2016 Conference on the Teaching of Writing

On Friday, March 25, 2016, the UConn First-Year Writing program held our eleventh 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 “Public Subjects and the Digital Realm” and issues of writing with digital tools and in digital, often public spaces were at the forefront of the conference. Alexander Reid of the University at Buffalo delivered our keynote speech: “Composing with Deliberate Speed: Writing Future Digital Publics.” Reid’s talk imported Object-oriented ontology to help us consider the ways that digital tools and spaces necessarily shape the way our students communicate now and will communicate in the future. Reid argued “We do not yet know how to live in a digital media ecology,” suggesting that we who work and teach in the realm of communication think of ourselves as explorers in a developing, ever-shifting new space ripe for multi-modal expression and public sharing. Presenters were asked to submit proposals responding to the following questions:

  • How do students work in, with, and against their writing environments, digital or otherwise?
  • What is the relationship between public and academic discourse? How might the teaching of writing speak to this relationship?
  • Is composition pedagogy designed to serve the democratic imperative of deliberative discourse? Should it be?
  • How do digital public spaces shape our students’ rhetorical awareness?
  • What does it mean to make student work public—and why, or to what extent, would we want to do this?
  • How might digital tools and spaces serve collaborative student projects in composition courses?
  • How do we negotiate different teaching models rooted in networked or in-person spaces?

Find the full program for the 2016 conference here: 2016 Conference on the Teaching of Writing Program.