Responsivity: Defining, Cultivating, Enacting. Proposal Submission Deadline: March 1, 2014

full name / name of organization: 
The Tenth Biennial Thomas R. Watson Conference in Rhetoric and Composition, University of Louisville, October 16-18, 2014
contact email: 

Responsivity: Defining, Encouraging, Enacting
The Thomas R. Watson Conference on Rhetoric and Composition
October 16-18, 2014
University of Louisville

The 2014 Watson Conference calls us to consider how we define, encourage, and enact what it means to be responsive to contemporary problems and opportunities. Reworking questions the Woodrow Wilson Foundation asked of higher education over a decade ago, the Watson Conference invites teacher-scholars of Rhetoric and Composition to join in ongoing conversations about what we do to be responsive to communities in and beyond the academy and to foster the conditions that make these visions a reality. Specific questions may include:

•How can we encourage innovative scholarship that is responsive to our expanding definitions of literate practices, particularly as our methodologies, partners, sites and tools continue to expand?
•What practices can encourage innovative teaching, perhaps especially for groups struggling in higher education today (e.g., veterans, first generation, underprepared students, English language learners) whose voices may be underrepresented or unacknowledged?
•How does the field's thinking about the purpose of writing and a writing citizenry respond to current rhetorics of responsivity, such as those rhetorics surrounding the Common Core State Standards, those within the university structures (e.g., service-learning courses, community engagement programs, social justice centers) or those from foundations championing educational innovation (e.g., TED, Kauffman Foundation, MacArthur Foundation)?
•How should we broaden and/or sustain our engagement with diverse partnerships, such as community-academic partnerships, global partnerships, and grantors/corporate sponsorships? How can these partnerships foster new connections across diverse yet overlapping disciplinary subgroups, such as those working within community-based, feminist, and/or business frameworks?
•How do we share our work in ways that mark new iterations of being a public intellectual? In this process, how can digital media help us better circulate our work?
•What material conditions, such as the availability of technology, savvy teachers, and time for groups to work together, are needed to facilitate these goals? How can we work toward securing these material conditions?

Please visit the conference website ( for more information. Deadline for submitting the proposal for your paper or digital presentation is March 1, 2014. Responses will be sent to you by May 1, 2014.
If you have any questions, please contact Mary P. Sheridan at