2022 Call for Proposals

Proposal Form

The Virginia Tech Center for Rhetoric in Society, University Writing Program, and Rhetoric and Writing PhD Program invite writing and rhetoric students, faculty, and interested community members to propose presentations related to this year's Corridors: The Blue Ridge Writing and Rhetoric Conference. We seek proposals that engage, explore, or extend this year's theme, writing changes: remaking rhetoric in times of uncertainty. Corridors is a free one-day conference, which will be held Saturday, October 1, 2022, in Blacksburg, Virginia.

In 2020, the theme of Virginia Tech’s Corridors conference was making rhetoric. This conference was planned for a face-to-face experience and then moved completely online that summer. We couldn’t possibly have known then just how much a global pandemic would change the writing we do and the rhetorics we make—and now remake. The theme of the 2022 Corridors conference, writing changes, encourages all of us to explore the ways in which we have adapted and remade our research methods, rhetorical approaches, composing processes, and writing pedagogies in response to the uncertainties of the past few years.

In times of uncertainty, the world around us changes our ways of writing as much as our writing changes the world around us. The nature of writing changes in response to new constraints forced upon us by uncertainty. The act of writing changes our understanding of uncertainty and helps us adapt. The effect of writing changes the material world and creates new spaces in which we can thrive despite uncertainty. Recent uncertainties in public health, democratic processes, and international relations, among other things, have forced many of us to remake rhetoric and writing into arts emphasizing change, adaptation, and resiliency. These uncertainties have also changed the relationship between writing and the production of knowledge.

Writing changes in times of uncertainty, and so do pedagogies, especially when we teach composition, professional communication, and rhetoric. Class discussions have become Zoom meetings. Writing to understand has become writing to cope. Emerging technologies enable remote collaboration while personal interactions are veiled by masks. The uncertainties emerging from the pandemic, the war in Europe, and the recent threats to democracies everywhere have all affected the modes and purposes of both writing and teaching at every level. These modes and purposes will become integral to our future research, writing, and teaching even after the present uncertainties fade and new ones emerge.

Thus, we invite 200 (or so) word proposals for presentations that explore one or more of the following prompts:

In times of uncertainty…
  • How does writing transform the world?
  • What rhetorics need to be remade, and remade into what?
  • How do we use writing to adapt and change ourselves?
  • Have the subjects we write about changed?
  • How do personal writing practices change?
  • Have new technologies changed the way we and our students write?
  • How have new technologies changed the way we teach writing?
  • Are writers more collaborative or more isolated?
  • Have community-based writing and research changed?
  • How have our methods of knowledge production changed?

Proposals may respond to the conference theme or question(s) using one of the following session formats (all sessions will be 70 minutes with at least 20 minutes reserved for discussion):

  • Panel Presentation: 3 presentations of 13-15 minutes each on a specific theme or question.
  • Individual Presentation: 13-15-minute presentation (that will be combined into a panel by conference organizers).
  • Making Session/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: 13-15 minutes of introductory framing by the leader(s), followed by a facilitated discussion among participants and attendees (up to eight participants).

Propose panels, presentations, workshops, and roundtables through the form below before May 31, 2022:

Proposal Form

Notices of acceptance to the conference program will be sent by July 1, 2022. Registration will remain open until September 23, 2022. The conference will be held on October 1, 2022.

Corridors: The Blue Ridge Rhetoric and Writing Conference is free in that we will not charge 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. Please create your own name tag or re-use an old name tag from another conference you have attended. As an alternative, we have prepared a name tag template for you to customize in Photoshop, if you wish. 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).