Corridors Detroit, 2017

The Great Lakes Writing and Rhetoric Conference @ Wayne State University

The Wayne State University Rhetoric and Composition Program invites you to propose ideas (little and big) for the inaugural Corridors: The Great Lakes Writing and Rhetoric Conference. This conference emerged from and reimagines the WIDE-EMU (un)conference co-sponsored by the Eastern Michigan University Written Communication program and the Michigan State University Center for Research on Writing, Information, and Digital Experience from 2012-2016. An (un)conference is like most other conferences, only this one is FREE (!) to attend. To keep the conference sustainable, a DIY disposition is embraced by organizers and encouraged in attendees. One small example of such a disposition might be to reuse a name tag from another conference. Or you might print out your own name badge from a template.

When does Writing Happen?

The question orienting this year’s relaunching of the WIDE-EMU conference as Corridors emerged from discussions about the various ways we make meaning from the contemporary moment. The time for ____ is ripe: resistance, interference, action, occupation, change, engagement, and so on. Our conversations about “the times” and writing came at a point in the semester when the literal time to write anything felt constrained, limited, or frustratingly bifurcated. The composition of this call for proposals, for instance, was written in short notes to capture conversations, during commutes to and from campus, in between offices, outside, at the threshold of doorways, and in various media from social media channels to collaborative writing spaces. In our pedagogies and scholarship, compositional frameworks foreground issues of time in process models, and rhetorical traditions deploy concepts such as kairos, chronos, and exigence to puzzle through the when of writing. In "Argument as Emergence, Rhetoric as Love,” Jim Corder considers the ways invention unbinds time; in Embodied Literacies: Imageword and a Poetics of Teaching, Kristie Fleckenstein considers felt senses of time and affect-laden embodiment in writing experiences; and Kathleen Blake Yancey’s 2004, 4Cs keynote, “Made Not Only in Words: Composition in a New Key,” offers the repeated refrain, “We have a moment,” as a reminder that time and timeliness are enduring features of rhetorical theory, composition pedagogy, and practical action.

We invite proposals around these and related themes in the form of "Talks," "Dos," and "Makes" between now and August 15, 2017. 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 Sep. 30.)

Proposals may consider any number of questions and themes related to the when of writing, though potential starting points include the following questions:

    • What makes us ready to actually write? When do we move from thinking to writing?
    • When is writing imperative? What compels us to compose responses?
    • When is what is happening actually considered writing?
    • What time markers exist in our writing processes? How does attending to time impact the way we write?
    • When we are made to write (when we must do it on the spot), what helps us get pen to paper or text to screen?
    • What spaces afford us the opportunity to write anytime?

After the proposal phase, we'll engage in phase two, "respond," where we'll ask proposers and presenters to post something online that expands on their initial proposal. Much like in past years, we encourage proposals to take the form that presenters best feel represents their work.

If you are interested in attending Corridors but do not wish to present, we ask that you complete a brief registration form by Sept. 15 to help the organizers in their planning.

Finally we'll (un)confer on Saturday, September 30, on the campus of Wayne State University.

Phase Descriptions