Please forward the following call to individuals and lists where it may
be of interest. Thank you. Rick Coe
Call for Papers
International Symposium on Genre
Vancouver, Canada: 16-17 January 1998
Note: This is a second coming of the highly successful international
symposium on genre held at Carleton University in 1992. For a sense of
that discussion, see two subsequently published collections, both edited
by Aviva Freedman and Peter Medway: Genre and the New Rhetoric (London,
UK: Taylor & Francis, 1994), and Learning and Teaching Genres. (NH:
Heinemann [Boynton/Cook], 1994).
Dates: 16-17 January 1998
Place: Vancouver, Canada
@ Simon Fraser University's downtown Harbour Centre campus
Attendance: Limited to 65.
Registration Fee: $65 (waived for graduate students and unemployed
Send Proposals to Arrive By: noon, 10 October 1997
Email: [log in to unmask] FAX: (604) 291-5737
Mail/Courier: Prof. Rick Coe, Program Chair
English Department, Simon Fraser University
Burnaby, BC CANADA V5A 1S6
Program & Structure:
We are inviting four primary presenters who represent a range of
disciplinary and geographic locations where particularly important work on
genre is ongoing. With this call, we invite 16-20 other theorists and
researchers to make 15-20 minute presentations and up to 40 other
participants. For the most part, the Symposium will be plenary in an
extended "roundtable" format. One set of concurrent sessions will provide
opportunities to discuss discipline-specific issues and applications..
Total attendance will be limited to 65, including primary presenters, 40
fee-paying participants, and 20 graduate students. Pre- and
post-symposium visit to SFU's radically innovative, genre-based writing
centre can be arranged.
The 1992 Symposium on Genre included participants from Europe,
Canada, and the United States, who work in Education, English Composition
& Rhetoric, and Applied Linguistics (ESL/ESP). Presenters included
Charles Bazerman, Carolyn Miller, and John Swales. Our specific theme for
1998 is "Literacy & Literature," but we wish to broaden the discussion in
other ways as well. We propose to add participants from Australia--and
also from Anthropology, Speech/Communications, and Literary Criticism,
including some whose research is in languages other than English.
By whatever means is quickest and most convenient, please send
your title and 150-250 word abstract, plus your phone numbers and
addresses (including Email). For those who wish to attend without
formally presenting, registration and reservation forms will be available
shortly. Meanwhile, email [log in to unmask]
Theorists, researchers, and teachers on several continents,
working independently in distinct traditions, have seized upon the notion
of genre as focal to understanding social, functional, and pragmatic
dimensions of language use. In English/Education, the beginnings of this
movement in relation to non-literary writing can be marked by Michael
Halliday's Language as Social Semiotic (1978), Carolyn Miller's "Genre as
Social Action" (1984), and the publication in English translation of
Mikhail Bakhtin's Speech Genres and Other Late Essays (1986). Somewhat
parallel development of the concept of genre also occurred in other
disciplines, e.g., anthropology, literary criticism.
The crux of the new genre theories is that genres are socially
standard strategies, embodied in typical forms of discourse, which have
evolved for responding to recurring types of rhetorical situation. Unlike
traditional theories of genre, which focused primarily on discursive form,
the new theories explain the discursive structures of a genre
functionally, not merely as a socially standard form, but as a socially
standard rhetorical strategy for addressing a type of situation and
attempting to evoke a desired type of response.
What Freedman and Medway called the new rhetoric of genre helps us
understand discourse as socio-cultural process, which people both shape
and are shaped by, which directs and deflects attention, constitutes
subject positions, opportunities and constraints, community and hierarchy.
Like the New Rhetoric, with which it shares intellectual roots, the new
genre theories focus on discourse as as situated social/symbolic action.
Like other aspects of discourse, genres are neither value-free nor neutral
and often imply hierarchical social relationships, so our discussion of
genre will be critical as well as pragmatic.
Organizing Committee: Charles Bazerman, Richard Coe (Program Chair),
Aviva Freedman, Janet Giltrow, Lorelei Lingard, Judy Segal, Wendy
Strachan, Tanya Teslenko.