Call for Proposals – NEWCA 2013

Writing Enriched, Writing Enhanced:
Writing Centers and Writing Across the Curriculum
as Partners and Agents for Change

University of New Hampshire
Durham, NH
April 13-14, 2013

Proposals due by January 4, 2013

Keynote Speakers
Susanmarie Harrington & Sue Dinitz
University of Vermont

Call for Proposals

Throughout the Northeast, writing centers are emerging from the Great Recession as leaner and more innovative units. Our realities vary by geography and institutions, but we share a bond of helping writers and learners whose needs often exceed the historical boundaries of English composition and rhetoric courses. We also embrace a common set of values around mentoring writers in ways that help them better understand process, particularly in how meta-awareness creates possibilities to scaffold between assignments, courses and experiences. Writing centers exist as powerful sites from which the competing and complementing demands of discourses, disciplines and conventions become legible and actionable as students move  across and within curricula. Writing across the Curriculum Programs, often partners with writing centers, work with students and faculty alike to challenge received ways and genres of writing in the disciplines, to reinvigorate the nexus of writing to learn/learning to write, and to foster awareness of communities of practice and local conventions of expressions. Most importantly, these partners can enact change through vital conversations about teaching, learning, and writing. With this theme and its dynamics in mind, we invite proposals that take up the following questions:

What are the campus connections between writing centers and WAC/WID programs?
● What do writing centers do where no WAC or WID programs exist? Or vice versus? How do writing centers address the charge and challenge of WAC and WID? Must they, or should they operate in disciplinary silos (e.g., English Department-centric writing centers)?
● What sorts of writing from the disciplines do local writing centers see and how do they challenge or complement conventions?
● How do disciplinary biases or genre assumptions affect the work writing centers do, and what role do WAC/WID programs challenge those assumptions?
● How do we attend to academic diversity while we think about the cultural diversity of our writing center staffs? How does it impact training and hiring decisions?
● In what ways do WAC programs change the mission of writing centers?
● How do writing centers work with faculty out in the disciplines, and how does that work confound or dovetail with the work we do with students?
● How does WAC work play out in the context of high schools? 2-year colleges? Professional, vocational or trade schools?
● How do conversations about multilingualism and digital literatures factor into WAC and writing center collaborations?
● On campuses where writing-intensive, writing-enhanced, or writing-enriched requirements have been integrated into curricula, how have writing centers responded? What roles do they play?
● More and more campuses emphasize academic service-learning or attention to institutional values (like critical thinking or social justice), how are writing centers and WAC programs working together (or in tension) to address those challenges?
● How do writing consultants or tutors respond to the challenges of wider ranges of disciplinary writing? Must they be generalists (Jacks and Janes or all trades), or become disciplinary specialists? Should students rightfully expect a range of knowledges, or are there common sets of knowledge they must know?
● How do clients or students from the disciplines or writing in disciplinary courses push writing centers to think differently/expansively about the sorts of literacies and knowledges writing can tap when expressing themselves?
● How do media and mediums change and challenge writing centers to do our processes and practices?

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 either 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 January 4, 2012, to the co-chair of the NEWCA Proposal Reading Committee, Susan DeRosa, at 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 Susan at the address above.

For More Information
For more information about the conference, registration, or scholarship opportunities, including the 2013 NEWACC meeting held at the conference, visit NEWCA ONLINE at

For other questions related to the conference, email the NEWCA chair, Harry Denny, at, or call him at (718) 390-4158.

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About Steve Mentz 1258 Articles
I teach Shakespeare and the blue humanities at St. John's in New York City.

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