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CASLL-L  April 2002

CASLL-L April 2002

Subject:

Cs theme for 2003

From:

Janice Freeman <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

CASLL/Inkshed <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 17 Apr 2002 16:25:28 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (134 lines)

Hi again,

I tried to send this at the end of my last message, but the list
rejected it for being too long. I thought I'd save some of you a bit of
time if you're thinking of submitting a proposal. I don't think it's
essential to have a comprehensive theme for our session, but knowing the
conference theme is usually handy for proposal writing.

Janice


                 Re-writing "Theme for English B":  Transforming
Possibilities


                  Theme
                  In 1949, as the CCCC was being founded, Langston
Hughes
                  published Theme for English B — a narrative poem set
in
                  New York City that describes and juxtaposes multiple
texts:
                  the text of his assignment; the text of his response;
the texts
                  of classroom, country, and life. Assigned “a theme” to
write,
                  he’s told, “let that page come out of you— /then it
will be true.”
                  As Hughes wisely explains, however, “It’s not easy to
know
                  what is true”:

                                 So will my page be colored that I
write?
                                        Being me, it will not be white.
                                                    But it will be
                                            a part of you, instructor.
                                                 You are white—
                                   yet a part of me, as I am a part of
you.

                  Hughes suggests how complex our knowing and our
                  relationships are; how implicated within each other
instructor
                  and student are; and how in order to learn, we must
learn
                  together, from and with each other.

                  One theme sounded by Hughes is evoked by the word
                  “theme,” a genre that may seem anachronistic today,
but that
                  was the very stuff of composition classrooms not so
long
                  ago. How/have our writing assignments and genres and
texts
                  changed, and why? More generally, what does it mean,
in this
                  day and age, to write? A second theme is located in
the
                  relationship of students to teacher. How/have our
classes
                  changed — demographically, culturally, textually,
                  technologically, and ideologically? In Bitzer’s terms,
how/has
                  the rhetorical situation of the classroom changed? And
what
                  is the significance of such changes? A third theme of
                  Hughes’s poem speaks to the nature of learning, what
we
                  have come to know as a Bakhtinian exchange: “As I
learn
                  from you,/I guess you learn from me . . . .” How do we
—
                  students and teachers — learn together? More
specifically,
                  what is it that we help students learn? And what is it
that we
                  have learned from our students?

                  Embedded within these themes is the hope that through
                  language and relationship, we can transform what is.
The
                  possibility of such transformation is peculiarly
American: “You
                  are white— /yet a part of me, as I am a part of you./
That’s
                  American.” As compositionists and rhetoricians, as
citizens
                  of our local institutions, and as participants in
American
                  democracy, what difference do our own learning, our
teaching
                  to others, our theory, and our practice make? How do
we
                  evoke and realize transforming possibilities?

                  I encourage proposals that address these questions and

                  others related to practice, theory, and research in
                  composition and rhetorical studies—including
assessment,
                  classroom climate, histories of composition,
disciplinary
                  issues, professional communication, visual design and
its
                  role in composition studies, the (appropriate) roles
of
                  technology in composition, and writing centers and
writing
                  across the curriculum programs.

                  Do join us in New York City in 2003, a city with new
meaning
                  to us all. Come together with colleagues, to meet new
ones
                  and to renew friendships, and to initiate new
relationships
                  and renew others — with the materials of our
profession, with
                  our past and our future, with each other and with our
                  students, so that we can continue transforming
possibilities.

http://www.ncte.org/convention/cccc2003/theme.shtml

                -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
  To leave the list, send a SIGNOFF CASLL command to
   [log in to unmask] or, if you experience difficulties,
       write to Russ Hunt at [log in to unmask]

   For the list archives and information about the organization,
the annual conference, and publications, go to the Inkshed Web site at
         http://www.StThomasU.ca/inkshed/
                 -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

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