Conference on College Composition and Communication (4Cs) Stories.9/15/12

full name / name of organization: 
Megan Adams / Bowling Green State University
contact email: 

"We have no being beyond our stories. Our stories explain us, justify us, sustain us, humble us, and forgive us." Malea Powell, CCCC 2012 Chair's Address

We all have C's (Conference on College Composition and Communication) stories. Some are profound, some are quirky, some are sad, some are unsettling, some are insightful, some are scandalous, and some are just plain hilarious. We've told them over beers, in cars over miles, and within faculty lounges. Our field is based on these stories. We think it's time for the field to hear your story.

Please share your story by contributing it to the Digital Archive of Literacy Narratives (DALN), a publicly available archive, which documents and shares "little bits of our time" (Selfe) across universities and across publics. The DALN invites people of all ages, races, communities, backgrounds, and interests to contribute stories about how — and in what circumstances — they read, write, and compose meaning, and how they learned to do so (or helped others learn). Upon receiving and reviewing submissions, we will curate some of these stories (all contributors will be formally acknowledged as collaborators of this webtext), using a grounded theory approach, into a webtext to be published in an online journal in our field. If we receive a large number of submissions, and this project appears to be something that many people are enthusiastic about, we hope that this C's story project can be an ongoing, open-access resource for colleagues in our field.

The purpose for this project is to provide all members of our diverse and dynamic field with a glimpse of who we are, by centering on the Conference on College Composition and Communication. Though we realize that these stories can only present bits of that representation, we believe those bits compose a notable piece of our collective identity. They are windows into the narrative(s) of our field, and they can help us begin to understand how we (as people, as friends, as intellectual societies) have formed and fluctuated over the years. Through curating these narratives, we hope to discover deeper meanings and unearth unexpected layers into what the annual conference means--an event that has, for so long, inspired us.

We welcome all sorts of C's narratives, and invite you to incorporate samples of your own past writing (papers, letters, zines, speeches, etc.) and compositions (music, photographs, videos, sound recordings, etc.) to help you illustrate your story. For instance: Tell us about how your PowerPoint presentation crashed during your panel and how you, then, beautifully winged it. Tell us about the most memorable speech you ever gave or heard at C's. Tell us about how, one year, you ordered an advance copy of the program guide and stayed up all night reading it, eagerly dog-earing pages. Or, you might tell us about how one particular time at C's a colleague's advice helped you understand yourself as a writing scholar. Or maybe you'd rather tell us about how you bonded with your favorite scholarly hero on the dance floor...Here is a list of questions you may refer to, as you brainstorm possible "ways in" to the story you can contribute (feel free to contribute more than one story!):

How have you found a way to navigate the massive C's conference?
What are ways that C's could improve?
Tell of a fond memory of C's, and answer: How is this event representative of the conference as a whole?
Is C's your favorite conference? Why or why not?
What is a negative memory from C's?
How many times have you been to C's? Why?
What happened at your very first C's?
To what extent do you see the conference as representative of the current state of
the field?

From your vantage point, how has the conference changed over the years?
Has the conference allowed for you to experience feminist mentoring? Other sorts of mentoring?
Was there a time at C's that you felt a lack of mentorship that you needed?

For those of you who appreciate models/examples, please refer to these C's stories:

Roen, Duane:
LaFrance, Michelle; Corbett, Steven J.:
Corbett, Steven J.; Decker, Teagan E.:

You can upload your story directly to the Digital Archives of Literacy Narratives (DALN), after registering your e-mail address (which is used only to contact authors in case of technical difficulties), and you will:
• PLEASE use "4CStory" (no spaces, no quotation marks) as a subject keyword so that we can find your narrative
• Be asked to give specific information about your narrative so that people can search for it online. (metadata tags that describe the narrative)
• Be informed about your participation in the DALN project. (Informed Consent Form)
• Be asked to affirm that the narrative is your own work and that it does violate the rights, copyrights, trademarks, privacy, or reputation of any other person. (Release Form)
• Be asked to give permission to the DALN so that your narrative can be posted publicly. (Deed of Gift Form or Creative Commons License form)

When you upload your story, please make sure to tag it with "4Cstory" (you will be prompted to offer a tag and description). Later, when you get an e-mail notification from DALN that your story has gone live, please then e-mail Megan Adams at with your URL. Please consider submitting a C's story by September 15, 2012.

If you have any questions about the project, please contact Megan Adams at


Mariana Grohowski
Megan Adams
Heather Trahan
Bowling Green State University