Sunday, May 25, 2008

The Future of Writing

As I've argued before, attention to writing in the academy needs to be taken even more seriously in the age of digital media and distributed networks, since poorly thought-out multimodal compositions have the potential to travel far outside the writing classroom. This is also an exciting time for publishing, in which scholarly books and journal articles are benefiting from new forms of peer review and access by the general public. I'm planning to take part in this University of California conference being organized by Jonathan Alexander, and I hope that other colleagues who are readers of this blog will submit an abstract to him in the coming week.

Deadline: Sunday, June 1st, 2008

Call for Papers and Call for Digital Artwork

CFP: “The Future of Writing,” University of California, Irvine
November 6-7, 2008

Networked communications technologies have become a significant part of American life, resulting in a nearly unprecedented generation of a variety of multimediated texts, many graphically rich and collaboratively written. The Pew Internet and American Life Project reports that “Internet penetration has now reached 73% for all American adults. Internet users note big improvements in their ability to shop and the way they pursue hobbies and personal interests online.” The emergence and growing use of social networking sites have contributed to a significant rise in the production of individual and group Websites through which people and communicates construct, debate, and disseminate online identities, personal ideas, and group values. Again, Pew reports that “Internet users ages 12 to 28 years old have embraced the online applications that enable communicative, creative, and social uses.”

“The Future of Writing” is a mini-conference (November 6-7, 2008) designed to bring together scholars across the UC system and a cadre of nationally recognized experts to explore how the new communications technologies, particularly the Internet, are challenging previous conceptions of what “writing” is. Through a range of panels, demonstrations, and an art exhibit, participants will consider the following: How are new communications technologies changing the way people “compose,” “write,” and “author”? How do collaborative writing spaces and social networking challenge the concepts of “text” and “author”? How are emerging emphases on visual literacies shifting what we think of as writing? And, finally, how do such changes and shifts challenge us as instructors to reconsider and potentially re-conceive educational spaces?

We invite proposals for panels (70 mins) and individual presentations (15 mins) that engage the conference themes and that address-theoretically, pedagogically, or both-what the “future of writing” might (or could, or should) be.

We also invite proposals for digital art work that addresses the themes of the conference. Please submit a URL (linking to photos of work you wish to present) with an accompanying abstract describing how your piece speaks to the “future of writing.”

Please limit your proposal abstract to 300-500 words and submit it via email, by June 1, to Dr. Jonathan Alexander, UC Irvine: jfalexan

There will be no conference registration fees. Participants from out of town will be expected to secure their own lodging.

This conference is sponsored by UC, Irvine’s HumaniTech and the Office of the Campus Writing Coordinator.

For more information, contact Dr. Jonathan Alexander at jfalexan.

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