2019 Call for Proposals

The Virginia Tech Composition Program, Rhetoric and Writing PhD Program, and Center for Rhetoric in Society invite you (faculty, graduate and undergraduate students, teachers, community members, anyone interested) to propose ideas toward the first Corridors Conference to be held in the Blue Ridge region. Corridors: The Blue Ridge Writing and Rhetoric Conference is a free* one-day conference, which will be held Saturday, September 21, 2019, in Blacksburg, Virginia.

Proposals should relate to this year’s theme, Rhetoric and Writing Studies: Dappled Discipline/Dappled Methods/Dappled Pedagogies.

Janice Lauer’s germinal work “Composition Studies: Dappled Discipline” (1984) referred to the dappled nature of the work we do in rhetoric and writing studies, rightly claiming that “[we have] maintained from the beginning what a number of disciplines are just starting to admit—that many of their most important problems can be properly investigated only with multiple research methods” (25-26). Arguably that beginning was more than three decades ago, and since then, we have continued to invite mixing, blending, recombination, and eclecticism with our research methods, our pedagogies, and our disciplinary nomenclature (i.e., Composition Studies, Studies in Rhetoric, Rhetoric & Writing, and Writing Studies).

This year’s Corridors: Blue Ridge asks presenters and attendees to consider together just how sufficiently that dappledness is holding up in the contexts of research, teaching, and disciplinary initiation. Certainly rhetoric and writing scholars continue to borrow, adapt, and recombine influences as they weave from interdisciplinary knowledges. The work of the field, at its best, strives to deepen understandings of—and take risks with—research methodologies and pedagogies shaped by myriad influences in and beyond the academy. While this patchwork was implied as a positive in the early years of the discipline’s formation, such borrowing and recombining also bears out limitations. With this context to orient its theme, this year’s conference asks presenters to consider the following questions:

  • How, exactly, is dappledness operating in your teaching, your research, or in your inquiry into the contemporary disciplinary landscape?
  • What does it take to be an effective dappler in the twenty-first century? How is dappling differently available to first-time researchers, newer teachers, or disciplinary initiates than it is to those with more experience?
  • What is the relationship between dappling and interdisciplinary or transdisciplinary scholarly and pedagogical activity?
  • What are the alternatives to dappled methods, dappled teaching, and dappled disciplinary identities? How are such alternatives operating powerfully in and beyond the academy?
  • What are some of the risks of dappling, particularly in pedagogical contexts, leading to confusion or mixed messages, potentially?
  • How and why are you borrowing, blending, or otherwise mixing divergent influences on your work? What are some of the consequences of this patchiness?
  • What are the limitations of dappledness for rhetoric and writing now?

We invite 150-word proposals that respond to the conference theme or question(s) using one of the following session formats (all sessions will be 70 minutes):

  • Panel Presentation: 3 presentations of 15 minutes each on a specific theme or question.
  • Individual Presentation: 15-minute presentation (that will be combined into a panel by program chairs).
  • Workshop: A participatory session that engages attendees in active learning related to the conference theme or question. Proposals should be explicit about the activity and the anticipated takeaways for attendees.
  • Roundtable Discussion: 15 minutes of introductory framing by the leader(s), followed by a facilitated discussion among attendees.

We are especially interested in proposals that briefly contextualize research and teaching questions related to dappledness (understood broadly) and that also express succinctly what presenters believe attendees will take away from the session.

Phase One: Propose

Phase Two: Expand

Phase Three: Gather

Deadline: May 15, 2019 Deadline: August 31, 2019 September 21, 2019
Sessions will be 70 minutes and should be planned to allow at least 20 minutes for discussion. Notices of acceptance to the program will be sent by June 15, 2019. During Phase Two, we will organize proposals into sessions and draft a provisional conference schedule. We will also send reminders about Phase Two, which asks proposers to expand, develop, or elaborate upon the proposal. Phase Two: Expand asks proposers to put a finer point on the session, generating a fuller sense of the presentation/workshop/roundtable in an online space, such as Google Docs, YouTube, a blog, or some other platform of your choosing. During Phase Two, we will invite registration for the event, urging presenters and participants to submit a link to their Phase Two: Expand materials with registration. The conference itself will be held on September 21, 2019 in Shanks Hall on Virginia Tech’s campus in Blacksburg, Virginia.

Proposal Form

* “free,” sort of.

That’s right—Corridors: The Blue Ridge is a free conference in that we will not be charging any registration fee. But keeping things free requires a do-it-yourself spirit. We ask that you print a copy of the schedule and program from the web site before coming and bring your own name tag. We have prepared a name tag template for you to customize in Photoshop, or you can re-use an old name tag from another conference you have attended. You are also on your own for all beverages, food, and lodging (for those who wish to stay instead of making it a truly one-day experience).