Mid-America Writing Program Administrators 2008 Fall Conference

Mid-America Writing Program Administrators
Biennial Fall Conference and Conversations on 21st Century Literacies
Think Regionally - Act Locally: Shared Challenges – Divergent Settings
October 24, 2008 - University of Missouri-St. Louis

Keynote Speaker: David A. Jolliffe
Brown Chair in English Literacy and Professor of English, Professor of Curriculum and Instruction, University of Arkansas: “Local Literacy Outreach Blossoms in Arkansas”

Conference Announcement: Regional Networking Opportunity
The Mid-America Writing Program Administrators (maWPA), a regional affiliate of the national Council for Writing Program Administrators, invites writing professionals from community colleges, four-year colleges, and universities to convene in St. Louis, Missouri on October 24, 2008, for a day of panel discussions and focused dialogues. We know that all writing programs face common challenges, but local circumstances constrain the responses available to instructors and administrators as well as the ways to envision future goals. Guided by this concept of diversity within commonality, we expect to
• explore common issues,
• network with other writing program teachers and administrators,
• share strategies, research, and classroom practice with colleagues, and
• explore issues surrounding 21st century literacies.
Since sharing knowledge (local/global) helps us all, but shrinking budgets make national conference travel difficult for many, we offer this regional conference as a viable alternative.

Travel Support
Because of generous funding from the University of Missouri-Columbia, we are able to offer modest travel support for community college instructors. Arrangements for support will be made at a later date.

Given the organization’s main function, to provide a site for regional networking among WPAs and writing instructors, the conference planners are interested in proposals that explore the WPA role in multiple institutional settings, especially those that dominant, national conversations might ignore. We are also interested in discussions of the literacies our students will need in the 21st centuries. Topics of interest might be
• “Who Does the Lone Composition Specialist Look to for Support?”
• “Open Source, Flexible Classroom Technology: How to Beat the Corporations”
• “Writing Program Administrators Who Work without the Title: Successes and Problems”
• “Solving Articulation Problems: Community Colleges and Four-Year Institutions”
• “Researched Writing instead of The Research Paper: Changing Instructor Practices”
• “Electronic Essay-Scoring Software: Seduction, Reality, and Responses to Administrative Pressures”
• “Visual Ethnographies”
• “Global English”
• “21st Century Graduate Programs in Composition: How to Design Them”

Session Design
To increase regional networking opportunities, we have also set aside time for what we are calling Dialogue Sessions. Each Dialogue Session will involve participants in small-group discussion of issues and will function more as a roundtable discussion or a work-group. Topics of these Dialogue Sessions will be available later, and participants may sign up for them when they register for the conference. Please propose
• an individual presentation (15 minutes)
• a panel discussion (50 minutes)
• a workshop or roundtable discussion (50 minutes)
• topic for a Dialogue Session (conference planners will find Dialogue Session facilitators, organize the Sessions, and announce them in advance of the conference date)
Proposals should be 300-500 words. Dialogue Session topic proposals may be as brief as a sentence. Both are due June 1st. Please send paper or electronic proposals to
Suellynn Duffey, maWPA Conference Co-Chair
University of Missouri-St. Louis
8001 Natural Bridge Rd.
St. Louis, MO 63121
Or visit our forthcoming conference website. For further information, please contact Suellynn Duffey duffeys@umsl.edu or William Klein bill_klein@umsl.edu.