Dear EWCA Community:
Our Board met recently to talk about whether we should cancel or postpone the conference or whether we should try to hold an online conference. After a long and serious deliberation, the EWCA Board has made the difficult decision to postpone the Conference 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The date of the conference is too close, and we still cannot assure that it can go forward. Also, it is difficult to have a synchronous online conference as participants and members are from all over the world.
We feel very sorry, and we are also sad. We’ve been very much looking forward to welcoming all of you to Graz and to create a space for our community to come together, to talk, to discuss and to celebrate.
We are planning on holding the conference in Graz in 2022. We considered holding the conference in 2021, but with everything so up in the air, it is not possible to predict whether everyone concerned would be in a position to travel by summer 2021. We intend to keep the same topic as was announced for the 2020 conference, so everybody who already had an abstract accepted is welcome to join us and to deliver their presentations, workshops or roundtables in 2022, exact dates to be confirmed. Others who were unable to submit for various reasons will have the chance to answer a call for papers that will be forthcoming by the end of 2021.
How to keep in touch?
We are a community of practice, and our community is very international. I fondly remember all the beautiful conferences and meeting people from all over the world. Meeting friends and sharing our knowledge, ideas and questions.
We have not met for a long time, so we are thinking about how we can keep in touch until we meet again.
We have the listserv, and we will soon open a new the Facebook group and we have our blog https://www.ewcacircular.eu/. These are our digital instruments for keeping in touch.
We would like to share our stories and publish the stories in our blog: https://www.ewcacircular.eu/
We would like to invite everybody to present their writing center and to tell us a bit about your writing center and the challenges you are facing during the coronavirus pandemic. Please write a text for our blog, videos and pictures are also welcome to hand in. We will publish you story on our blog.
Please write to the board if you are interested in sharing a story: email@example.com
Finally, the postponement of the conference poses another issue that we would like to address in this announcement. As you all may know, the election of the board traditionally happens every two years at the EWCA Conference. However, because we have not met since 2016 at the conference in Łodz, our Board and our Chair have are already been in office for four years . As we are unable to hold elections for the EWCA Board and EWCA Chair until 2022, we decided to work without a Chair, working as a unit instead as an ad interim committee (Lawrence Cleary, Franziska Liebetanz and Doris Pany) and we are also thankful to have Elif Demirel and Annemieke Meijer with us.
Warm regards, Franziska Liebetanz, Doris Pany an Lawrence Cleary
The EWCA board is happy to invite you to the 2020 EWCA Conference on July 8 – 11 at the University of Graz, Austria.
EWCA Conference 2020
Writing Centers as Spaces of Empowerment
Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz (Austria), July 8 – 11, 2020
Higher education is widely perceived as a promise of empowerment:
It is assumed that access to new fields of knowledge and new social and cultural practices will empower students in higher education to successfully acculturate into and participate in their chosen discipline-specific communities of practice. In higher education institutes without dedicated writing programs, ensuring that promise of empowerment often falls to Writing Centers and various other kinds of student development centers.
Writing centers have to ask themselves what kind of center they want to be: Do they want to interface in live or virtual spaces? Do they want to uncritically teach established formal conventions or invite students to explore the social and political motivations behind those forms? Do they wish to pursue a deficit model? Or do they want to promote a more critical analysis of situated, disciplinary writing practices in third-level education? An Academic Literacies approach requires that writing centers address how teachers and student writers are positioned by the inherently hierarchical social relationships that motivate, even dictate literacy practices in any given disciplinary or institutional context.
Considering these aspects we want to focus the following question at our EWCA Conference 2020:
What can Writing Centers do to make the academic promise of empowerment come true?
We hope that this crucial question will be appealing and appropriate to generate a lot of interesting answers that we can discuss during our EWCA conference next year. A more detailed Call for Papers will follow at the end of summer.
Click for General Information
The EWCA board
Dr. Doris Pany, Director of the Writing Center at the University of Graz, Austria has generously volunteered to host the conference. Visit Doris here: https://schreibzentrum.uni-graz.at/de/schreibzentrum/
Stay tuned for more information as it comes in.
Where Writing Center People Come Together
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