Conversations Toward Action

Join us in Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love, July 11-18!

Theory into practice? Talk into motion? Ideas into actualization? Whatever label you use, WPA 2010 is intended to bring together participants for a lively, invigorating, and supportive series of sessions and activities designed to help us move from conversation toward action.

Join us for all or part of a week workshops, institutes, and presentations that will foster conversation, connection, and shared thinking about how to put ideas into motion.

The week begins with pre-conference activities from Sunday, July 11 to Thursday, July 15, and the conference opens Thursday evening, July 15.

The WPA Conference (Thursday, July 15 - Sunday, July 18)

For this year’s conference, we invite a variety of different presentation formats, all intended to facilitate conversations toward action.

Featured plenary speakers, who will also raise and help us think through issues at the core of our work as writing teachers and program directors, include:

  • Keith Gilyard, Pennsylvania State University (July 15)
  • Michael Delli Carpini, The Annenberg School/University of Pennsylvania (July 16)
  • Joseph Janangelo, Loyola University-Chicago (July 17)

As always, registration costs include most meals and two special activities:

  • Friday, July 16, 2010 - Composition Blues Band - Live in Philadelphia!
  • Saturday, July 17, 2010 (5:30 pm to 8:00 pm) - WPA Outing to the Independence Seaport Museum

The WPA Workshop (Sunday, July 11 - Wednesday, July 14)

An intensive, hands-on experience facilitated by notables Carol Rutz and Irwin (Bud) Weiser.

One of three WPA 2010 Institutes (Thursday, July 15)

  • Making Connections/Building Alliances: Working With Media to Support Our Writing Programs (Dominic Delli Carpini, York College of PA and Darsie Bowden, DePaul University)
  • The Revolution Will be (Live) in the Writing Center: Making Community Connections Through the Center (Hannah Ashley, West Chester University of PA and David Jolliffe, University of Arkansas)
  • Getting Serious about Social Media: Starting a Conversation about Writing Programs & Lifelong Learning in Writing (Bill Hart-Davidson and Jeff Grabill, both of Michigan State University) (this institute will take place at the Temple University Writing Center)

Each institute blends presentation, discussion, and hands-on activities to develop strategies to bring back to your course, program, or center.

When you’re not involved with WPA activities, there will be lots to see and do within easy walking distance of the conference hotel, the Society Hill Sheraton. Situated in Old City, one of Philadelphia’s hippest neighborhoods, the hotel is surrounded by shops, restaurants, and sights. The hotel is also a short stroll from the cobblestone streets of America’s most historic square mile, featuring sites such as Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell.

Philadelphia, PA - The City of Brotherly Love

Call for Proposals   Register for the Workshop, Institutes, and Conference

The deadline has passed, and proposals are no longer being accepted. Thanks to everyone who submitted a proposal.

Travel and Directions

  • Air travel: The closest airport is the Philadelphia International Airport (PHL).
  • Train: Amtrak arrives at Philadelphia's 30th Street Station. From there, you can take the SEPTA Market-Frankford Line to the hotel (see below).
  • Driving directions: Take Interstate 95 (from the airport, you will be taking 95 North) to Exit 20 (Columbus Boulevard). Turn left at the traffic light onto Columbus. Turn left at the sixth light, for Dock Street. Turn right at the stop sign. The hotel is on the right-hand side.
  • Bus: Megabus serves the Northeast Corridor with a variety of (very) low-cost options.
  • Train or shuttle from the Philadelphia International Airport: You can take the SEPTA R1 Airport Regional Train to 30th Street Station (a 15-minute ride), and then take the Market-Frankford Line (toward Frankford) to 2nd Street (a 7-minute ride). From there, walk two blocks to the hotel at 2nd and Walnut. For shuttles, WPAers report success with Lady Liberty Shuttle (about $10 from the airport to the hotel). To get a shuttle, go to the shuttle desk at the ground transportation area of the airport.
    Conference Chair
    Linda Adler-Kassner,
    Philadelphia-Specific Questions
    Eli Goldblatt,

    WPA 2010 is hosted locally by the
    Philadelphia Writing Program Administrators,
    the oldest and largest regional affiliate of WPA.

2010 Workshop for WPAs

Join new, prospective, and continuing administrators of all varieties of writing programs—including FYC, writing centers, WAC, ESL, and basic writing—in three and a half days of workshopping and conversation addressing the theoretical, curricular, and political demands of our work.

