Department of Writing and Rhetoric

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DWR Instructors Attend Council of Writing Program Administrators

Posted on: July 23rd, 2015 by jsmitch1

Six DWR instructors recently attended the annual Council of Writing Program Administrators (C-WPA) conference in Boise, Idaho. Hosted by the Boise State University from July 16 – 19, 2015, the program featured several sessions featuring DWR instructors.

On Thursday, July 16, Alice Johnston Myatt participated in the Independent Writing Departments and Programs Association’s semi-annual meeting in her role as current vice-president of the IWDPA. The DWR is an active member of the IWDPA, with its roots reaching back to the late 1990s as an affiliate group of the C-WPA.

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On Friday, Alice Johnston Myatt of UM and Genevieve Garcia de Mueller of the University of New Mexico led the lively workshop “Addressing Stereotypes in the Writing Program and Academy to Sustain GuyandAngelaMarginalized Student Retention: A Collaborative Conversation” (see photo, above).  Also on Friday, Guy Krueger, Angela Green, and Bob Cummings presented “Establishing a Freestanding Department of Writing and Rhetoric in the Public Research University: Sharing Experiences and Developing Plans for Sustainability” (see photo, right).

On Saturday, Alice Johnston Myatt, Karla Lyles, and Andrew Davis FullSizeRender-397presented “I, You, We: Balancing Multiple Audiences and Goals in the Design, Implementation, and Sustainment of an Advanced Composition Course with a Writing in the Disciplines Focus,” which focused on the curricular revision of Writing 250, a required course for many UM students (see photo, left).

Attendees also attended many sessions, taking advantage of the time in Boise to learn from peers and writing studies scholars such as Elizabeth Bouquet, Seth Kahn, and Cheryl Ball. The theme of the conference, which focused on Sustainable Writing/Program/Administrators, encouraged all to develop and implement writing instruction practices that persist and sustain students long after their formal classroom instruction ends.

DWR Instructors Attend Digital Media and Composition Institute at Ohio State

Posted on: June 17th, 2015 by jsmitch1

Untitled_Panorama4In May, DWR instructors Brad Campbell, Jenny Jackson, Rachel Johnson, and Alice Johnston Myatt attended the Digital Media and Composition Institute in Columbus, Ohio. During the two-week institute, attendees return to the classroom to learn how to effectively use digital media in college composition classrooms. Topics included how to compose in digital media, assessment of digital compositions, digital pedagogy, understanding intellectual property and copyright issues, and how to recognize and respond to the needs of students who may need accommodation for specific needs such as autism or visual and auditory restrictions.

Brad Campbell, director of the Oxford campus undergraduate writing center, say about his time at DMAC, “DMAC was perhaps the most engaging experience I’ve had in my ten years as a faculty member. I completely transformed the way that I think about pedagogical approaches to multi modality and digital composition in the classroom, and I will use the knowledge that I gained from the institute in future classes in order to create more engaging and interactive assignments, to increase the accessibility and navigability of my courses, and to demonstrate how digital and technological processes influence students’ awareness of rhetorical situations across academic and professional contexts.”

Each fall as registration opens for DMAC, DWR chair Bob Cummings send out a general call to DWR instructors to apply for a seat at the institute. Those of us who attended DMAC this year agree with Brad Campbell’s opinion, “I can’t think of a better opportunity for professional advancement than DMAC, and I hope my current and future colleagues have an opportunity to attend as well,” and we encourage you to attend if circumstances permit. If you’d like to learn more about the DMAC experience, you’re invited to talk with this year’s attendees or Andrew Davis or Guy Krueger, both of whom attended DMAC in 2012.

Guy Krueger Joins Special Interest Group to Shine Spotlight on Writing

Posted on: May 14th, 2015 by jsmitch1

CCCC Tampa Logo 2In addition to hundreds of interesting panels related to post-secondary writing, this year’s Conference on College Composition and Communication in Tampa, FL featured more Special Interest Groups than ever.  One of those Special Interest Groups was a meeting to help sketch the beginnings of a conference on writing credentials, such as majors, minors, and certificates.  Guy Krueger, a Core Instructor and the Writing 101 Curriculum Chair, attended the SIG on behalf of the University of Mississippi.  Currently, UM’s Department of Writing and Rhetoric offers a Writing minor, but there is hope for a major in the near future.  An annual (or regular) conference devoted to what credentialing writing currently looks like at different institutions and, more importantly, how students benefit from writing credentials in school, on the job market, and in careers would be beneficial in a number of important ways: teachers and administrators would be able to see how successful programs recruit students, how to best market writing credentialing, what courses are most effective and why, what students gain both immediately and long-term from writing credentials, what standards are currently in place for credentialing, and what the future might hold.  The group ended with plans to work on holding a conference or workshops at the University of Texas-El Paso in 2016 and will maintain conversations regarding planning over the next several months.