SUNY Council on Writing Conference (CoW) 2018 Call for Proposals


St. John’s University’s are invited to submit proposals to the following conference:

Theme: Why Writing Matters?: Articulating the Value of Writing to Students, Administrators,

 and Faculty From Across the Disciplines

Dates: Friday, October 19 and Saturday, October 20, 2017

Location: Farmingdale State College, Farmingdale, NY

Submission Deadline: June 1, 2018


Why Writing Matters?: Articulating the Value of Writing to Students, Administrators, and Faculty From Across the Disciplines

At this year’s SUNY Council on Writing (CoW) Conference we seek to explore the value of writing from multiple angles — its cognitive benefits, social impact, economic rewards, and political power. While the value of STEAM programs cannot be denied, writing drives our society in such profound and essential ways that it is prone to being taken for granted by our institutions. It’s as crucial as ever for professional writers, writing instructors, and writing students to make clear what it is that we do and why our roles in society are of vital importance.

We seek submissions that demystify the act of writing and explore innovative ways to reach across disciplinary aisles in our current professional climate. While composition is traditionally viewed as taking place within the confines of English Departments, we know that composing takes place throughout the academy in a great range of forms, from lab reports, to historical analyses, to multimodal texts like Prezis, blogs, and digital essays, among others. The theme of this year’s conference “Why Writing Matters” is meant to serve as a broad umbrella under which many can gather to cross-pollinate their ideas about writing in order to articulate its value to multiple audiences.

Participants need not be current or past SUNY faculty; we welcome submissions from all interested parties regardless of institutional affiliation. This year, SUNY CoW will he held at on SUNY Farmingdale’s campus, which is located in the center of Long Island, about 45 minutes from midtown Manhattan and easily accessible via the LIRR directly from Penn Station.

As you develop ideas for a proposal, some questions to consider may include:

  • What is the value of writing? This includes all aspects of writing from its rhetorical power to its organizing functions.
  • How is writing valued and who values it? Who owns writing and how do issues related to intellectual property (e.g., citation) shape the role of writing in digital landscapes?
  • What constitutes good writing? What does good writing look like across the disciplines?
  • What cognitive value does the act of writing confer upon the writer? What are the cognitive benefits of reading and how might educators help students read in ways that enhance their writing abilities?
  • What conscious and unconscious messages do educators send to students about writing?
  • When writing is undervalued and/or misunderstood, what impact does that have on college education and developing writers?


These are just a few of the questions that might you find helpful as you contemplate submitting a proposal to SUNY CoW.  

Presenters may propose individual sessions of 20 minutes. In addition to traditional panel presentations, we encourage presentations in alternative formats, including roundtables, workshops, discussions, and other formats that increase audience participation. We also support undergraduate participation and will provide one break-out room for undergraduate research.


Submit your proposal by June 1st, 2018 to: or


About Steve Mentz 1265 Articles
I teach Shakespeare and the blue humanities at St. John's in New York City.

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