Monday, December 6, 2010

March 18-19, 2011

SUNY Council on Writing Annual Conference
Binghamton University, State University of New York 
March 18-19, 2011

Building 21st Century Writing Programs:
Literacy and Leadership in the New Millennium
As we move into the second decade of the 21st century, writing programs are changing: we are rethinking connections between technology and learning; reexamining assumptions about the writing process; redesigning curricula to respond to multilingual learners; reconceptualizing networks with campus writing centers, educational opportunity programs, and student support services; reimagining the relationship between organized labor and writing program administration; and reforging writing and rhetoric's place within the humanities.

The home of a newly independent writing program built to support an extraordinarily diverse student body, Binghamton University is proud to host the 2011 Conference of the SUNY Council on Writing. As we convene in New York's Southern Tier, we invite participants to share models for “Building 21st Century Writing Programs”—that is, writing programs committed to expanded conceptions of literacy, progressive institutional reform, and new directions in the humanities. We welcome proposals that consider a range of questions related to the conference theme, including:
  • How are new areas of specialization within writing studies―such as new media studies, creative writing studies, and writing program administration, among others―influencing our programs and the field at large?
  • How are writing programs reshaping curricula to speak to emerging theories of writing instruction, including reconfigured understandings of the writing process, expanded notions of genre and genre theory, and emerging discourses on critical race, class, and gender studies?
  • How are writing programs addressing the needs of students who grow up using non-privileged varieties of English, and how can we create support systems that meet the varying needs of international ESL learners, residential ESL learners, and monolingual language learners?
  • How are writing programs creating more ethical working conditions for instructors of all ranks? What tactics have unions, administrators, and instructors used to improve the conditions of our work, and what kinds of labor advocacy have we neglected to imagine?
  • How is the changing face of the humanities influencing classroom teaching and scholarly practice, what leadership lessons can independent writing programs teach us, and how might we build a “New Humanities” that is both responsive to the demands of a new era and true to the principles of humanistic education and inquiry?


Is Freshman Composition Still a Middle-Class Enterprise?
A 21st Century Update”
 Professor Lynn Bloom, University of Connecticut
Lynn Z. Bloom is Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor and Aetna Chair of Writing at the University of Connecticut since 1988, where she teaches composition studies, autobiography, creative nonfiction, and―recently―disability studies. She has served as president of the Council of Writing Program Administrators and on MLA and CCCC executive committees. She has received research awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities, National Council of Teachers of English, the US Department of Agriculture, and UConn. The author of over twenty-five books, including Writers Without Borders: Writing and Teaching Writing in Troubled Times, Dr. Bloom’s keynote will revisit her 1996 “Freshman Composition as a Middle-Class Enterprise.” Although middle class values endure in composition courses, current developments in technology and social media are transforming the way we read, think, conduct research, and write.

Forging the New Humanities”
 Professor Kurt Spellmeyer, Rutgers University
Kurt Spellmeyer, a Professor at Rutgers University, has directed the Writing Program there for the last twenty-five years. His books include Common Ground: Dialogue, Understanding and the Teaching of Writing, for which he received the Winterowd Award, Arts of Living: Reimagining the Humanities for the Twenty-first Century, and Buddha at the Apocalypse. He is also the editor of The New Humanities Reader. Addressing the reductionism of free-market ideology, Dr. Spellmeyer's plenary will argue for a new humanities: on the one hand, this new humanities will seek to preserve the rich variety of discursive traditions now under threat by market ideology; on the other hand, it will require a “fractious holism” that aspires to connect the discrete domains of knowledge held apart by the legacy of high modernism.

Paper proposals should not exceed 200 words; panel proposals should not exceed 400 words; all proposals should include the title of the paper or panel, an abstract of individual presentations, technology needs, and contact information for all presenters. We welcome papers and panels by educators of all ranks, including K-12 teachers, graduate students, and undergraduate peer tutors. All participants should seek to foster dialogue among audience members. Sessions will run 90 minutes, with 2-8 speakers per panel. Only electronic proposals in “.doc” or “.pdf” format can be accepted. Forward proposals by January 28, 2011 to:
To be listed in the program, presenters must preregister upon acceptance. Electronic registration will open in February 2011, and fees will range from $55-$75.

Conference Site Address:
Binghamton University Downtown Center
67 Washington Street
Binghamton, NY 13902

Conference Hotel Address:
Holiday Inn, Downtown Binghamton
2-8 Hawley Street
Binghamton, NY 13901
(607) 722-1212

The Downtown Center is adjacent to the Holiday Inn. Free parking will be available. For more information, contact:

Mark Brantner, Conference Liaison, Interim Director of First-Year Writing
Visiting Assistant Professor of Writing and Rhetorics
Kelly Kinney, Conference Chair, Director of First-Year Writing
Assistant Professor of English, General Literature and Rhetoric: