CATTW/
ACPRTS

2006

[Version française]

Writing in the Knowledge Society

Canadian Association of Teachers of Technical Writing (CATTW)

York University , Toronto, Ontario, HNE 034
May 28 - 30, 2006

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Call for Papers
(now closed)

The Canadian Association of Teachers of Technical Writing (CATTW) invites proposals for its 2006 conference
at York University, Toronto, Canada
Writing in the Knowledge Society: Perspectives, Practices, and Policies
May 28-30

As a member of the Canadian Federation of the Humanities and Social Sciences, CATTW will organize its conference as a part of the Federation’s Congress, which will be held under the theme “The City: A Festival of Knowledge” to celebrate the knowledge, learning and creativity of the diverse communities that constitute the city.

At the heart of the knowledge festival are discursive practices. Regardless of the profession, discipline, organization, or other discursive context, it is largely through rhetoric, writing, and communication that knowledge is created, codified, shared, revised, contested, or enacted. We use writing in order to generate ideas, to structure and shape our thoughts, to argue for or contest knowledge claims, to collaboratively create and share knowledge, even to accomplish the work of entire organizations. As Deborah Brandt (2005) states, “writing is at the heart of the knowledge economy” (p. 166). It accounts for much of the value created in a knowledge economy and consequently, in Brandt’s words, has become “hot property” (p. 167).

And yet, despite its central role in knowledge making in any academic, professional, or public community, the study and teaching of writing are often marginalized or absent from university curricula altogether. For teachers and researchers of writing in academic, technical, and other professional communities, therefore, this central—though neglected—role of writing in the knowledge society lends new urgency to these questions: What is the link between writing and knowledge? How do we as researchers and teachers of writing articulate what we do? How, in Cathy Schryer’s (2005) words, do we articulate our logic(s) of practice across disciplinary, professional, and other boundaries? What are the challenges involved and how do we address them?

To address these questions, we invite proposals addressing any of the following themes:

1. Researching and theorizing the link between writing and knowledge
For this theme, we encourage papers that examine current research and theory of writing as a knowledge-making practice and address such questions as:

  • What do we currently know about the link between writing and knowledge making? How do we theorize this link?
  • What are the cognitive aspects of the link between writing and knowledge?
  • What role does writing play in knowledge making in various workplace settings?
  • What role does writing play in knowledge making in academic contexts?
  • As scaffolds of community knowledge (Berkenkotter and Huckin, 1995), how do genres work to enable, constrain, or derail knowledge making or sharing? What is the epistemological work genres accomplish?
  • How do institutional contexts constrain, enable, or otherwise shape writing as a knowledge making practice? Conversely, how does writing shape institutions?
  • How do digital technologies change writing as a knowledge-making practice?
  • In the context of globalization, how does writing work to recontextualize local knowledge in global contexts and vice versa?

2. Articulating our logic(s) of practice in academic contexts
For this theme, we invite papers that examine how we articulate our logic(s) of practice to students, administrators, and colleagues across disciplines, for example:

  • How do we articulate our logic(s) of practice to faculty, administrators, and others in writing programs such as Writing Across the Curriculum, Writing Intensive Learning, Writing Centre programs, and degree programs in writing studies?
  • How do we articulate writing and its role in disciplinary and interdisciplinary knowledge making to students?
  • How do we articulate our logic(s) of practice to research colleagues in other disciplines?

3. Articulating our logic(s) of practice beyond academic contexts
For this theme, we welcome papers that examine how we articulate our logic(s) of practice beyond academic settings such as those of workplace professionals, public citizens, and policy makers and address such questions as:

  • How do we engage workplace professionals, citizens, and policy makers in our research?
  • Given that our research results often imply change and institutional critiques of the discursive practices that shape writing, how do we share our results with the communities we study?
  • How do we articulate the role of writing in a knowledge society to policy makers?

We also invite formal proposals on other topics relevant to the teaching, study, and practice of technical, academic, and other types of professional writing. In addition, we welcome proposals for round-tables, workshops, and informal sessions.

Proposal Submission Guidelines
Please email your proposal as a word or rich text document to Doreen Starke-Meyerring (doreen.starke-meyerring@mcgill.ca; phone: 514.398.1308) before midnight Friday, September 30, 2005, in the following format:

Part One: On a separate page, please provide your complete contact information (with current email address) and the title of your proposed paper.
Part Two: Please provide your proposed title and a 250-word abstract including references. Please do not exceed 250 words and do not move the references into a separate attachment.

Please use the subject line “Proposal for 2006 CATTW/ ACPRTS submission.”