CFP: NEWCA 2012

Here is the full call for proposals for the 2012 NEWCA (that’s Northeast Writing Centers Association) Conference, which will be hosted by St. John’s University in April. Proposals are due by December 31! If you’re interested in submitting as part of a panel, come by the Writing Center and chat with some of the consultants. Last year, several students from St. John’s traveled to New Hampshire to present.

Call for Proposals – NEWCA 2012
Building from 9/11: Writing Centers ReImagine, ReInvent

St. John’s University, Queens Campus
8000 Utopia Parkway
Queens, NY 11439

April 13 – April 15, 2011
Friday, April 13 – Open Mic Night
Saturday, April 14 – Conference Sessions and Keynote Speaker
Sunday, April 15 – Special Interest Groups and NEWACC
Proposals due by December 31, 2011 

Keynote Speaker: Deborah Brandt

Deborah Brandt is Professor of English Emerita at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she taught undergraduate writing, administered a writing program for fifteen years, and taught graduate courses in literacy and contemporary writing theory. Her research focuses on the changing social and economic conditions for literacy and literacy learning in the United States as they are felt in the lives of everyday people. Author of the award-winning Literacy in American Lives, she is at work on a new book called Writing Now: New Directions in Mass Literacy. She is a recent recipient of a National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship and a Guggenheim fellowship.

Call for Proposals

Since the tragedy of 9/11, the nation and the world have been transformed, and writing centers have mirrored those shifts and convulsions. From reflection and debate as well as conflict and consensus, smoking rubble has dissipated. In its place, a new city center is emerging on the skyline, forcing a population to critically examine and come to terms with the use of space and the function of public memory, of never forgetting and moving forward. Writing centers, in New York City and beyond, have faced a decade of similar tumult, of always contending with the tangible and local consequences of larger social and economic currents and of being focal points of dynamic and passionate attention. Writers come to our spaces working through both trauma and the everyday of academic life, tutors and faculty negotiate the multimodal as it transforms learning and teaching, and administration pushes our centers to do more, often with limited resources and greater accountability for efficacy and outcomes.


The importance of building relationships and overcoming mistrust has become clearer and more urgent over the last ten years. Some centers have shifted their location or mission, while others have reinvented
themselves and permanently reconfigured their orientations. Centers have reimagined themselves as cultural sites capable of fostering global conversations, and encouraging the development of individuals as citizens, writers, and viewers.

At the same time, the last decade has witnessed an acceleration of the achievement gap and constraints on the access to higher education. Equitable distribution of resources has diminished on almost every level. Education funding has dropped off while accountability demands have risen. Writing centers face increasing pressures to justify and scrutinize.With this ten-year anniversary of 9/11, we call for tutors, administrators and students of writing centers to explore the ways that writing centers have reinvented and reimagined themselves in the last decade, and how these reinventions and reimaginings are related to or reflective of 9/11. We invite proposals for workshops, roundtable discussions, and panel presentations that investigate questions such as:

  • What global and local connections have been developed, established, become necessary?
  • How can writing centers promote awareness of ourselves as global citizens when writing? Can writing centers themselves be good global citizens?
  • How can we help tutors understand their roles, especially with international students?
  • In what ways do the many Englishes and multilingualism impact on everyday writing center practice? How do we study those realities in tension with socio-cultural, economic, political and institutional pressures?
  • What does global citizenship mean for the local? What literacies do we need to embrace or understand?
  • How are our notions of literacy being shifted, and how do these changes pose critical implications for teaching and learning? How are we responding to this change in our writing centers? What do we do differently?
  • How does the post-9/11 world force us to rethink old divides and tensions in our writing centers?
  • How do we in writing centers know what’s hallowed? What do we hold on to?
  • How have calls for outcomes and assessment forced us to reimagine and reinvent the field?
  • In what ways do images and visual depictions of emotion and experience enter our writing centers? How do we encourage visual literacy among students?
  • How is the shifting landscape of the academy changing the landscape for writing center professionals? For graduate students? For undergraduate consultants?
  • Ground Zero forced New York City to rethink a city’s relationship to space. How have we in writing centers had to rethink our relationships to the spaces we occupy? In what ways have writing centers rebuilt themselves?
  • Some writing centers have been transformed into or absorbed by learning commons. What can we learn from mixed use sites that can help writing centers re-invent themselves?
  • How have we reimagined writing center work and the diffuse relationships that happen within our spaces?
  • What are the material implications of all this change?
  • How do larger forces affect our locations, our missions, our philosophies?
  • How have the changed politics and economics of the last decade forced us to change our practices and ways of being?
  • In what ways does the “real” or “outside” world intrude or forever change “our” world in the academy and in the writing center? How is that “reality” complicated in vastly different institutional contexts and levels of privilege?
  • How do we support students who are struggling to stay in college, both academically and economically?

