Welcome to the 2016 SUNY Council on Writing Annual Conference

March 4-5, 2016

We are happy to be hosting you here at the University at Albany


The University at Albany is hosting this year’s SUNY Council on Writing conference. For this year’s conference we have asked writers, writing instructors at all levels, tutors, and researchers to consider the role of affordability in our practices. We welcome perspectives, strategies, and questions for approaching and understanding the role of “affordability” pluralistically—as both what is within one’s financial means and what writing can afford (as in what it allows us to be able to do or manage). In the tradition of SUNY CoW conferences, we are interested in how these ideas apply to historical, contemporary, and projected-future practices of instruction.


Keynote Speakers

The University at Albany is proud to host two wonderful keynote speakers for this year’s conference.


The Friday, March 4th keynote address features University at Albany’s own Dr. Tamika Carey. Dr. Carey works within the field of Rhetoric and Composition, examining African American rhetorics and literacies, feminist rhetorics, and Black feminist thought and pedagogy. She is especially interested in uncovering, theorizing, and critiquing the rhetorical, literacy, and pedagogical practices within cultural groups and institutions. Currently, she is working on a book that examines discourses on healing and wellness within African American self-help culture, inspirational literature, and film directed towards Black women during the last twenty-five years.

For more information on Dr. Carey, please visit her faculty bio page.


“Writing and Teaching for their Lives: What Campaigns Show Us About Affordability”

Debates about the value of pursuing a college education have recently inspired Writing Studies scholars to revisit assumptions about the field’s obligation to prepare the “citizen” for civic participation and the “worker” for his or her future vocation (Scott 2009; Bollig 2016). While Black women scholars and leaders have participated in these disciplinary conversations, they have also launched their own complicated activist campaigns aimed at promoting the educational and social wellbeing of individuals in their respective communities. Throughout this presentation, Tamika L. Carey mines these campaigns for insights on the risks and rewards of activism, argument, and instruction. By exploring how these educators have enacted the roles of writing teacher and teaching writer to call for shifts in language pedagogy and to do the work of promoting wellness, Carey shows what an affordable rhetorical education agenda must involve.


Dr. Eileen E. Schell will be giving the luncheon keynote address on Saturday, March 5. The keynote will also be featuring guest speaker Jennifer A. Jefferey. 

Eileen E. Schell is Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith Professor for Teaching Excellence at Syracuse University.   She is the author of Gypsy Academics and Mother-teachers:  Gender, Contingent Labor and Writing Instruction and co-author of  Rural Literacies with Charlotte Hogg and Kim Donehower.  She also a co-editor of three edited collections: Moving a Mountain: Transforming the Role of Contingent Faculty in Composition Studies and Higher Education,  Rhetorica in Motion: Feminist Rhetorical Methods and Methodologies, and Reclaiming the Rural: Essays on Literacy, Rhetoric, and Pedagogy.   Schell currently directs the Composition and Cultural Rhetoric Doctoral program at Syracuse University and is active in the Syracuse University Senate.  Through her work with a  community writing group for military veterans,  the Syracuse Veterans’ Writing Group (founded 2010) and the Syracuse University Moral Injury Project (founded 2014), she works with military veterans and military family members to use writing as a tool for self-understanding,  creative expression, political advocacy, and healing.

For more information on Dr. Schell, please visit her faculty bio page.

Jennifer A. Jeffery holds a B.A. in Geography from Syracuse University and is currently pursuing a graduate degree in Library and Information Science at Syracuse University.  She  served in the U.S. Coast Guard from 1990-1998. She was a Machinery Technician Third Class (E4) at search and rescue small boat stations in Michigan, Maryland, Virginia and Florida. Her primary work involved search and rescue and law enforcement.  Jeffery’s career after the military has included advocating for and working for student veterans through her work in higher education.  She is currently Director of the Warrior Scholars program at Syracuse University, a one-week “immersion” academic boot camp that helps military veterans transition back to and prepare for college.  Jeffery has also worked as an academic advisor for an on-line career transition and information technology education program for veterans through the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University.  She is a published poet, musician, and artist .


“Uh, Welcome Home?:  Writing with Veterans on Campus and in the Community”

Many colleges and universities are now welcoming student veterans in record numbers.  As a result, scholars in rhetoric and writing studies have begun to think more about the needs and concerns of student veterans, especially with respect to the writing classroom. Often scholarly work in this area has addressed the tensions and challenges that may arise around potential “colliding values” between college writing instructors, student veterans, and civilian students.  One question that needs to be posed, and one that is in synch with this conference theme of “What writing affords, and what writing instruction affords as well?”  is how the act of writing can create community and shared purpose for  student veterans and also for veterans outside the university. This presentation will examine multiple sites where the affordances of writing with veterans are happening:  a community writing group  for veterans and military families; a war narratives class led, in part, by veterans;  and a national pre-college academic  “boot camp” program.  These spaces, among others, are places where the work of literacy, solidarity, critical consciousness, and creative expression can happen between and across veteran and civilian groups.




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