Dear Coalition Friends and Colleagues,
As organizer of the 2019 Western States Rhetoric and Literacy Conference, I invite you to submit your proposal(s) in response to our CFP, if you haven’t already done so. This year, we’d love you to join us on October 25-26 at Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana, to explore our theme of “Contemplative Rhetorics and Literacies.” While there is always a chance that we’ll have inches of snow on the ground by late October, it is more likely that our weather will be crisp, sunny and beautiful, providing an unmatched natural backdrop for the conference.
This year, we are pleased to feature Dr. Christy I. Wenger, author of Yoga Minds, Writing Bodies: Contemplative Writing Pedagogy and Director of Rhetoric and Writing at Shepherd University, as our keynote speaker to illuminate our understanding of contemplative leadership. We are also pleased to feature Dr. Amy Ratto Parks, Assistant Director of Composition and Executive Director of the Institute of Health and Humanities at the University of Montana, who will open the conference with a poetry reading. Amy’s poetry books include How to Remember the World and Radial Bloom and her scholarship often focuses on metacognition and writing.
As an annual conference, WSRL is small and collegial, and was initially created to allow scholars in the Western region to come together and exchange current research in rhetoric and literacy studies. However, affiliated and independent scholars, faculty, and graduate students from all regions are always welcome! In keeping with the spirit of a small gathering, the conference is held in a professional but relaxed setting, and conducted in a professional but relaxed atmosphere. A typical WSRL panel is 75 minutes long and features only three speakers, making for excellent conversational opportunities among panelists and audiences, graduate students and faculty. Also, WSRL hosts a traditional Saturday evening dinner for all conference goers who would like to attend. And when you come to Bozeman this year, you might as well plan a short visit to Yellowstone National Park, a 90-minute drive from MSU’s campus, or plan on some forest air walking in Hyalite Canyon or fly fishing on the Gallatin and Madison Rivers. Additionally, you might want to check out Bozeman’s local Dharma Center, find a yoga class, or just enjoy a mid-semester contemplative break.
As our submission deadline is only days away, here is the gist of our call for papers: We seek proposals that make connections between existing conversations and developing ones, proposals that investigate the ways contemplative literacies and the rhetorics of mindfulness provide new exigencies and frameworks for our work. We also invite proposals that provide more dialogue about the aims, methods and means of engaging contemplative rhetorics and literacies within traditional academic environments.
I hope to see some of you in Bozeman in October!
Kate Ryan, Conference Organizer
Associate Professor of Writing and Rhetoric
Director of Graduate Studies, English Department
Montana State University