The Michigan State University Center for Research on Writing in a Digital Environment and the Eastern Michigan University Written Communication program invite you (faculty, graduate and undergraduate students, teachers, community members, anyone interested) to propose ideas that will seed the fourth (mostly annual), free** WIDE-EMU (un)conference on Saturday, October 10, 2015 in East Lansing, Michigan (Twitter hashtag #wideemu). Proposals should engage this year's framing question:

Is ____ writing?

What counts as writingThe definition of what we consider to be writing is constantly shifting, evolving, and expanding. Writing classrooms now ask students to work with social media, web design, data visualization, image manipulation, and a myriad of other artifacts and practices. The question is: can we call any of those activities writing? How does writing relate to audio, visual, digital, and multimodal composing processes? How do we situate writing in the classroom, especially when students increasingly engage in the production of artifacts that feature a range of modes (textual, visual, sonic, haptic, digital, and more)? Is writing different from or similar to making? Should multimodal making be considered writing? What are the institutional and disciplinary pressures for claiming writing? Who has the agency to claim what is/isn't writing? What are the implications of assigning writing to all forms of making? What discourses do we construct and perpetuate by claiming the act of writing? In an age of digital consumption and production, how do we prepare students for complex work that goes far beyond the act of writing?

We invite proposals around these and related themes in the form of "Talks," "Dos," and "Makes" between now and August 30, 2015.  Then we'll engage in phase two, "respond," where we'll ask proposers and presenters to post something online that expands on their initial proposal.

Since the theme of this year's (un)conference looks to expand the definition of writing, we encourage proposals to take the form that presenters best feel represents their work.

Finally we'll (un)confer on Saturday, October 10, on the campus of Michigan State University. 

Featuring plenary speaker/activity: TBD

Phase One: Propose
Now until August 30

Once again, we are calling for three types of sessions:  Talk, Do, and Make.  For more elaboration on the three session types and to submit your proposal, visit the WIDE-EMU Conference Proposal Form.

Sessions will be 70-minutes and should be planned to allow at least 30 minutes for discussion. In keeping with the loose structure of an unconference, we will schedule open sessions to allow for an emergent program (e.g., those who want to convene spontaneous sessions on October 10).

Curious about how the conference worked in previous years? Visit the WIDE-EMU '12 site or WIDE-EMU '13 site.
Phase Two: Respond
August 30 through September 25

Once we get a sense of interest for the different types of sessions, the organizers/instigators (that'd be Jack Hennes and Howard Fooksman) will assemble proposers into Make-Talk-Do sessions.  We will also contact proposers to initiate Phase Two, during which presenters will post something online that expands upon the proposal. What exactly this "something online" looks like is WIDE-EMU open: a blog entry, a slidedeck, a podcast, a video, etc. You could also think of this as a teaser or a preview for your session and a few of its key provocations. Plan to post your "something online" before September 25, 2015.
Phase Three: (Un)confer
Saturday, October 10

The big day, the (un)conference itself, which will be held in on the campus of Michigan State University in Bessey Hall.

8:45-9:10 a.m. Coffee and Anticipatory Tweeting (#wideemu)
9:10-10:20 a.m. Session A
10:20-10:30 a.m. Break
10:30-11:40 a.m. Session B
11:40 a.m.-11:50 a.m. Break
11:50 a.m.-1:20 Lunch and Keynote
1:30-2:40 p.m. Session C
2:40-2:50 p.m. Break
2:50-4:00 Session D
4:00-6:30 p.m. #beerrhetorics at TBA
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