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  • Spring 2018 reflection

    The CWS staff looks back at the spring 2018 semester and forward to upcoming/ongoing projects.

  • Spring 2019 Reflection

    Happy Summer CWS! As Spring 2019 fades into the rearview, we want to reflect on a semester of possibilities and progress.

  • Spring 2020 End-of-Semester Wrap-Up

    End-of-semester and year information about what CWS has been up to.

  • Spring 2020: Here We Go!

    We're excited to announce our Spring 2020 programming; be sure to mark your calendars for these events!

  • Summer and Fall 2012 in the Center for Writing Studies

    Summer and Fall 2012 in the Center for Writing Studies has been an active time and we have much to celebrate. Between May and August, four students completed their graduate concentrations and headed off to new positions:  Jessica Bannon as Assistant Professor of English at the University of Indianapolis, Lauren Marshall Bowen as Assistant Professor of Humanities at Michigan Technological University, Amber Buck as Assistant Professor of English at CUNY-Staten Island, and Cory Holding as Assistant Professor of English at the University of Pittsburgh. We miss their many contributions here, but know that they are going on to contribute much to their new institutions and the field.

    In May, I led a three-day Faculty WAC Seminar and enjoyed working with a great group of 15 professors from five colleges. In August, Jon Stone and I led a two-day WAC seminar for a similarly diverse group of 26 graduate students.

    The University of Illinois Writing Project offered its fourth Summer Institute, summer writing camps for local elementary and secondary students, and a fall conference. The excellence of UIWP was also recognized as we obtained funding for the second year from the Office of Public Engagement.

    The Fall also featured two colloquia, with visits by Valerie Kinloch and Daniel Perrin, both of whom gave fascinating talks and also had meetings with a number of graduate students and professors. We also had three brownbag meetings, with talks by Robert McChesney and Lindsay Russell and an information session on our Writing across Media (WAM) courses, with the participation of our current instructors (Alexandra Cavallaro, Kaitlin Marks-Dubbs, and Melissa Larabee).

    The Writers Workshop also had an active Fall as can be seen from their newsletter.

    In Alumni news, please join me in congratulating Amy Wan, now Assistant Professor of English at Queens College, CUNY, as her 2011 article “In the Name of Citizenship: The Writing Classroom and the Promise of Citizenship” was selected for the Richard Ohmann Outstanding Article in College English Journal Award!

    In personnel news, Andrea Olinger has agreed to take up duties as an Assistant Director of CWS in the Spring, working with Jon Stone, and Alexandra Cavallaro has agreed to take an Assistant Director position starting in Fall, with Andrea and Allie then working together jointly in 2013-14. Julia Smith will begin teaching a WAM section in Spring. Welcome and thanks to all of them!

    This fall we also were also very happy to have Lindsay Russell (English) join CWS as a Core Faculty member and Safiya Umoja Noble (African American Studies) as an Affiliated Faculty member. Welcome to them both.

    Finally, the Spring will bring a colloquium by Mary Juzwik (Michigan State) in March and Xiaoye You (Penn State) in April, two graduate student research forums (the first in February featuring Rebecca Woodard and Sonia Kline), brownbags to be announced, and our third Gesa Kirsch Graduate Research Symposium with alumna Christa Olson (now at UW-Madison) as our keynote speaker. In the meantime, I wish everyone happy and peaceful holidays.

    Paul Prior, Director of the Center for Writing Studies

  • Supporting Communicative Diversity Across the Curriculum: A WAC Workshop

    Details about our forthcoming WAC Workshop—centering around communicative diversity—scheduled for Thurs., 3/5, from 3.00p-4.30p in Henry Admin Building 140.

  • The 7th Annual Gesa E. Kirsch and Center for Writing Studies Graduate Student Symposium

    Please join us for the  The 7th Annual Gesa E. Kirsch and Center for Writing Studies

    Graduate Student Symposium

    Friday, April 22 Foreign Languages Building 1080 (Lucy Ellis Lounge) 

    8:30 am-9:00 am: Welcome and Opening Remarks by Spencer Schaffner

    9:00 am-10:15 am: Communities and Spaces for Literacy Education and Rhetorical Agency

    Kaia Simon: Fathers Teaching Daughters: Literacy that Changes Family Relationships

    Maggie Shelledy: “If It Hadn’t Been for Writing, I Think I Would Have Lost My Mind:” Resilience, Love, and Writing in Prison

     Evin Groundwater: The Hegemonic Maintenance of Gaming Rhetorics of Space as White, Masculine, and Male

    Chair: Lindsay Rose Russell

    10:30 am-11:30 am: Navigating Diversity and Inclusion in Organizations, Writing Centers, and Classrooms

    Maria Carvajal: Change within the System: Felipe Ortego y Gasca and the National Council of Teachers of English

