Call for Proposals

Credit: Doug Hesse

Call for Proposals
Research(ing) Writing Cultures: Classroom, Program, Profession, Public
University of Denver | Denver, CO | July 20-21, 2018

Optional Draft Submission for Coaching or Feedback: February 1, 2018*
Final Proposal Submission Deadline: March 1, 2018

The University of Denver Writing Program invites proposals for “Research(ing) Writing Cultures: Classroom, Program, Profession, Public,” a CCCC Regional Conference we’re hosting on our beautiful campus in vibrant summertime Denver.  Please consider proposing a whole panel, a roundtable, an individual presentation, or a work for a research and teaching forum.  We aspire to accommodate all proposers on the program, to the limit of our space for the conference, about 250 registrants.  For more information about the conference (including the setting, housing, and the pleasures of Denver in the summer), please see Navigating Denver.


Composition research cultures and practices–qualitative, quantitative, experimental, archival, interpretive, community-engaged and others–continue to intersect complexly with the study and teaching of writing. Longtime relationships among pedagogy, scholarship, and program administration (Braddock, Lloyd-Jones, and Schoer, 1963; Hillocks, 1986; McLeod, 2007) have more recently inspired reflections on (and, in some cases, reconsiderations of) our ballooning research community (Smagorinsky, 2005; Nickoson & Sheridan, 2012).

That research community has grown through expanded graduate degree offerings and work with students at the undergraduate level. As the CCCC Position Statement on Undergraduate Research in Writing: Principles and Best Practices claims, “undergraduate research reflects the breadth of available methods and methodologies developed and used by professional writing researchers. . .  [F]or undergraduate research in writing to flourish, it must be actively cultivated and sustained through individual relationships; through scaffolding provided by campus initiatives and strategic plans; and through infrastructure provided by campus units.”  How will we communicate the value of our students’ research and that of our field to stakeholders beyond our own community?

These questions resonate with the public turn in writing studies observed by Paula Mathieu, Frank Farmer, and Tom Deans, a turn characterized not only by a shifting of the genres we tend to teach, but also by a robust professional stance for using our research to shape. The 2017-2018 CCCC’s Research Initiative notes that “among the most important resources CCCC membership can bring to bear upon public conversations is the sustained, substantial, and informed research that has been, and continues to be, produced by our scholarship.” However, while research in Writing Studies offers tremendous potential, we currently face a national moment in which policymakers and public discourses regularly devalue research and evidence-based practices.

The Call

The current climate constitutes a vital Kairos–one that invites coming together to reexamine our practices, our relationships with other practitioners, and our values and frameworks. To that end, we invite you to engage questions about the research and writing cultures we shape and sustain in our classrooms, profession, and communities:

  • How can we support student-researchers and teacher-scholars in a range of contexts?
  • How can we best approach interdisciplinary research initiatives with campus and community partners?
  • How can/should we apply our research expertise to current institutional, cultural, and political problems?
  • How should we address various ways our research, knowledge, and pedagogy are de/valued, both within and outside our field?
  • How can we make our research more accessible and meaningful for various publics, diverse student populations, other writing teachers, colleagues, and decision-makers across and beyond campus?
  • How do we best teach and facilitate primary research by undergraduate and graduate students, whether in first-year courses, majors or minors, advanced courses, or co-curricular settings?
  • How should we promote reasoned, research-supported argument in a “post-truth” society? Or how should we promote other systems of argumentation beyond logocentrism?
  • What current research, teaching, or program practices would YOU like to share with your colleagues in the profession?

Please note: these questions are meant to be suggestive rather than exhaustive.

To Submit

Please use the link below to submit proposals of 250-300 words for one of the following presentation formats.  The deadline is 11:59 p.m. Thursday, March 1, 2018:

  1. Panels. Fairly traditional 10-15 minute presentations, delivered with 2 or 3 other speakers, in one-hour sessions. We will insist on shorter presentations than customary (10-15 minutes rather than 15-20 minutes), asking presenters to supply background information on handouts or websites and to concentrate on direct, focused, and action-oriented remarks, leaving more time for discussion. Panel presentations may be proposed individually or with other speakers.
  2. Roundtables. Structured conversations designed to spur discussion. Speakers will make brief statements (less
    than five minutes) in response to a focused question, a moderator will pose follow-ups, and the audience will then engage in the wider conversation. The program will include two kinds of roundtables: those proposed by groups of participants and those assembled by members of the conference committee.
  3. Research and Teaching forums. Similar in form and function to the Research Network Forum  and the Teacher to Teacher event at CCCC, the Research/Teaching Forum invites participants to share either research at any stage of the process or a teaching idea or challenge that would benefit from focused feedback. Presenters’ names and presentation titles will appear in the program. Participants will be placed at tables led by a facilitator. Participants will present a one-page handout, brief overview, and questions for small-group discussion with peers and senior scholars.
Further Opportunities

Feedback and Coaching on a Draft:  If you’d like feedback on a draft proposal before final submission, please send it as an email attachment to by February 1, 2017.  This is entirely optional. The conference program committee will provide development support, and you may revise before the final submission deadline on March 1.

Full participation policy.  Because our space is limited, we cannot guarantee placement on panels.  However, we aspire to offer a place on the program for every proposer. Any proposal received by the deadline that is not accepted for inclusion in the panel format will be considered for inclusion in the program on either a Roundtable or a Research and Teaching Forum, to the extent that we have space.

To submit your proposal, please click here: Submit.


Credit: John Tiedemann


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