Monday, March 27, 2017

Changes for #4C18 in Kansas City

This post is meant to help those who plans on proposing a panel, workshop, poster session, or individual presentation for the 2018 Conference on College Composition and Communication (#4C18), which will be in Kansas City, MO. There some important changes this coming year.

You can find the CFP online and be sure to look carefully at it, as well as the criteria reviewers will use to rate proposals. Below I'll highlight a few new things that can affect the way you write your proposals this year. There are differences from past years' conferences.

No Clusters, but Hashtags

There are no clusters, instead, we have hashtags, which I’m hoping will be used in a variety of ways on social media. The hashtags are a bit broader. Up to 3 hashtags can be associated with any proposal, but all proposals must have at least 1 hashtag. These hashtags will be used to organize the conference program in a similar fashion as the old clusters, but because I won’t use the hashtags to funnel proposals to particular reviewers, proposers should write their proposals for a general Cs audience. I would like to encourage others from different parts of our field and conference to find interest and engagement in other topics and sessions than those clusters they have often kept themselves in over the years. As you'll see below, there are other ways I'm trying to encourage this.
Asao B. Inoue, 2018 CCCC Program Chair

So no matter the topic of your proposal, each proposal should address the five main criteria listed on the guidelines page: (1) how the proposal is situated in the field, (2) its main focus, (3) what is innovative or new, (4) how it is audience oriented and/or transformative to a wide Cs audience, and (5) how it adds new or underrepresented voices or texture to the discussion. The hashtags we will use are:
  • Pedagogy (#pedagogy)
  • Basic Writing (#BW)
  • Assessment (#Assess)
  • Rhetoric (#Rhetoric)
  • History (#History)
  • Technology (#Tech)
  • Language (#Language)
  • Professional Technical Writing (#PTW)
  • Writing Program Administration (#WPA)
  • Theory (#Theory)
  • Public, Civic, and Community writing (#community
  • Creative Writing (#creativewriting)
For the most part, this will be a merit based system that relies on the best proposals to get through, knowing that I will make sure that the best of each hashtag is also accepted. This means there will be some sessions on each of the above hashtags. I haven’t decided what those numbers are yet, because I don’t know how many proposals will be submitted within each hashtag.

To Mention the Theme or Not . . .

Notice that the first four criteria are mostly the same in orientation as years past, with a few slight details changed that may appear to make it sound like all proposals must be geared toward only “languaging” and/or “laboring” themes. This is not the case. For instance, the second item says,
Is the proposal focused on the scene of laboring and/or languaging to occur during the session/presentation? What will happen and who will do what during the time allotted?
While certainly there can be proposals that offer direct discussion on laboring and languaging in the context of rhetoric and composition, all proposals do not need to do this. In fact, it is not a good idea to just play with the words "languaging," "laboring," and "transforming" in your proposals. Please do NOT do this.

What the strongest proposals will focus attention on is what will happen in the session, what work or labor will occur, what languaging will happen, and by whom? This obviously is less of a requirement for poster sessions. I want to encourage all of us to think of ourselves as coming together to labor with and around language so I want our proposals to attempt to pay attention to our “conferencing” as embodied languaging labor no matter the topics we come to discuss or engage in, and you don't have to use this language to propose it, but it will be clear. If, however, a proposal does not mention what will happen in the session, but speak only to its topics or subjects, with no regard to what people do and say in the session, this is okay, but is not preferred. Those proposals will be rated lower than ones that do. Keep in mind that a proposal can speak to the languaging and laboring in the session in just a few lines. It doesn’t need to take up a lot of time or space in the proposal. I am, however, hopeful, that some of us will offer ingenious and transformative ways to experience a session by thinking carefully about this criterion.

Making Space for New and Underrepresented Voices/Textures

The final criterion states: 
Does the proposal address how it adds a new or underrepresented voice(s) or texture to the conversation in which the presentation(s) are engaging?
This can be fulfilled in a number of ways and simple references in proposals. For instance, if the proposer thinks that they are a part of an underrepresented group at the conference in past years, they might call attention to this fact in whatever ways seem appropriate. This criterion can also be met by the proposal identifying the voices it is using in its discussions to help add a new or underrepresented voice or texture to the conversation. The point is, the most successful proposals will clearly identify how they add new or underrepresented voices or texture, and if needed, explain how those voices/textures are new or underrepresented. Proposals that should be rated lower will not pay attention to this dimension, and say nothing or very little about how it adds new or underrepresented voices or texture to the conversation in some way.