Topics will include:

  • What is a WPA?
  • Institutional Relationships and Politics
  • Directing Writing Programs at Different Types of Institutions
  • Program Design, Outcomes, and Goals
  • Hiring Practices, Faculty Development, and Faculty Evaluation
  • Student and Program Assessment
  • Understanding Budgets
  • Developing and Articulating Relationships with WAC Programs
  • Researching and Networking as a WPA

Participants will gather Sunday afternoon, July 11, meet daily through Wednesday afternoon, July 14, and will have the opportunity to consult individually with workshop leaders in the evenings. In the workshop, participants will be encouraged to raise issues from their own professional situations, which have in the past included liberal arts colleges, two-year colleges, regional and flagship state universities, and major research institutions.

Workshop Leaders

Carol Rutz has directed Carleton College's writing program since 1997, where she teaches writing and provides leadership for Carleton's robust faculty development program. At Carleton, WAC faculty development involves a partnership with a learning and teaching center as well as a number of assessment and cross-cutting literacy programs such as quantitative reasoning and the use of images in argument. Rutz regularly presents at professional conferences (AAC&U, CCCC, NCTE, RSA, WPA, and others) and publishes on writing assessment, responding to student writing, and assessment of faculty development. She consults frequently at campuses interested in WAC, assessment, and faculty development. She is past secretary of CCCC and a recent member of the WPA Executive Board.


Irwin (Bud) Weiser, Professor of English at Purdue University, has served as Director of Composition and Head of the Department of English, and in 2009-2010, as Interim Dean of the College of Liberal Arts. He teaches graduate courses in contemporary composition theory, writing across the curriculum, composition research methods, and writing assessment, as well as undergraduate composition courses. Weiser has been a member of the Executive Board of the Council of Writing Program Administrators and of the Executive Committee of the Conference on College Composition and Communication and has been a member of the editorial board of WPA and CCC. He has previously co-led the WPA annual summer workshop in 2004 and 2005. With Shirley K Rose, he has co-edited The WPA as Theorist (2002) and the WPA as Researcher (1999) (Heinemann/Boyton-Cook) and Going Public: What Writing Programs Learn from Engagement (Utah State UP, 2010), and with Kathleen Blake Yancey, Situating Portfolios (Utah State UP, 1997).

WPA 2010: The Institutes

WPA 2010 features three day-long Institutes that reflect the conference theme, Conversations Toward Action. These institutes will blend presentation, discussion, and lots of hands-on activities; by the end of each, participants will emerge with terrific strategies for taking actions on their campuses and in their local communities.

Getting Serious about Social Media: Starting a Conversation about Writing Programs & Lifelong Learning in Writing

Bill Hart-Davidson
(Michigan State University)
Jeff Grabill
(Michigan State University)

Social software has made possible a number of important shifts that are important for writers, writing teachers, and writing programs. Social software has made it possible to rethink the idea of "creating conversations" in writing and among those in writing programs. For instance, social software makes more accessible certain behaviors and practices (e.g., connecting, sharing, remixing), making it easier to collaborate and engage in writing work that used to require large organizations and infrastructure to complete. Or consider how important it is for writers to listen, to remix, to achieve "rhetorical velocity." Each is a dynamic made easier and in some cases possible by social software. (This institute will take place in the Temple University Writing Center [where all participants will have computer access]. Transportation to and from the Sheraton Society Hill will be provided and is included in registration cost.)

View Complete Details of this Institute

Making Connections/Building Alliances: Working with the Media to Support our Writing Programs

Darsie Bowden
(DePaul University)
Dominic Delli Carpini
(York College of PA)

This institute is designed to give WPAs hands-on practice working with local and national media toward framing and delivering messages that support the work of writing programs. Participants will leave this institute with concrete strategies for building alliances with media outlets and for putting a face upon our work that will be interesting to members of the wider public.

View Complete Details of this Institute

The Revolution Will be (Live) in the Writing Center: Making Community Connections Through the Center

Hannah Ashley
(West Chester University of PA)
David Jolliffe
(University of Arkansas)

While service learning and community outreach programs are growing in formal educational settings, it remains rare to cross knowledge borders between community literacy work and universities, most especially when the knowledge begins its flow from community to university.

View Complete Details of this Institute