report and how to choreograph your data moves you closer to the BIG TIME.
(W.07) Co-Exploring International Writing Research and Rehearsing Scholarly Performances
Sponsored by: International Researchers Consortium
Abstract: Thirty-two writing scholars from 20 countries co-explore and rehearse in-process research projects and their complex cultural, political, and linguistic contexts.
Our performances as writing scholars involve more than just composing and publishing research. We must also engage with diverse traditions, methods, and theories from around the globe. Complex cultural, political, and linguistic contexts often complicate these performances. That said, writing scholars rarely have an open space to “rehearse” with each other across these contexts. In this workshop, participants will enter dialogic conversations to give and receive rich feedback on their research and deeply reflect on higher education writing research from around the world. The design of this workshop also allows scholars to interact with audiences not always accessible during the writing process. Scholars studying writing in different languages are welcomed, especially those typically underrepresented in the field.
This workshop is made up of 32 writing researchers, who will be designated as workshop facilitators. In advance of the workshop, 27 of the facilitators will share works-in-progress with a brief explanation of theoretical, cultural, and linguistic contexts. Each facilitator and all additional registrants will read the works-in-progress and choose 5 before attending the workshop. Then each facilitator will lead a table discussion on their piece. All perspectives will be explored on equal footing with other “embodied performances” and potential audiences. The facilitator-participants will rehearse their current findings and questions, encounter many international perspectives, and perform as both agents and audiences throughout the day. Throughout the workshop, all participants will foster deep engagement with each other’s work and discuss various avenues for publication.
The projects represent new developments in writing studies from Bangladesh, Canada, China, Colombia, France, Germany, Ireland, Jordan, South Korea, KSA, Lebanon, Pakistan, Philippines, South Asia, Syria, Sweden, Scotland, UAE, UK, and US . The 21 projects and 32 writing researchers from diverse national, cross-national, disciplinary, and multilingual contexts form the heart of the workshop exchanges. In other words, these projects and how they interrelate throughout the day will be the content of this workshop. The workshop chairs will provide the framework for these discussions and guide them towards overall themes and future applications. Understanding how different methodologies “perform” in various projects will be a key focus. Some of the represented methodologies include genre theory, archival research, interviews and surveys with students and faculty in specific contexts, corpus analysis, microgenetic analysis of student writing, analysis of institutional policy documents, ethnographic approaches to disciplines, participatory action research, and digital tracking.
The workshop includes 3 interactive activities, 2 to be completed before the CCCC.
First, by January, workshop facilitators post the following on a wiki (see http://compfaqs.org/CompFAQsInternational/InternationalWritingStudies):
-A draft research text, description of the rhetorical situation of the work, and glossary of context/culture-specific terms to be used at the workshop.
-A digest of key theorists and methods and rationale for their use.
-A “public” abstract of the project for non-expert audiences.
Second, the texts are grouped into 6 clusters of 3-4 projects on the wiki.
From January to March, workshop participants (facilitators and any additional registrants) choose a text from each cluster to read closely, freeing workshop time for real dialogue. A video chat event between January and the CCCC allows participants to get to know each other.
Third, all facilitators will join small group discussions at CCCC with each selected author/text across the day. When not leading their own group, facilitators become audiences for other registrants. Everyone encounters current, ongoing writing research, research questions, and emergent or well-established methods from several countries. Each project receives attentive and sustained discussion, as participants question assumptions, negotiate tensions and differences, and model practices that resist simple dichotomies. As the workshop progresses, facilitators will construct a collective sense of possible responses to the shared performances of the day.
9:15-10:00 Small-group discussions, 1st cluster of texts
10:15-11:00 Small-group discussions, 2nd cluster
11:00-11:45 Small-group discussions, 3rd cluster
11:45-12:30 Whole-group discussion, sharing notes from clusters
1:30-1:45 Review of the morning discussion.
1:45-2:30 Small-group discussions, 4th cluster
2:45-3:30 Small-group discussions, 5th cluster
3:30-4:15 Small-group discussions, 6th cluster
4:15-5:00 Final discussion: How do we define performance in our research and how do we bring that research to new audiences?
Chairs’ Focus Questions
To engage with conference themes, the workshop chairs keep track of threads and look for connections with these questions:
How are different theories and methodologies embodied in specific cultural, linguistic, and social contexts?
What kinds of performances are available globally and across cultures?
What kinds of performances among different research subjects and stakeholders are hidden in the research we do?
How do local settings shape the teaching and research of writing?
How can international communities of writing scholars best perform together with the texts and contexts of higher education while working towards responsible mutual engagement?
