WPA at MLA 2007: The Panels

WPA-Sponsored Panels at the
2007 Modern Language Association Convention
Chicago, Illinois, December 2007

The WPA Executive Board, and the committee on WPA at MLA (Dominic Delli Carpini, Chair, Joe Jananagelo, and Rita Malenczyk) are pleased to announce the following exciting and timely panels to be held at the 2007 MLA Conference in Chicago , Illinois . The panels address issues of concern for WPAs that have been raised at the 2006 and 2007 WPA Summer conferences.

In 2006, Past President of the WPA Chris Anson urged our membership to revitalize the important research agendas that have always been at the heart of our work, research that can then demonstrate to many publics what we have learned about the teaching and administration of writing. This topic is addressed in Panel 1. Chris Anson will act as a respondent for this panel.

At the 2007 WPA summer conference, the membership discussed its ongoing commitment to fair labor practices in the administration of writing programs. Panel 2 will offer discussions of programs that have attempted to address those issues.

We hope that many of you will be able to attend.

Panel 1: (Session #11) Current Research Agendas in Composition and Writing Program Administration

Thursday, 27 December: 3:30–4:45 p.m. , Columbus Hall G, Hyatt Regency Chicago

Presiding: Linda Adler-Kassner, Eastern Michigan Univ.

1. “The Search for ‘Replicable, Aggregable, and Data-Supported' Research: Rethinking What Actually Happens in Writing Center Tutorials,” Linda S. Bergmann, Purdue Univ. , West Lafayette ; Laurel Reinking, Purdue Univ. , West Lafayette

2. “But What Difference Can It Make? A Small-Scale Study of Course-Based Peer Tutoring,” Dara Rossman Regaignon, Pomona Coll.

3. “How Do Teaching Assistants Put Theory into Practice? Researching the Effectiveness of Teaching-Assistant Education in Composition,” E. Shelley Reid, George Mason Univ.

Respondent: Chris Anson, North Carolina State Univ.


Panel 2: (Session #219) Ethical Practices in Delivering Composition: Beyond Labor Problems to Labor Solutions

Friday, 28 December: 10:15–11:30 a.m. , Water Tower, Hyatt Regency Chicago

Presiding: Joseph M. Janangelo, Loyola Univ. , Chicago

1. “Permanent Lecturers: Somewhere Sideways of Tenure,” Douglas Hesse, Univ. of Denver

2. “Intervening in the Adjunctness of It All: Compensation for Adjunct Faculty Members Who Participate in Faculty Development,” Christine Faye Ross, Quinnipiac Univ.

3. “Passing on the Directorship of a Writing Center ,” Bradley T. Peters, Northern Illinois Univ.

4. “The Custom Textbook as Professional Development,” Kim McDonald, Univ. of New Orleans

WPA Social at the 2007 MLA Conference, December 28

To entice you further to join us in Chicago, WPA and Purdue University, the organization's institutional home, will be hosting a WPA Social at the MLA Conference , to which all WPA members are invited. Join us for great Cajun food and a cash bar on Friday evening, December 28 at Heaven on Seven ( 111 North Wabash Avenue, 7 th floor) from 5:30-7:30 . Details and a more formal invitation will be forthcoming.



I'm pasting in Lisa DeTora's note about two additional MLA sessions of interest (see below). Please post information about other sessions in comments here, so the information is all in one place..

Shirley K Rose Purdue University, Immediate Past President, Council of Writing Program Administrators

Lisa writes:

"I'm presiding over a roundtable session, which will be benefitted
greatly by WPA presence, as we're hoping to have a substantial
discussion period. One of my panelists is a former WPA and one teaches
writing in medical school.  They're really super scholars and teachers
and I hope some WPA folks can join us.

Thursday, 27 December

109. Making Medical Narrative Work in the English Classroom

7:00-8:15 p.m., Columbus Hall G, Hyatt Regency Chicago

A special session

Also, a friend is running a session on the teaching of writing:
Saturday, 29 December

646. Composition Theory and Writing Practice

9:00-10:15 p.m., Columbus Hall H, Hyatt Regency

Program arranged by the Division on the Teaching of Writing

Presiding: Mary R. Boland, California State Univ., San Bernardino

Lisa DeTora
Department of English
Asst Director of  the College Writing Program
Lafayette College
Easton PA 18042"

Irene Lietz has given me permission to post this notice about another session of interest to WPAs at MLA.

Shirley K Rose Purdue University, Immediate Past President, Council of Writing Program Administrators

Irene Lietz writes:

"A colleague and convener of my writing group, Katie Hogan, is part of a
panel that may be of particular interest to WPA as we consider how adjunct
faculty, TAs, and non-tenure track faculty are used to support programs
essential to the core functions of colleges and universities. It also has
implications for the ways service learning courses and
writing-across-the-curriculum efforts are handled in many places.

