I'll try to get it out this weekend. There are a variety of positions
presented, and it should extend our thinking on the future of the
organization by allowing a more extended debate than the email format
tends to support--a few sentences here and there worked in around
other business. If, after reading it, anyone should feel moved to
respond, I encourage them to do so by writing an extended response
that we could publish in a follow-up issue rather than (or perhaps in
addition to) a quick email to the list.
In response to an earlier query about people who are not happy with
the Inkshed experience, I can report that I have personally fielded
more than one of these expressions of dissatisfaction after each of
the last 4 conferences I have attended, including the one I helped
organize with Heather Graves and Theresa Hyland. Inkshed doesn't work
out for everyone, that's a fact. The recent attendance numbers--50 or
so in Nova Scotia, followed by 24 or so in Gimli, 45 in London, and
less than 20 in Fredericton--can't be seen as healthy given the
expanding numbers of people studying, teaching, and researching in
writing studies in Canada.
And as Theresa and Heather (and anyone else who has put one of these
together) will verify, it is a lot of work and stress to organize one
of these events. I'm wondering if the community of scholars of
writing in Canada can really support organizing three academic
conferences each year (Inkshed, CASDW, CWCA). Counting the 2009 CASDW,
I'll have been involved in three in the past three years. It's a big
effort, and it takes a real team of people to make this happen. We've
got about 10 people putting together the CASDW program, about 5 or
more looking after local arrangements in Ottawa, Doreen Starke-
Meyerring helping out as President, and Heather and I coordinating the
program and grant writing as vice-presidents. Inkshed, in my view,
needs a proper organizational structure and commitment from a large
group of people to make the conference work. It has no president, vice-
president, or effective governance. In the past when this has come up,
people have spoken of that as a virtue. I guess it has its benefits
and drawbacks, and I guess that is for the group to decide,
ultimately. But I prefer structure.
Director, WAC and Acting Director, Centre for Writers
[log in to unmask]
On Sep 22, 2008, at 6:02 PM, Susan Drain wrote:
> I'm curious to see the fall Inkshed newsletter on the theme of
> "W(h)ither Inkshed?" Will the reflections in it shed some useful
> light on this discussion? Roger?
> Meanwhile, my two cents worth is that Roberta's summary is accurate,
> and that the general view in Fredericton was that Inkshed 2009
> should be a proper Inkshed conference, merely adjacent in time and
> space to what is now CASDW. In other words, we return to the early
> days of piggybacking Inkshed on another gathering. That worked. Of
> course, I was younger then and might have had more stamina ... or
> perhaps less sense.
> Susan Drain, PhD
> Department of English
> Mount Saint Vincent University
> Halifax, NS Canada B3M 2J6
> 902 457 6220
> [log in to unmask]
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