Writing Across Communities: From Poetry to Praxis

deadline for submissions: 
February 15, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
Red River Graduate Student Conference
contact email: 



Writing Across Communities: From Poetry to Praxis 


Deadline for Submissions:

February 1st


Red River Graduate Student Conference / North Dakota State University

Contact Email:



17th Annual Red River Graduate Student Conference | February 28-29

North Dakota State University


We are excited about this year’s RRGSC keynote speaker and executive director of the Iowa Writers’ House, Andrea Wilson, who engages the process, the act, and the possibility of writing as an ongoing convergence with community-building praxis, blurred political and ideological boundaries, and collective human artistic potential, in order to nurture, cultivate and foster emerging and historical communities around the idea of writing across communities. But, what does it meant to write across communities? How do we move from poetry to praxis? In what ways and to what extent is the poetic always-already engage in a praxis? To what extent does the move from poetry to praxis suggest “a . . . life forever caught in the process of becoming[,]” which “leaves itself incomplete but then . . . transforms its static and unfinished condition into a complete, though never-ending, dynamic reconfiguration[?]”[1]


Building communities through writing, redefining literacy through collaborative initiatives, and crossing boundaries between academic/institutional workers and community-oriented and marginalized populations mobilize ideas and challenge those institutionally-fortified formations of knowledge and interpretation that have historically done more to instantiate antagonistic modes of human relationality than they have to elucidate human commonalities and possibilities for coexistence. These writing communities also become crucial galvanizing initiatives from the location of a “student-focused, land-grant, research university,” necessitating a praxis of writing that transgresses institutional boundaries, cuts across nationalistic borders, and articulates new approaches to writing pedagogy and practice—forging what Édouard Glissant calls a “poetics of relations.”[2]    


Because academic institutions are often rearticulated as insular, rearticulate its subjects as isolated, and dislocate learners as students of the regime of neoliberal professionalization, we invite you to come think through these difficult locales with us. We endeavor to build a conference which foregrounds internal and external pedagogical practices in relationship to institutional spaces that can often be degrading, as well as to community spaces which are often understood to be collaborative, engaging and encouraging. Further, “From Poetry to Praxis” encumbers a thinking about the politics of location. Poetry as a site, praxis as a rhetorical situation are, simultaneously, locations from which we think, act, and write across communities. As locations, then, the Red River Graduate Student Conference welcomes proposals that take up, converge with, and engage directly or indirectly this year’s theme of “Writing Across Communities: From Poetry to Praxis.” The RRGSC encourages students, scholars, and community members to submit abstracts (250 words) that propose panels, talks, and presentations of about 15-20 minutes in length. Submissions from disciplines other than English Studies (Gender & Sexuality, Queer Theory, Indigenous Studies, Comparative Ethnic Studies, American Studies, Communication & Media studies, Political Science, and Sociolinguistics) are also welcomed.


The registration fee for conference participation is $35 if submitted online by January 30th on the RRGSC website here: https://www.ndsu.edu/english/rrgsc/. Alternatively, registration is $40 if paid at the door. Important conference updates will be periodically sent to presenters via email. Abstracts of about 250 words should be submitted by January 15th. Early submissions are encouraged. Please contact Deborah Haley, RRGSC Chair, with any questions and for abstract submission (deborah.haley@ndsu.edu). 




[1] See Neel, Jasper P. “Prologue: The Situation of Rhetoric.” Aristotle’s Voice: Rhetoric, Theory, and Writing in America. Southern Illinois University Press, 2013. 


[2] See Glissant Édouard. Poetics of Relation. Translated by Betsy Wing, Univ. of Michigan Press, 1997.