Building upon the 2021 NCPTW’s emphasis on subversion and subterfuge, the 2022 conference arrives as writing centers continue to re-examine core beliefs and work to sustain or challenge recent changes. While much of this change–like the rapid shift to online services–was accelerated or forced by the COVID-19 pandemic, writing centers were already navigating calls for change from within the field. Take, for example, McKinney’s (2013) reconsideration of writing center grand narratives, Rafoth’s (2015) reexamination of our work with multilingual writers, Salem’s (2016) study prompting us to “rethink writing center pedagogy,” Mattison’s (2017) call to release our grasp on North’s “Idea” as required reading. Considering these calls together with the special issues and focused content from WLN, Writing Center Journal, The Peer Review, Praxis: A Writing Center Journal, and The Dangling Modifier during and following the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2022 NCPTW conference in Omaha is a unique opportunity for writing center tutors and administrators to gather and collaborate. The 2022 NCPTW pulls on the threads from the 2021 NCPTW as it invites participants to explore the “Writing Center Mavericks” theme, including the ways in which mavericks are considered unorthodox thinkers, likely to challenge the status quo, yet also recognizing that maverick ways of operating may run counter to institutional systems. The conference also invites sessions that interrogate the history of the term “maverick” and the implications of applying such a term to writing center work, especially given associations of maverick with cattle barons and the displacement of Native Americans, including in Nebraska. Conference runs Oct 27-30.
The 2022 conference explore the ways in which writing centers and peer tutors function as mavericks. Inquiries will include:
- How do individual tutors operate as mavericks in the day-to-day work of writing centers?
- What practices or processes make individual writing centers mavericks amidst the larger writing center community?
- How do writing centers operate as mavericks amidst larger institutional structures, pressures, and expectations?
- How have recent changes to local institutional policies/practices influenced peer tutor or writing center practices in positive/negative ways?
- How have recent changes to writing center or peer tutoring practices challenged or reinforced traditional writing center theory, research, or pedagogy?
- How do histories of writing centers–local or writ large–reflect maverick ways of operating?
- How might efforts to see writing centers as mavericks in fact perpetuate myths about our research, theory, and practice?
- What does a return to “normal” writing center work look like? How might the “normal” sought by writing centers or peer tutors coexist or conflict with the needs of students or institutions?
- How might peer tutors and/or writing centers use pop culture representations of mavericks as meaningful lenses through which to analyze writing center pedagogy, policy, or practice to internal or external audiences?
Conference Session Types
- Individual Presentations (synchronous/asynchronous)–a 15-20 minute presentation on a question, topic, or issue relevant to the conference theme. Individual presentations will be combined into a conference panel by conference organizers.
- Panel Presentations (synchronous/asynchronous)–Panel of closely-related talks (3-4) on a question, topic, or issue relevant to the conference theme. Panelists have 75 minutes total for their presentation.
- Roundtables–75 minute group discussions. Presenters offer introductory remarks and facilitate discussion on a question, topic, or issue relevant to the conference theme.
- Poster Presentations (synchronous/asynchronous)–organized as a research fair, presenters offer a visual representation of their research and then discuss informally with attendees
- Workshops–75 minute interactive session in which organizers facilitate engagement among participants to explore an issue, question, or theme or to produce some tangible product (writing, research, art, etc.)
- Wildcard– concurrent sessions of 75 minutes that engage deeply with writing center theory or practice or research but not via traditional conference session formats (emphasis on performance, interactivity, brainstorming, etc.)
NCPTW is thrilled to announce that the Keynote Speaker for the 2022 conference in Omaha (Oct 27-30) is Dr. Rebecca Hallman Martini. Dr. Hallman Martini is assistant professor of English and writing center director at the University of Georgia. She is the founding editor of The Peer Review, and her research has been published in Praxis, Computers and Composition, Across the Disciplines, and WPA. Dr. Hallman Martini’s Disrupting the Center: A Partnership Approach to Writing Across the University is now available from Utah State University Press https://upcolorado.com/utah-state-university-press/item/4127-disrupting-the-center In this important and timely contribution to writing center scholarship, Hallman Martini argues:
that writing centers in particular can respond to crises of higher education and the disruptive innovations that challenge university practices through their own innovative approaches to writing instruction. We can (and must) find ways to work both within and against a current political climate driven by college administrators who are strongly influenced by a business-model mentality, corporate interests, and post-Fordist values, including privatization, efficiency, cost-cutting, and mass production (7)
Dr. Hallman Martini’s keynote address will focus on peer tutor contributions to cross-disciplinary partnership approaches to writing instruction.
Register and make your travel plans now, so that you can fully engage Dr. Hallman Martini’s maverick explorations of writing center pedagogy.