That's it for now. Stay tuned for more in the coming weeks and months. Oh, and I can't leave this post without showing off our new logo, which will begin appearing in materials this year.


Saturday, March 18, 2017

Day 3 of #4C17 . . .

Well, yesterday, day 3 of 4C17 was a very busy, but wonderful day. I had more packed sessions. I saw some former students, and of course, I received my book award.

My first session was a small one with Lisa Ede and a number of others, a cultivate session on mentoring. It was a stimulating and informal, just the way I like things. As I sat in our circle talking with the group and listening to people's ideas about mentoring, I couldn't help but realize how wonderfully collaborative, engaged, and filled with goodwill most of the folks in our field are. It made me feel a very fortunate to have found the field of Rhetoric and Composition to work in and for, and Lisa herself has no small part in me finding my way to Rhetoric and Composition. She was an early mentor herself to me at Oregon State.

Meredith, Piper, Kelly, and me
Next, I chaired a super-full session on mindfulness with Emily Beals (a former student of mine), Donna Strickland, Christie Wenger, and Jennifer Consilio. I really love it when folks incorporate mindful and contemplative practices in their sessions, and they did this nicely. Jennifer led us in a short practice and connected it to her classroom practices. Emily had an engaging discussion about her own mindful assessment practices.

For lunch, I had a chance to spend a few minutes with two of my former students from Fresno State, Emily Beals and Meredith Stone (formerly Bulinski). Meredith brought her beautiful baby girl, Piper, who was incredibly cute. I pretty sure I fell in love.

I got some great ideas from several folks at my meet the chair booth in the action hub. Tori White from UC Davis offered me a great idea, escape rooms to gameify our Cs next year. I love this!

My own cultivate session on social justice at Cs was also packed and I got lots of great ideas collected, which I'll need to go through and think about. I have to thank my co-facilitators:
  • Frankie Condon
  • Elaine Richardson
  • Stephanie Kerschbaum
  • Vershawn A. Young
  • Damian Baca 
  • Qwo-Li Driskoll
At the awards ceremony, I broke down and got all tearful. I couldn't even thank the people I wanted to. I had such nice things to say to them too. Alas, my work is just too personal to me and too connected to the beautiful students I get to learn with every year, so at times like that, I'm just tearful and emotional. So, here's who I wanted to thank and something like what I wanted to say:
Thank you to Jonathan Buell and his committee for their work and selection. Thank you to Mike Palmquist and Sue Mcleod's guidance at the WAC Clearinghouse. They were wonderful to work with. Thank you to the reviewers and their good feedback that helped finalize the ms. Thank you, of course, to Victor Villanueva and Bill Condon, both of whom have helped me be the scholar and writer I am today. A special thanks to Chris Anderson, my first mentor at OSU and his careful and honest reading of the entire ms at an earlier stage. His feedback was essential. And of course, thank you to my dear wife Kelly, who creates the loving conditions in my life so that I can do such work. I'm very lucky, honored, and humbled to get the award.
We ended the day with a great dinner at Hubers with a past student, Mason Pellegrini and  Stephanie Kang, who are both at U of New Mexico. We were joined by Bill Condon and Mike Palmquist. We had a great time, and I was able to give Bill his retirement gift, THE Georgia Bulldog Yard Gnome (aka Uga Gnome).


Friday, March 17, 2017

Day 2 of #4C17 . . .

Yesterday was a great day. Linda's keynote was wonderful. She reminded me of a great web site for teaching writing, Spurious Correlations. And she offered a great term that I'll use, Educational Intelligence Complex (EIC).

I got a chance to sit down for lunch with Victor. He and I are very similar in temperament, so every time we sit down, we have a great time. And we can't stop laughing and kidding. I am so lucky to have had him as my mentor. I can remember the first time I ever talked to him. It was a phone call to ask about the program at WSU. This was when I was deciding what PhD program to go to. Within 10 minutes of our 30 minute conversation, I knew that he was the man I needed to work with. He would show me how to do this thing, and I was right. He was and he has. I'm deeply and wonderfully indebted to Victor.

I was a respondent in B.08, a panel on socially just pedagogy done by three wonderful, young scholar-teachers, Carolyn Salazar Nunez, Danielle Bacigalupo, and Raquel Corona. It was a packed ballroom, and Carolyn, Danielle, and Raquel did a great job. I know, their students benefit so much from their thoughtful work. I was so honored to respond to their work that came out of my book. And of course, my dear friend, LuMing Mao was our chair, and he was his usual kind and warm self.