Proposal Guidelines
Successful presentations are dynamic exchanges between audience members (peer tutors, graduate
students, and other writing center professionals and faculty). We welcome presentations of original
scholarship and research that foster dialogue with conference participants. In order to include more voices and perspectives in our ongoing discussions, we especially encourage tutors and first-time presenters to send in proposals, as well as writing center workers from community college and high school writing centers.

Please prepare a 250- to 500-word proposal and a 75-word abstract for a 20-minute individual
presentation or a 75-minute interactive workshop, roundtable, or panel. Your proposed workshop,
roundtable, or panel must actively involve the audience. As a result of feedback from recent conferences, we continue to encourage proposals for the facilitation of roundtable discussions.

Please include the following information in your proposal:
1. Proposer’s name, position (i.e., tutor, director, etc), institution, institutional or home address,
telephone number, and email address
2. Presenters’ names with title and contact information, as above
3. Title of presentation, a 250- to 500-word proposal, and a 75-word abstract for inclusion in the
conference program
4. Type of session (i.e., individual presentation, panel presentation, roundtable discussion,
workshop presentation)
5. Specific audiovisual and technical requests (NOTE: Presenters should plan to bring their own
laptop computers)
6. Plans for encouraging interaction and involving the audience in the presentation. This may be
included in the presentation description.

Proposals will be evaluated on the basis of relevance to the conference theme and application to a broad audience of writing center tutors and administrators. Submissions will also be reviewed on the basis of originality (novel perspectives, approaches, and methods), interactivity (audience participation vs. oral delivery of an essay), and clarity.

Proposal Submission
Electronically submit your proposal by December 31, 2011, to the chair of the NEWCA Proposal Reading Committee, John Hall, at johnhall@bu.edu. You may submit your proposal as an MS Word attachment or in the body of the email. For more information about submitting proposals, please contact John Hall via the above email address or call him at 617-358-1073.

For More Information
For more information about the conference, registration, or scholarship opportunities, including the 2012 NEWACC meeting held at the conference, visit NEWCA ONLINE at http://northeastwca.org
For other questions related to the conference, email the NEWCA chair, Harry Denny, at
dennyh@stjohns.edu, or call him at (718) 390-4158.

NEWCA ONLINE:
The resource on writing scholarship, writing consultation technique, and writing center 
administration in the Northeastern United States.

1. http://northeastwca.org
    a. Read information about this year’s conference
    b. Register for this year’s conference (mail-in form and online registration)
    c. View/download important documents and key dates
    d. View links to NEWCA recommended resources, articles, and blogs
    e. Read up on NEWCA history and leadership bios

2. http://facebook.com/northeastwca
    a. Ask questions and get quick responses
    b. Chat with other tutors, academics, administrators, and writing center lovers
    c. Participate in discussion boards
    d. View and post articles, blogs, and links
    e. Look at and upload writing center pictures

3. http://twitter.com/northeastwca
    a. Keep up to date with NEWCA’s daily happenings
    b. Enjoy posts on writing scholarship, writing center news, and more

Want to share a link, blog, or article with NEWCA ONLINE?
Email <support@northeastwca.org> today!

We hope to see you at NEWCA 2012

About Steve Mentz 650 Articles
I teach Shakespeare and early modern literature at St. John's in New York City.

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