How can we help each other disseminate our research in ways that can transform our performances in the broader field of writing research?
The workshop promises a deep collaborative performance across international contexts, engaging projects and people in sensitive, responsible, and productive ways.
(W.08) Developing an Indigenous Scholarly Practice: An Indigenous Rhetorics Research and Writing Retreat
Sponsored by: Caucus for American Indian Scholars and Scholarship
Abstract: This workshop, sponsored by the Caucus for American Indian Scholars and Scholarship, is designed to introduce Indigenous theories, practices, and approaches to research and writing.
The practice of Indigenous rhetorics (alphabetic, visual, digital, performative, oral, and material) is positioned at the meeting grounds between Rhetoric & Composition and American Indian studies. Scholars of Indigenous rhetorics are concerned with complicated questions about the relationships between power, history, knowledge-making, literacy, and language. As scholars of Indigenous rhetorics, decoloniality guides our research and writing as we seek to provide additional options to rhetorical production and are invested in decolonial movements. Indigenous rhetorics scholarship, research methodologies, and narrative approaches are ultimately used for decolonial and social justice work. In this full-day workshop, we will hold an Indigenous rhetorics writing and research retreat that will make space for those who are interested in learning more about Indigenous rhetorics and the narrative and methodological approaches related to Indigenous theories and worldviews. In many ways, this workshop responds to Vershawn A. Young’s acknowledgement that there is a dominant assumption that rhetoric is simply “words.” In this workshop, participants will understand how to develop an Indigenous rhetorics scholarly practice that is embodied, relational, rooted in the land, in practice, and ancestral.
Since we believe that our entire discipline can benefit from implementing Indigenous practices, approaches, and methodologies, we see this workshop as a “research retreat” where scholar-teachers from all backgrounds can learn about various forms of Indigenous knowledge-making, practice these forms of knowledge-making, and discuss ways to approach Indigenous forms of research in their teaching.
This workshop, sponsored by the Caucus for American Indian Scholars and Scholarship, is designed to introduce key theories, practices, and orientations to Indigenous approaches to researching and writing.
The goals of this workshop are: 1) for participants to develop a deeper understanding of the possible roles that Indigenous rhetorics can play in their research, writing, and teaching through a series of presentations and hands-on activities focused on relational accountability, storying as methodology, rhetorical listening, and acknowledgement of embodied differences. 2) To support participants as they begin to develop and apply a foundation of Indigenous writing and research methodologies to use in their research and decolonial and social justice oriented pedagogy. 3) To discuss the ways that the stories we share develop our theoried worlds, weave together agents in diverse worldviews, and develop meaningful relationships that seek to sustain our knowledge-making communities through Indigenous rhetorical practices. 4) To frame performance-composition through Indigenous methodologies and epistemologies with/in embodied practices that are relational, responsible, and reflective.
We’ll accomplish these goals in three ways: 1) by providing intellectual contexts to anchor activities for the workshop; 2) by providing hands-on learning opportunities and activities for participants aimed directly at strategies for incorporating Indigenous text makings and practices that acknowledge embodiment as an important part of relational accountability for scholars working with/in Indigenous rhetorics; and 3) by modelling storying as methodology alongside rhetorical listening as important practices within Indigenous rhetorics. This learning-based workshop, then, focuses on the needs of our participants by providing them with opportunities to work with experienced scholars of Indigenous rhetorics. In addition, we’ll supply a wide array of resources for participants to develop ways they may want to incorporate these embodied practices responsibly into their research and pedagogy.
This full-day workshop begins the way that scholarship in Indigenous rhetorics begins with the history and language of the peoples on whose lands we’re located – the Indigenous peoples of Pennsylvania. This context is necessary in order to understand the work of Indigenous rhetorics as always already anchored in the cultures, beliefs, and worldviews lived in Indigenous spaces. During these 20-minute presentations, facilitators will provide crucial information for each topic and then invite participants to engage in the knowledge-making practice related to the topic or model.
Speaker 1 – Getting Started with Indigenous Rhetorics: Key Words and Concepts
Foundational to practicing Indigenous rhetorics is knowing and understanding key words and concepts associated with them. Drawing on the work of rhetoric, composition, education, and American Indian Studies scholars, workshop participants will work through naming, defining, and giving shape to terms and concepts through examples situated in historic and current Indigenous contexts. While not exhaustive, this substantive review lays groundwork for workshop sessions that follow.
Speaker 2 – Positionality and Orientations to Indigenous Forms of Research
Facilitators will discuss how our positionality/orientation to the Indigenous communities we work with reflects or challenges how research was historically conducted within Indigenous communities. By looking at how different writers identify their positionality/orientation and its influence on their research, we will explore how this affects our research, methodologies, and practices.