    Logan Middleton: Writing Deafness: Negotiations of Composition, Signing, and Mediated Language

     Bruce Kovanen: Writing Centers and the Framework for Success in Postsecondary Writing

    Chair: J. David Cisneros

    11:45 am-1:15 pm: Lunch at Bevier Cafe


    1:30 pm-2:30 pm: Keynote by Kim Hensley Owens, Associate Professor of English at Northern Arizona University: In Lak’ech, The Chicano Clap, and Fear: A Partial Rhetorical Autopsy of Tucson’s Now-Illegal Ethnic Studies Class

    2:45 pm-4:00 pm: Public and Professional Writing

    Donovan Bisbee: The Viability of Precedent: Social Movement Discourse and Planned Parenthood v. Casey

    Annie Kelvie: Writing in the Religious Professions: A Case Study

    Katrina Kennett: Drawing into Relation: Teacher Planning Practices for Classroom Instruction

    Chair: Eric Darnell Pritchard


    4:15 pm-4:45 pm: Traversing Linguistic, Ideological, and National Boundaries

              Tom McNamara & Yu-Kyung Kang

              Chair: Kelly Ritter


    5:00 pm: Happy Hour at Murphy’s Pub – All Welcome!

    A very special thanks to:

    Spencer Schaffner

    Symposium Planning Committee: Maria Carvajal and Katherine Flowers

    Faculty Chairs: Lindsay Rose Russell, J. David Cisneros, Eric Darnell Pritchard, and Kelly Ritter

  • Thoughts on the CWS Inaugural Symposium

    María Carvajal reflects on the CWS Inaugural Symposium

  • Trans- {Language, Literacies, Modal, National} Symposium: Grappling with Complexity

    María Carvajal reflects on the CWS Trans- {Language, Literacies, Modal, National} Symposium

  • Upcoming Talks and Events on Campus

    Upcoming talks and events on campus include: 

    Lunch-time talk by Dr. Carolyn Wisniewski, Director of the U of I Writers Workshop.  The talk is about a study about the development of teaching knowledge and practice among twelve novice graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) of college composition. [Wed Nov. 18th @ Noon -> English Building 107A]

    Talk by Tom McNamara titled “'Burning Dollars': Chinese Undergraduates and Investment in the US Writing Classroom" [Thurs Nov. 19h @ 4pm -> GSLIS 126]


  • Virginia Kuhn, "Filmic Texts, Future Texts: From Keywords to Keyframes"


    When: Thursday, May 23th at 3:00 pm

    Where: English Building 160

    Sponsored by NCSA, iCHASS, & ISDA

    Abstract: Filmic media (aka video) is an increasingly ubiquitous mode of expression and communication brought about by the rise of consumer grade video cameras and other mobile devices (smart phones, iPads, flip cams) on the one hand,  and improvements in graphics processing units for networked editing and cloud based video hosting on the other. These technologies allow both the recording and the dissemination of video in ways that are utterly unprecedented. However,  we have yet to see its real potential. This presentation will focus on the radical potential of video and its implications for transforming research,  scholarship and pedagogy.

    Bio: Virginia Kuhn serves as associate director of the Institute for Multimedia Literacy and associate professor of cinema practice in the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California. She directs an undergraduate Honors program, oversees faculty in the IML Digital Studies minor and teaches a variety of graduate and undergraduate classes in new media, all of which marry theory and practice. Committed to helping shape open source tools for scholarship, she recently published the first article created in the authoring platform, Scalar. “Filmic Texts and the Rise of the Fifth Estate” appeared in the International Journal of Learning and Media, she just completed editing her second peer-reviewed digital anthology titled, MoMLA: From Gallery to Webtext, and co-authored a chapter in Digital Humanities Pedagogy: Practices, Policies and Politics, which was published by the pioneering UK-based scholarly press, Open Book Publishers.


  • WAM Professional Development with Professor Jeff Rice

    During Jeff Rice’s recent visit to the Center for Writing Studies, he met with current instructors of the Center’s Writing Across Media class for breakfast and conversation at Courier Café. Over always-amazing eggs and hash browns, WAM instructors Annie Kelvie, Katherine Flowers, and Kaia Simon shared our approaches and experiences teaching WAM with one of the scholars whose scholarly work influences the course.


  • Watson Conference 18 CWS Student, Faculty, and Alumni Panels

    CWS is delighted to announce the list of presenters at this iteration of the Watson Conference. Current CWS-affiliated faculty and students are noted in bold, alumni are italicized.

  • Writing Across Media

    We have four sections of our Writing Across Media class going strong this semester. Learn more about this innovative undergratuate class at The course fulfills the University's Advanced Composition requirement, along with over 100 other classes on campus.