Philadelphia Writing Program Administrators
Fall 2021 One-Day Conference
Hosted by Temple University Writing Program
Friday, November 5, 2021
The Focus of the Day
For our Fall 2021 meeting, we invite our PWPA colleagues to consider the ways in which higher education writing instruction can address issues of equality and diversity in the classroom and in our students’ lives. With the ongoing pandemic and the national attention being paid to the Black Lives Matter movement, we can take this time to reflect on our own classroom practices, curricular choices, and assessment practices that affect our students and their experiences in the classroom.
We have an excellent program of roundtables, lightning talks, and presentations from our PWPA Members.
We know a six-hour Zoom conference can seem daunting, and we encourage you to pick and choose the events that work best for your schedule and that interest you.
Schedule of Events
Welcome and Opening Remarks
Liz Kimball, Gabe Cutrufello, and Rachel Groner
Interactive Workshop 1: Antiracist Assessment: Ungrading & Alternative Assessment Methods
Presenter: Hannah Bellwoar (Juniata College)
In this interactive workshop, we will consider antiracist approaches to assessment and ungrading practices. After grounding in antiracism and equity literacy, we will explore three alternative approaches to traditional grading. You will consider each approach, and we will talk through challenges and opportunities to each approach for your classes. No advance preparation is required, however, if you have a class you would like to work on, you might bring a syllabus or basic assignment structure.
Interactive Workshop 2: Providing Linguistically Just Feedback to Student Writing
Presenters: Kristine Lafferty, Celeste Del Russo, Cate Romano (Rowan University)
In this workshop, presenters will demonstrate how we can achieve linguistic justice in our classrooms when we are providing feedback to our students’ writing. Drawing on their First-Year Writing and Writing Center experiences, as well as the work of Dr. April Baker-Bell, presenters will illustrate strategies for providing linguistically just feedback to student writing and will present a framework for structuring feedback opportunities that deconstruct the traditional power dynamic of the classroom. This interactive workshop will make space for participants to challenge their current feedback practices and to actively participate in the feedback process together to develop more linguistically just strategies as we respond to student writing. Specifically, participants will have an opportunity to reflect on their own feedback practices, apply outlined strategies in breakout rooms, and declare a “plus one” takeaway to carry forward in their teaching.
Lightning Talks: A variety of five-minute presentations
Presenter 1: Tara Moore (Elizabethtown College)
“Writing Priorities across Campus: Survey Findings and Next Steps”
Presenter 2: Min Kyung Boo (Temple University)
“Why Language Matters: creating writing assignments that facilitate racial literacy”
Presenter 3: Suzanne Biever-Grodzinski (Elizabethtown College)
“Digital Storytelling Through StoryCorps”
Presenter 4: Matthew Midgett (Rutgers University-Camden)
“Hear Me Out: Rhetorical Listening from Every Angle”
Presenter 5: Megan Kane (Temple University)
“Leveraging Computational Tools to Enhance Assessment Transparency”
Presenter 6: Tania Islam (Temple University)
“Gastronomic Icebreakers: How To Jazz Up Class Introductions”
Presenters 7: Cate Almon and Eunsook Rhee (Temple University)
“Are we essentializing multilingual students? Implications for research, writing programs, and the classroom”
Presenter 8: Marisa A. Rauscher (Neumann University)
"When in doubt, DRAW it out"
Book Discussion led by Dr. Emily Cope
Join us for a discussion of April Baker-Bell's 2020 book Linguistic Justice: Black Language, Literacy, Identity, and Pedagogy. We ask that all participants in this discussion have read Baker-Bell’s book in its entirety.
12PM-12:50PM: Lunch Break
Interactive Workshop 1: Linguistic Justice and/in The Writing Center and Writing Program
Presenters: Nuria Benitez, Susannah Bien-Gund, Kristin Lindgren (Haverford College)
What would a Writing Center, Writing Program, and classroom environment look like if they were organized around principles of linguistic justice? What are the barriers to creating such an environment? During this interactive session, student, faculty, and staff facilitators from the Haverford College Writing Center will first lead participants in a reflection and visualization exercise to articulate the needs and possibilities for linguistic justice in their campus contexts. After a brief engagement with the strategies, struggles, and lessons from the Haverford Writing Center--including student leadership and development of a linguistic justice statement, a Multilingual Specialist staff position, and Writing Center Director-led initiatives and support--participants will break into small groups to develop proposals for their sites of engagement, and strategize around potential challenges. Participants will leave this workshop with a clear vision for a more just campus climate and classroom environment related to languages and languaging.
Roundtable 2: Preparing for the Writing Studies Job Market
Presenters: Emily Cope (York College of PA), Gabriel Cutrufello (York College of PA), Liz Kimball (Drexel U), Christina LaVecchia (Neumann U)
In this panel, the presenters will provide a brief overview of their experiences on the job market in writing studies and will then give participants time to develop questions in breakout rooms. Questions will be submitted anonymously through an online form, and the panel will take time to respond.
Keynote Workshop: Sophie Bell (St. John’s University)
The aim of this workshop is to expand racial literacy in school communities through faculty reflection on race in our homes and schools. Faculty in this workshop will expand our capacity for critical conversation about our roles in the legacies of racial inequity and division that surround us. Faculty will discuss any implications for their teaching.
Dr. Bell studies rhetoric and composition, culturally sustaining pedagogies, literacy and education, American literatures, and race, ethnicity, and culture. Her 2021 book, Mapping Racial Literacies: College Students Write about Race and Segregation, explores how her students’ writing contributes to and reshapes contemporary understandings of how US and global citizens are thinking about race. She has published articles in Composition Forum, Journal of College Literacy and Learning, Studies in American Fiction, and Radical Teacher. She is active in faculty collaborations for equity-focused professional development.