Speaker 3 – Understanding Community: Relational Accountability, Reciprocity, and Respect
Workshop participants will discuss the intricacies of building relationships with Indigenous communities (their rhetorics and ways of being) and will discuss how to implement various kinds of community-based research and methodologies, including research and classroom practice.
Speaker 4 – Cherokee Doubleweaving
In a move to bridge material rhetorics, stories, epistemologies, and methodologies, we will include a hands-on activity that will guide attendees as they create Cherokee double-walled baskets, specifically highlighting the embodied praxis of interdisciplinary scholarly and pedagogical conversations (Driskill, 2010) as a way to collaborate by disrupting colonial knowledge-making.
Speaker 5 – Story as Methodology
Presenters will provide multiple examples of what it looks like to build story as a methodology. We will ask participants to write a story about a research experience and then discuss how to use it in a publication as the theoretical framing.
History of Indigenous peoples of Pennsylvania, 8:00am-8:15am
Getting started with Indigenous rhetorics: key words and concepts 8:20am-8:40am
Activity: Getting started with Indigenous rhetorics: 8:45am-9:15am
Positionality and Orientations to Indigenous forms of research, 9:35am-9:55am
Activity: Positionality and Orientations to Indigenous forms of research, 10:00am-10:30am
Break, 10:35 am-10:45 am
Understanding community: relational accountability, reciprocity, and respect, 10:50am – 11:10am
Activity, Understanding community, 11:20am – 11:40am
Pre-lunch reflection, 11:45am-noon
Cherokee doubleweaving, 1:00pm-1:20pm
Activity, Cherokee doubleweaving , 1:25pm-2:00pm
Story as methodology. 2:20pm-2:40pm
Activity: Story as methodology, 2:45pm-3:15pm
Small group brainstorming and project development, 3:30pm-4:30pm
Closing and Reflection, 4:45pm-5:00pm
(W.09) Establishing a Community of Inquiry in Online Writing Courses through Student and Instructor Presence
Sponsored by: Online Writing Instruction Standing Group
Cluster: Writing Pedagogies and Processes
Abstract: This workshop aids instructors in establishing a successful Community of Inquiry (CoI) within their online classes.
In this workshop, we will help instructors establish a Community of Inquiry (CoI) within their online classes. The establishment of a CoI aids in the construction of deep and meaningful knowledge among all who participate in the communication practices of the community when the CoI is established through an interaction of three presences: teaching, social, and cognitive (Swan, Garrison, & Richardson, 2009). Instructors must establish their own presence while simultaneously encouraging students to be more present in the online medium; the combination of the two facilitates cognitive presence and deeper engagement and learning. A fourth element in the CoI framework, as posited by Akyol and Garrison (2011), is assessment insofar as the authors suggest that instructors need to focus on assessing student learning outcomes in order to understand the depth of learning that occurs with interactive and collaborative approaches to teaching online. Thus, we add the fourth element of assessment as a way for instructors to assess student learning through projects they create and in-depth reflections they write on course outcomes.
Much of the scholarship provides context for a CoI framework in online settings (Garrison, Anderson, and Archer 2010); to continue the conversation, we suggest that technology can enhance these four elements. Instructors can establish presence through screencapture feedback (Stannard 2007; Siegel, 2006), synchronous video (Cho & Tobias, 2016), and multimodal instructional tools (Bourelle, 2017; Rubin, Fernandes, & Avgerinou, 2013), designing the course in such a way that students are interacting with one another through the use of similar technological tools. However, this argument presupposes that instructors not only know how to scaffold the classroom and use technology appropriately, but to first know how to use the technology to develop such an approach and to then to assess student-created multimodal compositions. As such, this workshop focuses on: 1) helping instructors develop presence through technology, test-driving low-stakes software (Jing or Screencast-O-Matic); 2) helping students establish presence through using similar software in collaborative learning spaces; 3) engaging students with course content using technology to aid in collaborative exploration, inquiry, and reflection; and 4) assessment of student learning as evidenced in their multimodal projects as a way to support student learning and curricular redesign. Upon completion of the workshop, attendees will leave with concrete instructional tools and actionable items they can implement in their online classes.
The CoI Framework in Writing Studies: (Plenary, 15 minutes)
Our plenary speaker will introduce participants to the CoI Framework, describing how the framework has been researched and employed in online and blended learning contexts. She will reflect on the potential for using this framework as a heuristic for designing and assessing online writing courses, sharing data from previous and ongoing mixed methods studies that investigate the extent to which blended and online writing courses function as CoIs. She will conclude with a discussion of the relationship between instructional design and tool selection, inviting participants to share their own experiences with engaging students in technology-mediated learning environments.
