Learning to Go High: Re-Awakening Hope through Education

deadline for submissions: 
April 22, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
The Assembly for Expanded Persepctives on Learning
contact email: 

Learning to Go High:

Re-Awakening Hope through Education


The 24th Annual Summer Conference of

The Assembly of Expanded Perspectives on Learning

of the National Council of Teachers of English

Y of the Rockies, Estes Park, CO




June 21-24, 2018

with a preconference day of Rhetorical Listening, June 20-21


If we really want to change things…, it’s going to start at the grass-roots level,

and with our [youth]. --Barack Obama, 1995


          We are living in times scarier than most of us have ever known. So it is vital for us to come together to think, feel, and imagine our way through them.

We all now need expanded perspectives on learning. So AEPL, the NCTE Assembly for Expanded Perspectives on Learning has decided to devote its 24th Summer Conference to an  exploration of educational practices and ideas that can both sustain us through these times and eventually take us beyond them.

In part we will be guided in this by nationally recognized authorities at the forefront of the fields of rhetoric and literacy:

Kathleen Blake Yancey, with her understanding of the intricacies of cultivating reflection and voice.

Krista Ratcliffe, with her fine-honed techniques of rhetorical listening.

            Vajra Watson, with her inspiring practices of the literacy of liberation.

            And Paula Mathieu, with her revelatory rhetoric of hope.

            But, really, you and the students you teach, whatever the subject matter, will be our main inspiration. And we invite  you to come share with others the ideas, practices, assignments, and conversations in your classrooms that have helped you and your students to find hope—and overcome the social and psychological forces that undermine it—in these new times.

Among the broad questions we seek to address are:

            How do we empathically yet firmly listen to and care for those who hate, without finding them “deplorable,” so as to help take them beyond the hatred and anger they feel?

            How do we comfort and strengthen those in despair and help them find hope?

            How do we dispel the cynicism—the dogmatic disbelief in higher or deeper meaning, and in the moral power of hope—that discourages people from believing in and acting for meaningful change?

            As important as anything, how do we simply enjoy life and one another in these times, without burying our heads in the sand? (The evening before our preconference workshop, for instance, we will show Chaplin’s The Great Dictatorand join together in a rousing session called Making America DanceAgain!)             

            Please propose a 75-minute interactive presentation/conversation addressing these or any related questions or, alternatively, a 20-minute talk, conversation topic, or short teaching demonstration. Email by 1/15 to brucejnovak@gmail.com

Registration: $195 before January 1, $245 January 1-April 15, $295 April 16 onward,

$50 discount (one per person) for students/adjuncts/retired/two or more from the same institution

Preconference workshop, $75 before January 1, $95 January 1-April 15, $125 April 16 onward,

$25 discount (same terms)

Space is limited! Reserve early! Regular conference calls for registrants featuring conference speakers and book discussions will begin in January.

AEPL membership, for which you will receive our award-winning peer-refereed journal JAEPL, is required with registration. All conference fees, minus $50, are refundable through April 15. (This means that if you can’t commit to the conference right away, you can join our pre-conference conversations by joining AEPL and registering, and requesting your refund by April 15.) Beyond that time refunds are subject to the discretion of AEPL.