2015 Conference on the Teaching of Writing

On Friday, March 27, 2015, the UConn First-Year Writing program held our tenth annual Conference on the Teaching of Writing, an event co-sponsored by the Aetna Chair of Writing and the University of Connecticut Humanities Institute. The conference’s theme was “Writing as Translation,” and addressed issues of translation in the broadest sense. Writers, teachers, and writing program administrators from institutions across the United States came together to discuss translation not only as the transitioning of a text from one language into another, but as a rendering of ourselves and others in writing—and to consider questions such as these:

  • How does the metaphor of translation, a mechanism for moving between language communities, points of view, and settings, open up new ways of thinking about our work?
  • To what degree does our writing involve “translating” other authors or creators?
  • How do we view relationships between cultural identity and writing, translingual writing and global “Englishes”?
  • How might we see cross‐disciplinary work as translation?
  • How do we take into account the multiple language lenses that inform academic conversations?
  • How do we help our students render and make use of difficult and challenging texts?
  • How do we conceive of authorship and positionality?
  • What are the ways in which writing‐as‐labor translates into value?
  • What does writing and the teaching of writing look like in 2015 and beyond, and how do we translate our work using the tools current in universities and culture?

Min-Zhan Lu and Bruce Horner, both of the University of Louisville, delivered a keynote address titled “Teaching Writing as Translation: A Translingual Approach” to our largest number of attendees ever. The conference concluded with a reception and roundtable discussion with Bruce Horner, Scott Campbell of First-Year Writing, Arash Zaghi from the UConn Engineering Department and Manuela Wagner from the UConn Languages Department.