EVENT Jun 22
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Writing as a Way of Being

Estes Park, CO
Organization: Assembly for Expanded Perspectives on Learning
Categories: Interdisciplinary, Pedagogy, Popular Culture, Rhetoric & Composition, Aesthetics, Anthropology/Sociology, Classical Studies, Cultural Studies, Environmental Studies, Film, TV, & Media, Food Studies, History, Philosophy
Event Date: 2017-06-22 to 2017-06-25 Abstract Due: 2017-04-01

Writing as a Way of Being Human
Assembly for Expanded Perspectives on Learning
2017 Summer Conference

YMCA of the Rockies, Estes Park, CO
June 22-25, 2017


Inspired by keynote speaker Robert Yagelski’s Writing as a Way of Being, the Assembly for Expanded Perspectives on Learning (AEPL)’s summer 2017 conference will bring together teachers, writers, and scholars from a variety of institutions, K-PhD, to investigate and enact what Yagelski calls the “potentially transformative inquiry into self and world that writing can be.”

The human element has never been more important for our teaching and writing practices. As a result of defunding, perpetual assessment, and other ideological and social pressures, our institutions are in crisis. Yagelski views these problems as a result of the artificial separations of self/world and mind/body in everyday experience. The divides widen when we conceive of writing and writing instruction as means to an end rather than as a reflective and generative practice we might share together. Joining together in intentional acts of writing can awaken us to our interconnectedness, and to ways in which—as individuals and as a writing community—we might address the social and environmental challenges of our present and future world.

The Assembly invites proposals for 75-minute workshops (preferred) or 20-minute presentations that address the conference topic or related topics addressing expanded perspectives on learning. Workshops should consist of hands-on learning activities participants might adapt and use in their teaching and/or research. Proposals may focus on one or more of the specific themes below from pedagogical, historical, theoretical and/or personal perspectives. Collaborative and creative approaches are encouraged.

Writing and the self
Writing as experience/the experience of writing
Writing and knowing
Writing and well-being
Writing and transformative learning
Writing as spiritual practice
Writing and Buddhism

Writing and the body
Writing and/against mind-body dualisms
Writing for/as self-care
Writing as visibility/invisibility
Gendered writing/writing gender
Writing as a practice of compassion

Writing beyond the text
Multimodal writing pedagogies
Writing and collage
Digital writing
Writing and posthumanism
Writing in the postpedagogical turn
Writing and crises of sustainability

Writing in community
The ethics of writing
Pedagogies of kindness
Writing and/as ethical attunement
Writing for/as social justice
Writing in/at the margins

Submit a 100-150 word abstract suitable for program inclusion and a 100-150 word bio to: aeplconference2017@gmail.com. Please indicate whether you are proposing a 75-minute workshop or a 20-minute presentation. Proposals are due by April 1, 2017. Proposals will be accepted and reviewed early for those wanting discounted registration.


Robert P. Yagelski is Associate Vice Provost and Director of the Program in Writing and Critical Inquiry at the State University of New York at Albany, where he is also Professor of English Education and director of the Capital District Writing Project. Bob is the author of numerous articles and books on writing and writing instruction as well as four textbooks. He has worked extensively to improve writing instruction at all levels of education. His recent research explores human dimensions of writing and its transformative capacity as a means to individual and collective well-being. His most recent solo-authored book, Writing as a Way of Being, starts on a mountaintop in the Rockies and advocates for writing as way to bring mind and body into harmony.


Kurt Spellmeyer has directed the School of Arts and Sciences Writing Program at Rutgers-New Brunswick for thirty-one years. He has published several books, including Common Ground: Dialogue, Understanding and the Teaching of Writing and Arts of Living: Reimagining the Humanities for the Twenty-First Century. He has also co-edited, with Richard Miller, the New Humanities Reader, now in its fifth edition. His articles have appeared in College English, College Composition and Communication, Pedagogy and other journals. Apart from his work in composition/rhetoric, he has practiced Zen meditation for forty years, first as a student of the Japanese Zen master Takabayashi Genki, and then, for the last twenty years, as a Zen teacher himself. He has published one book on Buddhism, Buddha at the Apocalypse, and his articles have appeared in the Buddhist journal Tricycle.

Doug Hesse is founding Executive Director of the Writing Program at the University of Denver and Professor of English. Currently he serves as President of the National Council of Teachers of English. Previously he was founding coordinator of the Norman Mailer/NCTE National High School and College Writing Awards in Creative Nonfiction, Chair of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC), President of the Council of Writing Program Administrators, Editor of WPA: Writing Program Administration, and Chair of the Executive Committee of the MLA Division on Teaching as a Profession. Doug is author of more than 65 essays and co-author of four books, including Creating Nonfiction, co-authored with the writer Becky Bradway and the Simon and Schuster Handbook for Writers. He sings semi-professionally with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra Chorus and enjoys hiking and photography. He's married to a writer and has three grown children, two of them successful journalists, one of them a successful cellist.


Nate Mickelson is Assistant Professor of English at Stella and Charles Guttman Community College, CUNY. He has organized sessions at recent national conferences of the MLA, CCCC, and ACLA, among others. His article, “Writing at Transitions,” advocates for holistic understanding of what students experience in the classroom. His research and teaching explore the intersections of poetry, creative literacy, and everyday life.


The Assembly for Expanded Perspectives on Learning (AEPL) is an official assembly of the National Council of Teachers of English and the Conference on College Composition & Communication. AEPL is open to all those interested in exploring the boundaries of teaching and learning beyond traditional disciplines and methodologies. Areas of interest include but are not limited to: aesthetic, emotional, and moral intelligence; archetypes; body wisdom; care in education; creativity; felt sense theory; healing; holistic learning; humanistic and transpersonal psychology; imaging; intuition; kinesthetic knowledge; meditation; narration as knowledge; reflective teaching; silence; spirituality; and visualization.




Nate Mickelson