Culture, Community, and Change

deadline for submissions: 
September 28, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
21st Century Englishes via the Rhetoric Society of the Black Swamp
contact email: 

Culture, Community, and Change: The 6th Annual 21st Century Englishes Graduate Student Conferenc

The 21st Century Englishes Graduate Student Conference is hosted by the Rhetoric Society of the Black Swamp, Bowling Green State University’s Student Chapter of the Rhetoric Society of America & BGSU Rhetoric & Writing Ph.D. Program. It is sponsored by BGSU English Department, BGSU General Studies Writing, and BGSU Student Organizations.

Conference Date: November 10, 2018

Location: Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH

The Conference on College Composition and Communication describes community-engaged projects as those that "involve collaborations between...academic institutions and...local, regional, national, or international community group(s) and contribute to the public good." These projects are directly "shaped by local resources and needs" and involve some kind of exchange whether through knowledge, actions, or materials. The strongest of these projects result in lasting partnerships that mutually benefit both the researcher and community.

Culture, community, and change touch our lives within the academy and outside it. Home and academic cultures and communities interact in sometimes surprising ways, and inevitably change each other through contact, relationships, and research. In composition studies 'community,' 'culture,' and 'change' are, as Paul Prior articulates in Keywords in Writing Studies: 'terms that have variously been critiqued, refined, and taken as givens' but that are often only vaguely defined. As graduate students we are constantly existing in and moving between communities that influence the way we write, teach, and research, but we do not always actively engage with those communities or refer to them in our work.

In our sixth annual 21st Century Englishes Graduate Conference we ask for proposals that reflect engagement with community-based, culturally-driven projects, as well as those that reflect changes within the writing or the writer, research or the researcher, teaching or the teacher. We invite individual and panel proposals on the theme of culture, community, and change from graduate students as well as their collaborators (community leaders, colleagues, faculty, staff, students, co-researchers, research participants, community members, etc.). These proposals may be prompted by, but are not limited to, the questions below:

How has graduate school taught you about community, culture, and change?
How do you understand the notion of culture/cultures?
What values and expectations do you associate with the words culture, community, and change?
How are cultures and communities influenced by space/place, technology, bodies?

How do we bring, shed, and change our culture(s) and conceptions of them in graduate studies?
How do we perform community, culture, and change?
How do we learn to move between and perform cultures (home cultures, professional cultures, academic cultures, etc.)? What/where is the crossover?

Who and what is changed or has potential to be changed in research?
How can our research change institutional values? How does our research evolve with the institutions, communities, and cultures we work with(in)?
Given the climate of the 21st century, how has our research changed? How does it need to continue changing?
What is the role of graduate students in fostering community, culture, and change? How are grad students transformed by them and transforming them in turn?

How do we do community-based research?
What are your/our responsibilities to our communities and cultures?
How can scholarship enact reciprocity with the communities and cultures we engage with and study with and teach/learn from?
How do we (under)value community in our research, teaching, etc.?
How can our research act as a way of remembering, paying respect to, the cultures and communities they drawn upon/happen in?

How are our cultures/communities engaged in change at the present moment?
How can we involve, speak to, or benefit community through our research?
How does change happen in the midst of doing?

Individual/Project Proposals*: Please include a title, a 50-word abstract to include in the program, and a 250-word proposal. Also include presenter(s) name(s), email(s), and university affiliation(s). Presenters should plan on 15 minutes per project. Proposals of similar theme will be grouped in 75-minute panels (including Q & A) of 3-4 projects.

Panel Proposals: Please include a title, a 50-word abstract of the panel, a 750-word proposal, and a 50-word narrative of the relationships between the presenters to include in the program. Also include presenters’ names, emails, and university affiliations. Panels should plan for 75 minutes total, including Q & A time. There is no limit to the number of panelists, but we ask that all panelists are active contributors/facilitators during the panel.

In the spirit of innovation and presentations that explicitly invite collaboration with/among audience members, we invite projects and panels to structure their delivery in any interactive manner they please, such as workshops, roundtables, teaching demonstrations, or creative readings. Each room will have a projector, computer station, and whiteboards. We are also happy to work with you to provide the kind of space that could help facilitate your presentation.

*If you have a project that is co-authored, we recommend submitting it as an individual/project proposal. If there are 3 or more collaborators, we recommend submitting it as a panel proposal.

Proposals should be submitted to by September 28

Please contact co-chairs Renee Ann Drouin ( or Bailey Poland ( if you have questions.