CFP: [Rhetoric-Composition] "Stepping Out: Academics, Civic Engagement, and Activism": Miami University's 6th Annual S

full name / name of organization: 
Ann Updike
contact email: 

Miami University English Graduate and Adjunct Association's 6th Annual
"Stepping Out: Academics, Civic Engagement, and Activism"

In a time of war and economic crisis, when people are suffering both
locally and globally, what is the role of the academic and of higher
education? The academy at large has been accused of living an insular
existence, speaking only within disciplinary boundaries and rarely
reaching the minds and bodies of those not admitted to higher education’s
spaces. With this call, we hope to challenge the claim that the academy
exists only for the academy’s sake as well as encourage collaboration and
community-building across disciplinary and geographic divides that
artificially mark sites of education.

At the advent of WWII, Virginia Woolf asked in Three Guineas
(1938), “What should be taught in the new college, the poor college?” She
answered, “it should teach the arts of human intercourse; the art of
understanding other people’s lives and minds” (34). This call aims to re-
articulate the need for movement between the academy and the community,
to shorten the distances that have been constructed and reinforced.
Through collaboration, we hope to reconsider praxis and methodology in
higher education, to include not only what could be taught but the ways
in which teaching and scholarship can step outside the gates of the
college and university in order to open Woolf’s “procession of educated
peoples” to minds and bodies still struggling to access the academy.

We invite you to join the discussion of what constitutes activism
within/out the academy at our sixth annual symposium, which will be held
March 28, 2009, at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. We view this
symposium as a site for cross-disciplinary discussions that complicate
the notion that academia is removed from the world outside the “ivory
towers.” We welcome individual and panel proposals from all departments
as well as from persons not affiliated with any academic institution.
Along with proposals for traditional academic paper presentations, we
encourage proposals for non-traditional presentations including
performances, multimedia displays, discussion formats, interactive
sessions, poster presentations, artwork, and video or photography

We encourage proposals that engage with the following questions: In what
ways does academic scholarship speak to audiences beyond the academy? How
do different disciplinary methodologies include or exclude communities
outside the academy? How does classroom practice and pedagogy invite
civic engagement and/or activism? Rather than the temporary exchanges
offered by service learning, in what ways can sustainable relationships
with surrounding communities be created and promoted? How can academics
encourage the university to “count” applied projects as scholarship
rather than service when considering tenure and promotion? How might
different kinds of institutions (community colleges, open-access
institutions, liberal arts colleges, research universities) engage with
surrounding communities in different ways? How do academics engage with
surrounding communities while keeping in mind the thoughts and wants of
those communities?

Or your presentation may address one of the following broad themes:
*the domestication of activism in/through the academy
*environmental activism and conservation
*civic engagement in digital spaces
*social memory as civic engagement/responsibility
*literature as civic engagement
*service learning
*social justice
*disability studies
*the rhetoric of public concern(s)
*K-12 pedagogy and engagement
*scopes of influence in and across disciplines
*rhetoric(s) of (anti)celebrity
*public intellectualism
*creative production as activism
*genre as social action
*comparative rhetoric
*public history and culture
*critical legal studies
*critical race studies
*writing and activism/engagement
*cultural resistance
*public advocacy
*religion as activism
*communication across/between communities or subcultures
*language communities and civic responsibility
*gender and LGBTQ studies
*ethics of research
*the scholarship of engagement

To submit a proposal, download the form at Email or mail your completed form to the
address shown on the website by February 15, 2009.
Official acceptance invitations will be sent to presenters electronically
by March 1, 2009.

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Received on Thu Dec 04 2008 - 01:36:52 EST