Presentation 1: Instructor Presence (1 hour)
Arguably, the instructor’s presence is the greatest departure from the traditional classroom that online writing instruction (OWI) creates—a point emphasized by research that shows that instructor presence is the feature of asynchronous online education that students miss most. Therefore, online writing instructors often develop strategies to compensate for their absence, such as participating in discussion board assignments, posting videos of themselves, using synchronous video, and providing feedback in various ways, including multimedia, on student work. In this presentation, we will explain the importance of instructor presence and instructor absence by working with the participants to understand what we need to be present for and how we can help students learn in our absence.
Coffee Break: 15 minutes
Presentation 2: Student Presence (1 hour)
In this presentation, the facilitators will offer examples of how to provide opportunities for student presence in the digital environment, in addition to seeking input from participants about practices they have implemented to build student presence online. We will look to complicate the discussion, however, by considering the implications of building student presence, especially where that might involve audio/video/image created by the student, and/or where presence-building activities move students into less common LMS tools or outside of the LMS entirely. What are the implications for accessibility? For privacy? And how do we align student presence building with course objectives that perhaps make no mention of such activities?
Lunch Break 12-1:30
Presentation 3: Cognitive Presence (1 hour)
In this presentation, the facilitators will discuss how to engage students with course content using synchronous technology to aid in collaborative exploration, inquiry, and reflection. While much scholarship examines asynchronous communication, particularly the use of discussion forums in OWI (Cho & Tobias, 2016; Wright & Street, 2007), this presentation will focus on other technologies, particularly those that allow for synchronous communication to support cognitive presence (Rockinson-Szapkiw, Wendt, Whighting, & Nisbet, 2016). We will look at online courses delivered via synchronous video conference as well as an asynchronous online writing class that provides synchronous options (e.g., Zoom and Google Hangouts) for student-student interaction as well as student-instructor interaction.
Coffee Break: 15 minutes
Presentation 4: Assessment (1 hour)
In this presentation, the facilitators will talk through how to assess multimodal projects, reflections, and eportfolios in ways that support student learning and curricular design within the online CoI. We will showcase student projects and corresponding rubrics, leading the audience through a discussion of providing effective summative and formative feedback throughout the students’ composing process (Borton and Huot, 2009). We will also discuss how to assign and use reflection as a way to assess students’ projects, using Shipka’s (2011) Statements of Goals and Choices (SOGCs) as a framework. Lastly, we will discuss using White’s (2005) idea of in-depth reflections to guide students’ self-evaluation within eportfolios.
Reflection/Entire Group Discussion (30 minutes, 5-minute reflection/25-minute discussion)
In a final reflection with the entire group, we will discuss how attendees will enact what they learned in their own classes.
(W.10) Performing Rhetorical Activism: Latinxs in the Community and in the Academy
Sponsored by: NCTE/CCCC Latinx Caucus
Cluster: Community, Civic & Public
Abstract: This workshop continues the Latinx Caucus’s tradition of cultivating critical dialogue between Latinx scholars of rhetoric, writing, and literacy and our activists in Pittsburgh.
This workshop continues the Latinx Caucus’s tradition of cultivating critical dialogue between Latinx scholars of rhetoric, writing, and literacy (including allies) and our activist counterparts in the Convention’s host city. Individual members of the Caucus will each introduce a Latinx group or organization from the Pittsburgh community. Each will discuss and present its work, methods, and history. These discussions will be followed by conversations among all workshop participants–speakers and enrollees–on the following subjects:
Bridging gaps between academic and activist work.
Developing the existing intersections of academic and activist work.
Exploring possibilities for future interaction between the two.
Using scholarship, art, and protest in to counter the current administration’s attacks on Latinxs.
Devising pedagogies that empower students and educators in light of the acute political precarity of the current moment.
Local and area groups to whom our speakers will reach out to include in the workshop:
Cafe con Leche Latino Artists Residency Program in Pittsburgh
Casa San Jose
Latino Community Center Pittsburgh
Past workshops have included poetry and fiction readings by authors from the Houston-based publisher Arte Público, presentations and testimonials by DREAMER and DACA activists, and an interactive presentation by Portland-based graffiti artist Hector Hernandez. It is too soon to tell which of the above groups (and others) will be available to participate in the workshop. The groups that do end up on the program will largely determine the substance of the conversations. Caucus members—and others—who sign up for the workshop will seek first to listen, and only then to work collaboratively with the groups to address the issues listed above. Caucus members will also do mini-workshops/presentations on their research.