This post is written by member Jessica Gordon.
If you are like me, before the Annual Convention of the Conference on College Composition and Communication begins, you sit with the conference program and a highlighter and eagerly mark every presentation you want to see. You quickly find that during every concurrent session, there are a plethora of presentations that you really must attend—but alas, you can see only one session at a time. In an effort to narrow down your options, you learn more about each session by researching them online, and finally, by process of elimination, you agonizingly choose just one session to attend. And if you are like me, even if that session is mind-blowing, a creeping thought plagues you: what are you missing in those presentations down the hall, the ones you chose not to see?
Last year at the CCCC Convention in Houston, Texas, I complained to a colleague that there should really be more than one CCCC Convention each year. After all, their annual conference is the only conference I can attend where I want to see one third of the presentations in every concurrent session. It is also the only conference where I can truly reconsider and improve my pedagogy while simultaneously attending presentations that will progress my research and meeting colleagues with whom I can collaborate and grow. Sadly, because there were so many intriguing presentations last year, there were necessarily too many sessions that I was not going to see. So I was overjoyed when I heard Joyce Carter announce that for the first time, CCCC would be offering a handful of regional conferences during summer 2017.
You can ask my department chair: I cried a little when I found out that our proposal to host a regional conference at Virginia Commonwealth University was accepted. Not only do I strongly believe that the consistently high attendance at the annual CCCC meeting demonstrates the need for more conferences devoted to the study of composition, but personally, I find that I learn more about pedagogy in one morning at a good conference than I do in a whole semester of lonely reflection on my own teaching. And I find good conferences to be inspiring and rejuvenating! An insightful presentation always reminds me why I teach writing, why I think written communication is the most important skill that students learn in college, and why I relish teaching students to respect and cherish the written word.
And so, we are delighted to invite you to propose a session and/or attend the 2017 Mid-Atlantic Summer Conference of the Conference on College Composition and Communication. This one-day event will be held on June 2, 2017, at Virginia Commonwealth University in historic Richmond, VA. Our intimate conference will feature a variety of types of presentations and interactive sessions. Although participants will choose which concurrent sessions and lightning talks to attend, this conference will also provide opportunities for participants to come together as one group: the morning plenary and a charette-style collaborative working session that will close the day.
We sincerely invite all teachers of writing to join us in a day of rejuvenating and inspiring discussions, and so we aim to keep this conference affordable: $50 for full-time faculty and $35 for adjuncts and graduate students.
We are excited to announce that Jonathan Alexander will deliver the keynote presentation. Alexander is Chancellor’s Professor of English at the University of California, Irvine, where he is also the director of the Center for Excellence in Writing & Communication. He has authored, coauthored, or edited twelve books, including Writing Youth: Young Adult Fiction as Literacy Sponsorship; Literacy, Sexuality, Pedagogy: Theory and Practice for Composition Studies; and On Multimodality: New Media in Composition Studies.
The deadline for proposals is January 15, 2017.
Learn more about the conference at https://focusedinquiry.vcu.edu/cccc-at-vcu/
Jessica Gordon is an assistant professor in the Department of Focused Inquiry, which is home to the writing program at Virginia Commonwealth University. Along with two colleagues, Joe Cates and Julie Gorlewski, she is hosting the 2017 Mid-Atlantic Summer Conference of the Conference on College Composition and Communication.