Locating Teaching: Classroom Rhetorics of Space and Place

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
Jeanne Marie Rose / Northeast Modern Language Association
contact email: 

The next Northeast Modern Language Association Convention is scheduled to be held in Niagara Falls, NY, from March 23-26, 2023. The “Locating Teaching: Classroom Rhetorics of Space and Place” panel is seeking submissions consistent with the conference theme of RESILIENCE:

As Michel Foucault, Henri Lefebvre, and Edward Soja have discussed, conceptions of space allocate power, construct social relations, and constitute identities. Accordingly, classroom spaces situate teachers and learners within broader cultural networks. As classroom spaces have changed dramatically in recent years, so, too, have our understandings of what it means to teach and learn. Decentralized, collaborative designs have replaced the “sage on a stage” lecture hall. Virtual classrooms have substituted for physical ones. Experiential learning has transformed workplaces, museums, and communities themselves into classrooms. Accommodative technologies have allowed for increased access. And COVID-era teaching has required our living rooms, kitchens, basements, and storage closets to serve as classrooms, often unpredictably.

In response to these shifts in how we occupy and enact classroom space, this panel explores the work of “locating” our teaching rhetorically, especially in circumstances that call for resilient reimaginings of location. What discourses, for example, do we use to characterize today’s classrooms, physical and virtual, and what is the impact of those discourses on our pedagogical theories and practices? How might spatial rhetorics enable us to productively reconfigure classroom spaces? How do rhetorics of space and place enable and constrain students’ access to our institutions? How do these rhetorics promote our resilience as teachers and learners?

Proposals exploring discourses of physical and virtual classroom space are welcome. Possible topics include, but aren’t limited to, the following: the physical and affective boundaries of the classroom; the notion of classroom presence, both in terms of attendance and engagement; classroom and CMS layout and design; the “home office” and pandemic teaching; remote teaching and learning and the impacts of placelessness; and the return to “in person” delivery. Participants are encouraged to consider classroom rhetorics of space as exigencies for meaningful social change, especially in cultivating resilience in the face of educational injustices.

NEMLA 2023: https://www.buffalo.edu/nemla/convention.html

More Information: https://www.buffalo.edu/nemla/convention/policies1.html

Abstract Submission Link: https://cfplist.com/nemla/Home/S/20011

Contact: Jeanne Marie Rose (jmrose [at] psu.edu)