Historical Symposium -- Call for Papers

Call for submissions for a Symposium on “History of Writing – National and Disciplinary Traditions” at EATAW conference, Coventry 30 June - 2 July 2009

1. Aim and scope of the Symposium

The objective of this Symposium is to continue the conversation on the diversity of national traditions in academic writing we started at the previous EATAW conference. What we are interested in are mainly the different writing cultures which have emerged within national systems of higher education. Writing cultures are connected with teaching and writing practices but also with basic teaching philosophies and conceptions of literacy. The roots of these cultures may reach as far back as the beginnings of university education in antiquity and the middle ages. Also of interest are studies of current changes in response to new directions in the teaching of writing or to educational reforms like the Bologna Process. Studies may focus on historical developments within a culture or approach cultures in a contrastive way so as to show their differences and commonalities.

2. List of possible studies to include in the Symposium

Following are four possible topics for presentation. Please note that these are not mutually exclusive. Presenters will be allotted 35 minutes, of which 20 to 25 will be for the presentation and the remainder for discussion.

• Writing practices and educational genres (like the writing of theses, seminar papers, dissertations, essays, examination assignments, reports) are of special interest as they tend to persist for long periods of time once they have been introduced into teaching and become part of the regulatory frameworks of the universities. Of interest is how writing practices and educational genres are introduced to teaching systems, then subsequently shaped and transformed in the course of history.

• Institutional and disciplinary writing cultures determine not only the degree of independence, time autonomy, and interest-oriented study that students are allowed but also whether and to what extent students are provided with learning-to-write opportunities. While writing is connected to the epistemological base of knowledge-production by disciplinary cultures, it is usually institutional cultures and study programs that determine the roles and responsibilities of student writers and learners and that provide support for them. Of interest are presentations that examine how these cultures develop, how they may be typified, and how they may work with or against each other.

• Transitions from secondary to higher education are managed differently in each educational culture. In some, we find a continuity of writing from school to university, in others a rupture where academic writing emerges as a completely new task. Of interest are presentations on forms of transitions, transition practices, expectations, problems, and their historical roots.

• Socialization of teachers: Teachers are both trained and socialized by higher education. Writing practices and philosophies acquired at university will be transmitted to school and persist at the level of secondary education. Of particular interest in this Symposium are presentations that consider how teaching modes in secondary and higher education are related and influence each other.

3. Contact and data of the organizers

Please send us a statement about your field of study and your proposal for a presentation no later than January 20 so that we can propose a Symposium to the EATAW conference with names and titles of presentations. Don’t hesitate to contact us for more information.

Otto Kruse, Zurich University of Applied Sciences, Department of Applied Linguistics. kreo@zhaw.ch

Judith Kearns, University of Winnipeg, Department of Rhetoric, Writing, and Communication j.kearns@uwinnipeg.ca

Brian Turner, University of Winnipeg, Department of Rhetoric, Writing, and Communication b.turner@uwinnipeg.ca