CFP: Council of Writing Program Administrators Conference

WPA 2013: Call for Proposals

Submit proposals by March 15, 2013 for expedited review; by April 26, 2013 for regular review.
The 2013 WPA Conference in Savannah will be one year away from the 2014 conference in Normal, Illinois. As we approach Normal, we'll take this opportunity in Savannah—city of gardens, Girl Scouts, ghosts--to consider what it means to be "normal" as a WPA, as a program, as a policy, or as an institution. The nineteenth-century école normale was formed to provide a model school with model classrooms and model teaching practices: teachers, student teachers, and students worked together to establish teaching standards (or "norms"). Today, in an era that herds students and teachers to conform to rigid sets of standards, it is crucial to examine what "normal" means and evaluate whether "normal" is what we want. Has education become more about discipline than about the messy process of knowledge-making that it "abnormally" is? 
We hope this conference will invigorate our thinking about the administrative possibilities of our writing programs and our writing classrooms. This WPA conference will call upon some of the key considerations of queer theory: acknowledging what, in the words of Amy Winans, we "cannot bear to know;" creating community, advocacy, and activism; arousing the desire to know; flirting with ideas; refusing "straight" (or linear) concepts, methods, and systems; discovering where and how normalcy exists and how it stultifies. We invite presentations, panels, and conversations that unsettle what we think we know about pedagogy, programming, and educational systems. Some possibilities:
  • How do our current institutionalized systems keep our students and teachers from fully comprehending (and thus managing) the educational process?
  • What do we not teach in our classrooms and how does that perpetuate ignorance?
  • What are the things about bureaucracy, education, and learning that we "cannot bear to know"?
  • How do we arouse our students' (and our colleagues') desire to know?
  • With what new ideas about administration should we flirt?
  • What "straight," linear concepts pervade our institutional systems and how do they inhibit teaching and learning?
  • What normativizing institutional policies should we identify and then provoke?
Submit proposals by March 15, 2013 for expedited review; by April 26, 2013 for regular review
For additional information on the WPA conference, click here.

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