It's session #280 How the University Works: Higher Education and the Service
Economy. Katie's work is on "superservice" and is fascinating. The session
is on Fri Dec. 28 at 1:45pm."

Irene Lietz
English/Professional Writing Program
Carlow University
3333 Fifth Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15213


Pat Belanoff posted the following invitation on the WPA-L list serv (apologies for formatting discrepancies):

The Division on the Teaching of Writinginvites you to the following events

Friday, December 28, 3:30-4:45, Water Tower, Hyatt Regency

Assessing Writing Programs Presiding: Pat Belanoff, Stony Brook University

* Chris Walsh, Boston University: “The Common Examination: What We Have Learned.”
* Catherine A. Parilla, Fairleigh Dickinson University: “Writing Program Assessment through Portfolio Review.”
* Douglas Hesse, University of Denver: “What External Assessments of Writing Programs Can Do and Can’t.”

Saturday, December 29, 9-10:15, Columbus Hall H, Hyatt Regency

Composition Theory and Writing Practice

Presiding: Mary R. Boland, California State University, San Bernardino

- David Bleich, University of Rochester: “The Woods are Afire and We’re Pissing on Our Feet.”

- Patricia Harkin, University of Illinois, Chicago: “Composition Theory, Writing Practice, and the Service Agenda.”

- Scott Stevens, Western Washington University, “Practical Knowledge and Theory Hope: The Absence of Method in English Studies”

Sunday, December 30, 10:15-11:30, Plaza Ballroom B, Hyatt Regency

Roundtable: The Focus of First-Year Composition: Academic or Public Writing?

Presiding: Krista L. Ratcliffe, Marquette University

Speakers: Diana L. George, Virginia Polytechnic Inst. and State University; Deborah H. Holdstein, Columbia College, IL; Susan C. Jarratt, University of California, Irvine; Richard E. Miller, Rutgers University, New Brunswick; Susan Passler Miller, University of Utah

Saturday, December 29 5:15-6:30, Gold Cost, Hyatt Regency

Please join composition and rhetoric colleagues for some chat & cheer before dinner and our evening panel! Sponsored jointly by the Division on the Teaching of Writing and the Division on the History and Theory of Rhetoric and Composition.

Glo McMillan posted this announcement on the WPA-L listserv:


Hi, everyone!

I suggest this panel as relevant to many of your local institutions.

"The New Majority Faculty: A Kinetic Workforce"

8:30-9:45 AM     Friday   Dec. 28th
Room: Water Tower in Hyatt Regency Hotel

Program arranged by the Part-time Faculty Members Discussion Group.
Presiding: Gwendolyn Bradley, Am. Assoc. of Univ. Professors.

Copies of abstracts: klombart@eartlink.net

Hope to see you at this panel on the growing trend to adjunct out!

Glo McMillan


Shirley K Rose Purdue University, Immediate Past President, Council of Writing Program Administrators

Sid Dobrin posted his announcement of the ATTW sessions at MLA on the WPA list-serv

"I'd like to add that the ATTW sponsored panel

777. Professional and Technical Writing: Current Issues and Challenges

(1:45-3:00 Hyatt Regency, Sunday 12/30) (unfortunately at the same time as Writing
Empires II)

should be of interest to WPA folks, too. I will be speaking
specifically about the relationship between FYC courses and tech writing
courses in the increasingly corporate university from the perspective of
WPA issues. The other panelists will take up issues of ethics,
intellectual property, design, and globalization (Brian Ballentine, Case
Western) and reality-base approaches for preparing students (Jon Sidney
Mann, DePaul)."

Shirley K Rose Purdue University, Immediate Past President, Council of Writing Program Administrators

"Linda Bergmann asks about other sessions that might be of interest to
folks on WPA-L. I'd like to put in a plug for the following program,
which features presentations by a number of list-members:

183. Writing Empires I: Composition and the Expansion of English
Friday, 28 December, 8:30-9:45, New Orleans, Hyatt Regency

The program, which includes links to full papers, is available here:
http://www.case.edu/affil/sce/MLA_2007.htm . Society for Critical
Exchange sessions are designed to reserve 25 or 30 minutes for
discussion, so presentations are brief and conversations always rich.

Please do consider joining us for this panel, and for our linked
session 770 - Writing Empires II: Writing Histories and Theories on
Sunday afternoon, 1:45-3, in the Gold Coast Room of the Hyatt. The
full program for this second panel also links from the url above.

Safe travels to all!

All best,

Shirley K Rose Purdue University, Immediate Past President, Council of Writing Program Administrators