Second Conference (2017)

of the Association of Rhetoric & Writing Studies


Call for Proposals (CFP)

October 18 - October 20, 2017

At this point in the historical trajectory of undergraduate programs in rhetoric and writing, it seems a good time to ask ourselves some hard questions about what we as scholars and teachers in rhetoric and writing studies are doing, how we’re doing it, and how we might do it even better. Studies of undergraduate programs across other disciplines suggest an articulated program philosophy, strong program integrity, and thoughtful measurement of individual program indicators correlate to more effective achievement of program goals and objectives (Conrad and Miller; de Gaston, et al; Lowenkamp, et al; Saxon et al). Questions in each of these domains can serve us in rhetoric and writing as heuristics by which to not only examine the effectiveness of existing programs, but also to guide the planning and development of future programs.

To this end, we invite proposals that address (but which are not limited to) the following:

Program philosophy

  • How are theories of knowledge work articulated? 

  • How are theories of practice conceived?

  • How is alignment with institutional mission and constituency factored?

  • How are different stakeholders accommodated?

  • What are the ramifications of a weak program philosophy?

  • What is the importance of a disciplinary axiological framework for an effective program philosophy?

  • What subjectivity(ies) for students are imagined?

  • How is program philosophy effectively translated for students and the public?

Program integrity

  • How is a program philosophy effectively operationalized?

  • What constitutes a core curriculum?

  • How do bridge courses work (inter-disciplinary, cross-listings)?

  • How do general studies courses work with curriculum?

  • How is the explicit teaching of rhetoric successfully integrated with traditional upper-division level classes, e.g., professional writing and tech writing?

  • How does a student “experience” the core curriculum and how does this then scaffold work done in other courses (electives and special topics)? 

  • How do programs get a high degree of buy-in from faculty teaching in the program?

  • How is program integrity influenced by faculty with varied degrees of disciplinary knowledge?

  • How is program integrity pressured by other departmental programs and/or institutional entities?

Measurement of program goals and objectives

  • How and to what degree do courses, mentoring models, etc. align with program philosophy?

  • What individual program indicators might be identified to measure degree of alignment?

  • What methods might be used to collect data for measurement?

  • What is the potential for correlation of successful program indicators to writing centers, etc.?


The conference welcomes individual proposals as well as proposals for panels, roundtables, and posters. Conference sessions will be concurrent, lasting 60-90 minutes per session. Individual proposals will be grouped into conference sessions by topic. Presenters may also propose panels of 3 to 4 presenters, roundtables of 5 or more presenters, and poster presentations.

Faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students may submit proposals.


Presenters should submit an abstract (~500 words/presenter) of the proposed presentation no later than May 15, 2017.

Ideally, one person/panel or roundtable will submit the proposal and provide names and email addresses of all presenters. Also, please indicate whether you are full-time faculty, part-time faculty, graduate student, or undergraduate student.

Presenters will be notified of the status of their proposal by June 20, 2017.

To Submit a Proposal:

Proposals may be submitted by email to

Conrad, Kendon J. and Todd Q. Miller. “Measuring and testing program philosophy.” New Directions for Evaluation, vol. 1987, no. 3, 1987, pp. 19-42.

de Gaston, Jacqueline F., et al., “Teacher philosophy and program implementation and the impact on sex education outcomes.” Journal of Research & Development in Education, vol 27, no. 4, 1994, pp. 265-270.

Lowenkamp, Christopher T., et al. “Intensive supervision programs: Does program philosophy and the principles of effective intervention matter?” Journal of Criminal Justice, vol. 38., no. 4, 2010, pp. 368-375.

Saxon, Andrew J., et al. “Pre-treatment characteristics, program philosophy and level of ancillary services as predictors of methadone maintenance treatment outcome.” Addiction, vol. 91, no. 8, 1996, pp. 1197-1210.