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Diverse Writing at the 2017 CCCC Midwest Summer Conference

This post was submitted by members Sharon Burns, Brenda Refaei and Chris Carter. 

clermontccccThe post-election climate across our campuses fills us with uncertainty about how to engage our students in productive writing activities that promote and challenge us to appreciate what it’s really like to be different. In this environment, it has become all the more crucial for our colleges, universities, and writing programs to encourage a variety of expressive practices and welcome students from a range of cultural backgrounds.

The Conference on College Composition and Communication has an impressive history of supporting student writers from diverse backgrounds and standing up for linguistic variety as well as democratic discourse on our campuses. That history includes the 1974 Resolution on the Students’ Right to Their Own Language and the recent Supporting Linguistically and Culturally Diverse Learners in English Education.  With the flourishing of writing across the curriculum programs, English as a second language instruction, and programmatic attention to multiple literacies, now is an especially kairotic moment to convene around issues of adaptive pedagogy and mutual respect across difference. As new composing genres emerge along with the proliferation of digital discourse, and as established rhetorical practices take on novel forms, the need to consider the embodied differences of writers also converges with the need to address the history and politics of interactive media.

These ideas set the stage for the CCCC regional summer conference, “Diverse Writers, Diverse Writing,” which will take place at the University of Cincinnati Clermont College June 8–10, 2017.  The conference will begin with a day of workshops followed by two days of roundtables, panels, TED talk–style presentations, and rapid-fire exchange of teaching strategies. We invite proposals that will challenge participants to think about the conference topic in new and energetic ways.

We are excited to announce Kathi Yancey as our keynote, who will explore with us this idea of mutual respect for linguistic varieties among students and between colleagues.  Scott Warnock, with his charismatic expertise in online writing instruction, will facilitate workshops that move this conversation into digital spaces. We also welcome Amanda Hayes, who will share her story as a young academic living and writing between linguistically diverse worlds.

Conference goers will have ready access to Cincinnati’s celebrated art and cuisine, Reds baseball, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, and the world-class Kings Island theme park. Clermont’s charming, wooded campus will provide a relaxing venue for participation from writers and teachers of writing at a variety of levels, and we invite conversation between tenure-track and non-tenure-track faculty, college and high school educators, graduate students, and instructors and students. Visit our conference website at http://www.ucclermont.edu/2017_summer_conference.html and submit your proposal by February 15, 2017.  Questions?  Contact us at csconference@uc.edu.

Brenda Refaei is an associate professor and composition coordinator in the English and Communication department at the University of Cincinnati Blue Ash College.   Chris Carter is an associate professor and director of composition in the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences English department at the University of Cincinnati. Sharon Burns is an associate professor of English and coordinates the composition program at UC Clermont College. Together they will host the 2017 CCCC Midwest Summer Conference.