Call for Proposals: WPA Sessions at the MLA 2009 Convention

Call for Proposals: WPA Sessions at MLA December, 2009 Philadelphia, PA.

The WPA Executive Board and the committee on WPA at MLA (Joe Janangelo (Chair), Jeff Andelora, Duane Roen, and Susan Thomas) invite 150-word proposals for individual presentations contributing to two panels to be held at the December 27-30, 2009 convention of the Modern Language Association in Philadelphia, PA.

Proposals for either panel must be received no later than March 9, 2009. Proposals should be sent via "Word" email attachment to Joe Janangelo, Please write in the subject line "MLA Proposal."

Panel 1: The Impact of Obama's Rhetorical Strategies

During the 2008 presidential campaign opponents pointed to Barack Obama's impressive rhetorical skills, but they claimed that those skills may have camouflaged a lack of substance in the candidate's proposals for a presidential agenda. Since the election, many have continued to examine Obama's rhetorical prowess--in both his words and actions.

Even though the President's rhetoric is much discussed in many spheres, it is of particular interest to writing program administrators and teachers, who want students to be savvy consumers and users of language--and to understand its role in various communication contexts. Therefore, we invite proposals for presentations that address questions such as the following:

• What are the most salient features of Obama's rhetoric?
• How can writing teachers use Barack Obama's rhetorical performances as classroom materials?
• How can WPAs use Obama's rhetorical strategies in their own interactions with university administrators, colleagues, the general public, and/or other audiences?

Panel 2: "WPA Work in Community College Contexts"

We invite proposals for presentations that identify and value WPA work in community-college contexts. While all approaches are welcome, some possible topics include: case studies of successful programs, ethnographic descriptions of administrative arrangements and work, accounts of professional development opportunities, descriptions of innovative assessment projects, and discussions of the development and implementation of course outcomes, including perhaps the revised "WPA Outcomes Statement."

You may also consider questions such as the following:

• What are the dominant myths about WPA work in relation to community colleges?
• Can one define WPA work in community-college contexts? Are those definitions largely contextual, or is there larger consensus?
• Is consensus about guiding philosophies, best practices, or hiring arrangements desirable? Why?
• What can WPAs at four-year schools learn by studying the teaching, scholarship, and service of community-college faculty, students, and staff?