International Writing Across the Curriculum Conference
From June 23-25, Sweetland hosted the 13th International Writing across the Curriculum (IWAC) conference. 473 scholars came from all over the world to discuss how writing across the curriculum programs and initiatives can give greater attention to the wide variety of complicated issues surrounding the term difference. The conference call invited proposals that situated the cross-disciplinarity of Writing across the Curriculum (WAC) and Writing in the Disciplines (WID) programs “within a pedagogy of inclusivity by asking how our pedagogy can broaden ideas of difference within and beyond the classroom to include social, cultural, linguistic, modal, and media differences, among others.” The planning team—Anne Ruggles Gere, Raymond McDaniel, Shelley Manis, Christine Modey, Simone Sessolo, and Naomi Silver—made some deliberate choices to create a conference program that would be as diverse as possible across a range of areas. For instance, each plenary event included three speakers, one of whom was a graduate student or an emerging scholar; scholarships were provided for several international participants, as well as for graduate students; and those proposing sessions were encouraged to emphasize the theme of difference in their program descriptions.
In keeping with the conference theme, pre-conference workshops addressed topics like creating inclusive writing assignments and creating partnerships across differences. The first plenary event focused on the history and new directions for theory and research in WAC; the second took a global perspective on encountering difference across places, languages, and technologies; and the third reflected on the implications of lessons learned from the conference. Individual sessions featured titles like “Inclusivity, Disciplinary Reciprocity and Disability,” “Designing a WAC Institute for Modal Diversity,” and “Narrating across Differences: Identities, Institutions, and Instruction,” all of which generated lively conversations throughout the three days of the conference.