In 2019, the last time our TYCA-Southwest membership met together in person, our keynote speaker, Dr. Cristina Cedillo (University of Houston-Clear Lake), highlighted the reality that embodied experiences are always already part of the classroom. Our pedagogies therefore must acknowledge the way that bodies situate writers in communities and ways of being that are central to questions of language, literacy, and authorship.
Since that keynote, we have found ourselves reckoning with the way we think about bodies, communities, access, and the way we inhabit public and private spaces. While the spread of COVID-19 means we’ve never been more aware of the fragility of our bodies, we’ve also felt extremely disembodied after two years of meeting each other as only boxes on screens. We’ve seen the possibilities of communities coming together in what will surely be remembered as a historic civil rights movement, but we’ve also felt the backlash of “anti-CRT” legislation and challenged books. Two years of teaching online have truly exposed gaps in access — from technology divides to understanding how our physical spaces may have excluded people. Now more than ever, we must approach our pedagogies from a framework of embodiment, no matter the modality of instruction. As we return to face-to-face teaching in physical classroom spaces, there’s joy in returning to some of the practices that we’ve had to do without, but we also must question how we do things and keep adapting.
For the 2022 TYCA-Southwest Conference, we ask our organization to think differently about the way we move through space and especially how we come together for a conference. This year's conference takes on a hybrid and interactive approach. The conference features a virtual track for attendees joining us remotely and a face-to-face track for those gathering in Oklahoma City. Whether you are joining us in-person or from the World Wide Web, conference sessions will invite you into a scholarly conversation while actively engaging in the kind of embodied pedagogies and strategies that attendees can practice in their own classrooms. We are delighted to host Darin Jensen, editor of Teaching English in the Two Year College, as this year's conference keynote speaker, where he will encourage us all to reflect on the future of our profession and the challenges we face at two-year colleges.
We are eager to welcome you to this year's conference. Whether you gather with us in Oklahoma City or through the power of the Internet, we are confident we all will be enriched by this coming together!
TYCA-SW 2022 Conference Co-Chairs,
Erin Beaver, Professor of English @ Colorado Mountain College
Lane Fletcher, English Faculty @ Houston Community College
Allison Laubach Wright, Professor of English @ Lone Star College - North Harris