My own session, E.08 on the political economy of composition and the writing classroom, was equally packed. Bruce Horner and Tony Scott were my fellow panelists. There were some really smart questions too, one I'll be thinking about for a while had to do with how we might account for surplus value (something I didn't account for in my initial thinking of value and worth circulated in the classroom). Another had to do with loss in the cycle of production. Great questions.

The day ended with having a nice dinner with Bob Broad, his wife Julie, and their son, Dylan. I always love spending time with Bob. He is such a deeply thoughtful, kind, and thoroughly enjoyable man, the kind of man I still strive to be like. Our dinner was in a nice restaurant called The Noble Rot. Don't ask what that means or refers to. I don't know. I do know that the company was the best part of a very enjoyable meal. On our way out, we also bumped into Peter Elbow, who is still chugging along. Who doesn't love Peter?


Thursday, March 16, 2017

Day 1 - 4C17

Well, it's the first day of the conference and yesterday, the pre-conference day, was very good. Linda Adler-Kasner did a wonderful job managing our time in the EC meeting. With a full agenda, we finished 25 minutes early! And we got a lot of business done, some of which folks will hear about at the Town Hall on Saturday. So if you want to hear about some exciting news about Cs, come to the town hall meeting on Saturday morning!

Charlotte Hogg, Kelly Inoue, and Me
Yesterday ended by going out to dinner with Charlotte Hogg (TCU). Charlotte and I were both MA students together at Oregon State back in the early-mid 90s. We haven't had the good fortune to see much of each other over the years, but we have occasionally been lucky enough to get together. And like the other times, last night was just a wonderful way to end a good day, with an old, good friend. It felt like we never left each other.

We ate at Altabira City Tavern, which is on the 6th floor of the Hotel Eastlund. The food was good, the clam chowder was great, and the beer was so-so. I'm picky when it comes to beer. Their beer list looked good originally, but they were all thin tasting. I tried a flight of four:
The Commons Brewery – Urban Farmhouse Ale
Portland, OR | 5.3% | 32 IBUs | 16 oz     6 
Two Kilts Brewing Company – Scottish Ale
Sherwood, OR | 6.5% | 15 IBUs | 16 oz     6
Zoiglhaus Brewing Company – Zoiglator-Dopplebock
Portland, OR | 7.9% | 23 IBUs | 16 oz     6
Feckin Irish Brewing Company Irish Oatmeal Porter – Nitro
Oregon City, OR | 5.8% ABV | 32 IBUs | 16 oz     6
Anyone who knows me knows that I love Belgian beers and German beers, but they's got to be authentic. So you can imagine that I would be excited to try the farmhouse ale and the dopplebock. The better of the two was the dopplebock, but I was shocked at how thin, and one dimensional both the farmhouse ale and the scottish ale was. All the beers tasted like their brewers had an idea of these kinds of beers that was fixated on one aspect of the beer, and forgot about the complexity of them, the richness of what these beers could have been. Still, I got the dopplebock to drink, and it was drinkable. But the company was much better.

More later.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Bout ta Start . . . Stay Tuned

Well, I'm up and ready for my first day of 4C17, which is actually the pre-conference workshop day. I have an all-day Executive Committee meeting to attend, so I can't join any of the really great workshops offered this year. Portland is a city I know pretty well, as I lived in Oregon for some years back in college and just after. It is a wonderful city and has lots to offer visitors.

I won't lie. As I begin doing conference things already, my mind moves to next year's conference, the one I'll be running in Kansas City. I'm trying to stay right here, but I can't help think about things I'd like to do next year. But I shall put those ideas aside to enjoy all the hard work that Carolyn and many others have put into this conference.

BTW, if you are staying on the West side of the river (opposite side from the convention center), you can use your complimentary Max (light rail) passes to get to the convention center. It's about a 15 minute ride from Pioneer Square stops (seven stops). Take the Red line that heads to the airport.


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Heading to #4C17 in Portland

I'm going to try an experiment this year. I'll be blogging my experience at #4C17 in Portland. I'm going to try to do at least one post per day, likely in the evening after the day's events are over. I won't make it to many sessions this year, as I'm schedule is very full, but I thought this might be a good way to reflect on things, slow down my experience, be present more.

My wife and I are about to leave Gig Harbor and drive down to Portland. More soon . . .