• Writing in Changing Communities—Communities Writing Change
  • Agendas, Visions, and Directions for the Study and Teaching of Writing

    Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, May 27-29, 2007

Open Call for Proposals
(now closed)

    The Canadian Association of Teachers of Technical Writing (CATTW) is inviting proposals for its interdisciplinary international conference "Writing in Changing Communities-Communities Writing Change: Agendas, Visions, and Directions for the Study and Teaching of Writing" to be held in Saskatoon, Canada, from May 27-May 29, 2007 in collaboration with the 2007 Congress of the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences (FHSS).

    Rationale for the Conference

    In line with the Congress theme of "Bridging Communities: Making Public Knowledge-Making Knowledge Public," the conference addresses recent changes in writing as a key knowledge-making practice across diverse academic, workplace, and public communities -changes that result from the recent shift toward a more digitally mediated globalizing knowledge society. These shifts include the increasingly critical role of writing as knowledge work, large-scale changes in writing practices as a result of emerging digital technologies (e.g., blogs, wikis, P2P networks, collaborative Web-based writing technologies), and new contexts and exigencies for writing as a result of globalization. Many of these shifts raise new questions for writing researchers and teachers about key writing concepts such as audience, authority, voice, ethos, genre, identity, and language, all of which call for systematic attention, reflection, and shaping of research agendas.

    Conference Objectives

    For this purpose, the conference organizers invite proposals for papers, panels, roundtables, or workshops that examine how writing practices have changed in varying academic, workplace, and public contexts and communities and how, in turn, these communities are using writing to shape change. Proposals are also encouraged to examine the implications of these changes for the study and teaching of academic and professional writing and communication. Suggested themes and questions include, but are not limited to the following:

    1) Changes in writing practices across communities

    How have writing practices, situations, exigencies, audiences, changed in diverse communities in line with technological change, globalization, and the centrality of knowledge making to all communities--be they research, professional, or public communities? What roles does writing play as communities engage in technological and social change in local and increasingly global contexts? How do emerging global and local policies on intellectual property and privacy enable or constrain writing in digital environments across various communities? What are the implications of these changes for teaching and research?

    2) Changes in our understanding of writing

    What do these changes mean for how we understand, conceptualize, and theorize writing? What does "writing" involve in a digitally mediated, globalizing knowledge society? What is the role of multimodality, multimedia, visual, and digital rhetoric in theories of writing? How and to what extent can existing theories of writing account for these changes; how might they need to be extended? For example, how do theories of genre and audience intersect with emerging technologies when participants with wide ranges of genre repertoires come together to participate and create documents collaboratively? How do these changes inform the study and teaching of writing?

    3) Implications for infrastructure and policy development

    What policies must be in place to develop research capacity in writing studies that can respond to these far-reaching changes in writing? What infrastructure is needed for teaching writing in digital environments? As the writing curriculum in higher education itself becomes a key infrastructure component in the digitally mediated knowledge society, what policies are needed for the teaching of writing?What past policies must be overcome? What policy changes do writing researchers and teachers of writing need to help advance?

    Presentation and Proposal Formats

    The conference organizers value diversity in approaches, perspectives and presentation formats, including 15-20 minute individual papers, 90-minute panels of 3 - 5 speakers, roundtables, or 90-minute workshops.

    For individual presentations and panels, we are interested in both research reports and state-of-the-art papers that engage the literature and theories to derive new research questions, agendas, and directions. In either case, proposals should include the research question to be addressed, its significance for advancing research in the field, the conceptual framework and methods or approach used to address the question, and key findings or directions as well as their implications for practice, teaching, or future research. Proposals for individual papers should not exceed 250 words (+references). Panel proposals should include a brief (<100 words) description of the panel, its rationale and objectives, as well as brief descriptions of up to 250 words (+ references) of each paper to be presented and discussed on the panel.

    Roundtable proposals should raise a provocative, but critical question for the study and teaching of writing, specify the names and contributions of at least 5 individuals who have agreed to participate in the roundtable. Proposals should also outline the rationale for the roundtable, its objectives, and the suggested discussion points. Proposals should not exceed 250 words (+references).

    Workshop proposals should provide a 250-word description (+references) of the workshop, its rationale, objectives, research base, facilitators, procedures, and logistical requirements (e.g., computer labs, software, hardware, etc.).

    Opportunities for submitting papers to peer-reviewed scholarly publications will be available (more information to follow).


© 2006 Canadian Association of Teachers of Technical Writing
Last modified: 2007-03-17