Sent: Sun 03/31/13 11:06 PM
Subject: Fwd: SUNYCOW sayonara
Good evening, all,
I want to take this opportunity to thank all of you for coming to Buffalo for
this year’s SUNYCOW conference, which, from all that I have heard from
participants, was a great success. I hope that in that brief, intense span
everyone found intellectual engagement, met new and future colleagues and
collaborators, and rejuvenated previous acquaintances.
I want to express our collective gratitude to Kelly Kinney and Richard Miller,
who offered us much to ponder in reshaping aspects of our own programs and
looking to an already-present future that will challenge every aspect of our
philosophies and pedagogies.
From what I have heard, there were reasons to be enthusiastic about every
session. I can only speak from the experience of the sessions I myself attended,
and I do want to highlight the excellent new podcasting venture This Rhetorical
Life (http://thisrhetoricallife.syr.edu) initiated by Syracuse students; the
possibilities explored by UB students, thematizing the future and
disability/ableism, being attuned to reciprocity and affect, and employing
role-playing and “uncreative” activities. In my own session, Malkiel Choseed made
a compelling case that assessment will be an inevitable part of any leverage we
wish to exert on institutional discussions of writing’s centrality to education,
Jacob Bodway pointed to the need to keep track of shifts in goals and outcomes
for NY state high school students, and Nicole Gonzales Howell showed how–through
a close consideration of the labor and civil rights activism of Dolores Huerta
(today being, appropriately enough, the birthday of Cesar Chavez, with whom she
worked as a partner for so many years)–we might reconsider both the need for
more WPAs of color and the extension of the role of the WPA outside the bounds of
A quick synopsis of the SUNYCOW business meeting, in case you were busy scraping out the last bits of chocolate mousse from the glass when Arabella Lyon made the announcements: (1) a vote was taken to approve the SUNYCOW statement on contingent labor, which will be posted soon, I believe, on the SUNYCOW website (http://sunycouncilonwriting.wordpress.com/) and Facebook page (please join!); and (2) a committee is forming to examine how SUNYCOW might respond definitively to the new Open SUNY online course initiative and to the question of MOOCs (massive open online courses). If you are interested in contributing to the committee, please contact Alex Reid, who is serving as chair (email@example.com).
Please let us know if you have any suggestions for how future SUNYCOW conferences could be improved. One I myself have considered making stems from my own frustration (echoed by others) at having only one body with which to attend four or five appealing sessions transpiring concurrently: given the need to keep the conference to one night and one full day for cost’s sake, perhaps we could move for slightly shorter papers wrapped up in hour-long sessions to allow for more time slots.
And now to the round of gratitude! Arabella was as integral to process of staging
the conference as she was modest about her role in it. Without her, and without
the extensive efforts of her graduate assistant Morani Kornberg-Weiss, this
edition could never have been more than a string of pixels on SUNYCOW’s web
presence. I want to reiterate all of the thanks made on the back page of the
conference pamphlet, to the committee who considered the proposals and helped
shape the program, to our colleagues in the College of Arts and Sciences (Erik
Seeman, Martha Barton, and Cathy Norgren) who helped fund and otherwise support
the conference, the administrative staff who straightened the way for us (Wendy
Belz, Jennifer Elinge, Nicole Lazaro, and Carol Ciaciuch), Rick Feero and Alex
Reid for bringing and setting up additional technology, the Ramada event staff,
representatives from Cengage, Norton, and Bedford/St. Martin’s, and any others we
have inadvertently neglected to mention by name or by grouping.
Again, many thanks to everyone. I hope you have had a safe return trip, and I
wish you the best for a smooth end to the spring semester! And good luck to the
as-yet-unnamed hosts for Sept. 2014!
University at Buffalo
President’s Address from CUNY COW 2012
As a political philosophy, neoliberalism construes a rational for a handful of private interests to control as much of social life as possible to maximize their financial investments.
Henry A. Giroux and Susan Searle Giroux, Take Back Higher Education
In the 1990’s Susan Miller and Sharon Crowley wrote tellingly about the economics and politics of composition, but in the last decade, the problems of sad women in the basement have grown dire and the arguments about student needs sometimes have been abandoned for those about faculty needs. Even as recently as 2005, Doug Hesse could suggest in his 4 C’s chair’s address that “those who teach writing must affirm that we, in fact, own it”(459; emphasis in original). Right now, however, the issues in higher education no longer seemed based in institutional economies dependent on student needs, and faculty seems to have lost a position from which to refute the U.S. commissions and forces who would take writing away from writing teachers. Now our problems are transparently part of a pattern of global capitalism, a pattern that erodes the pretense that faculty own writing. There can be no pretense of first year writing’s sustainability based on historical models of writing instruction….
From SUNY COW 2012:
Michael Murphy, SUNY Oswego
Conference of the SUNY Council on Writing
March 30-31, 2012
In a reflection last year on the controversial 2007 Report of the ADE Ad Hoc Committee on Staffing called “Education in the Balance,” David Bartholomae, the Committee Chair, noted a development which most observers of staffing trends in higher education likely found interesting though perhaps not wholly surprising:
The data we gathered shows, among other things, an increase in the number of full time, non-tenure-track faculty members–and not only in PhD and Masters granting institutions but in baccalaureate colleges as well. In order to justify the resources needed for an increasingly expensive research faculty (and, perhaps, as an attempt to improve the working conditions of part-time faculty members), institutions have shown their willingness to create full time teaching positions outside the tenure track, with competitive salaries, full benefits, and increased job security. (1)
To see this development born out in survey data was more to confirm an ear-to-the-ground instinct than to suggest anything really revelatory….
Call for Proposals
“Building Cultures of Writing for Tomorrow”
SUNY Council on Writing 23rd Annual Conference
March 29-30, 2013
University at Buffalo @ the Ramada Inn
Proposals due February 1, 2013
Friday Evening Speaker
Kelly Kinney, Binghamton
“Back to the Future: How a Nascent Program Built a Culture of Writing–and Won the CCCC Writing Program Certificate of Excellence”
Saturday Luncheon Speaker
Richard Miller, Rutgers
Author of As if Learning Mattered: Reforming Higher Education (1998) and Writing at the End of the World (2005).
As the University at Buffalo develops its new Center for Excellence in Writing, we turn our attention to the community of writers here, across New York, and around the globe, and we wonder how to strengthen writing in the disciplines, provide opportunities for faculty to write together, develop graduate writing tutors, and use the web to network our resources. In committing to communities and cultures of writing, we consider the future of universities and writing centers, the nature of a community amid global Englishes, in international education, and across new technologies, all of which may join or divide us. We invite you to join us in this discussion and welcome proposals that consider a range of approaches to the topic at hand, including
*Tutoring and teaching
*Writing program administration
*Writing and technology
*Writing in the Disciplines
Proposals for both individual and panel presentations are welcome.
Please send 250-word abstracts for twenty minute papers or 500-word
abstracts for 80 minute sessions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Due February 1, 2013.
Visit www.writing.buffalo.edu/sunycow for more conference information.
Support provided by UB’s CAS, Humanities Institute, Center for Excellence in Writing, and Bedford/StMartins.