2020 CWPA National Conference
The CWPA Road Trip:
Departures, Detours, and Destinations in Writing Program Work
Circus Circus/Silver Legacy Resort, Reno, NV
Conference: July 12-14, 2020
Workshop: July 15-18, 2020
Institutes: July 15, 2020
Good things tend to happen when we step out of our comfort zones and explore new spaces, whether these are physical/intellectual spaces within our colleges and universities or outside its walls—in communities, cyberspace, and more. For that matter, writing studies has a history of “road tripping” to other scholarly spaces—for example, cognitive and developmental sciences, social sciences, technology studies, management and business, economics…the list goes on. Sometimes we bring knowledge to these other spaces, as when we work on writing in the disciplines; perhaps more frequently, we find that the new perspectives we gain from our “road trips” help us to explore our own disciplines in new and exciting ways. For 2020 in Reno, I’d like us to explore what happens when we step outside of our more comfortable scholarly and physical spaces—when we take a “road trip.”
As you consider proposing a session or poster, here are some questions that might guide you:
- What was your road to writing-program administration? Was it a smooth one? What draws people to this sort of work?
- Is writing-program administration a long-term stop on a career trajectory, or is it more of a “rest stop” that one pauses at on one’s way to something else?
- How has your destination evolved over time? How has the destination of writing-program work as a whole evolved?
- What connections do you see between writing-program administration and other major “cities” in academia? How does writing-program administration connect to upper admin, for example? How does it connect to the faculty role?
- What findings or theories from other disciplines are especially productive if we bring them back home to writing-program administration?
- How do we stay healthy—physically, emotionally, mentally—on our WPA journeys?
- What happens when life sends us on a “detour”? How do we manage being a WPA when funding dries up, a family member needs help, or we are confronted with roadblocks we couldn’t anticipate?
- Traveling companions can make or break a road trip. What is the importance of community in writing-program administration? How do we foster good traveling companions?
- What would be your WPA road trip “mix tape” or “playlist” of scholarship that you want on repeat?
- If you were organizing a road trip for a new-career WPA, what scholarly regions would you make sure they visited?
- If you’ve been at this for some time, what wisdom from the road can you share?
- How can we prepare folks new to the field—graduate students, junior WPAs—for a successful and sustaining journey?
- Are there roadblocks to entering the field of writing studies? To becoming a WPA? How do we navigate them?
- What is the frontier in WPA work? Where do we need to go? How do we get there?
I hope you find these questions generative. However, I also want to encourage you to propose sessions based on other issues you find pressing or important about WPA work.