Category Archives: CBW 2011

Welcome to CBW 2012! (W7)

Hannah Ashley started off the day by revisiting CCCC 2011 and the events that brought us to today. She reviewed the events of last year’s CBW Sense of the House Resolution and the work that followed this year in creating a mission statement.

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Filed under CBW 2011, CBW 2012, CCCC 2012, History of Basic Writing

Michelle L. Stevier on Her Experiences at CCCC 2011

Michelle L. Stevier, the recipient of this year’s CBW Travel Grant to CCCC wrote to the CBW Executive Board to express her thanks. We were so blown away by Michelle’s eloquence about her experiences attending CBW and CCCC and the ways she represented the conversations and community around Basic Writing that we asked her for her permission to post her letter. Our thanks to Michelle for letting us see CBW and CCCC through her eyes!

___________________________________________________

I write to express my appreciation for the Council on Basic Writing Travel Grant. Thanks to you and the other members of the CBW, I was able to attend the 2011 CBW pre-conference workshop and the CCCC. Your generosity allowed me to renew my connection with CCC and enjoy in-person, professional conversations with my Basic Writing colleagues. These are opportunities I have not had since the mid-1990s.

Both the pre-conference workshop and the conference itself were extremely valuable experiences. In the CBW workshop, I had the opportunity to learn (first-hand and from some of the best, no less) about new Basic Writing scholarship and pedagogy. I appreciated Mary Soliday’s comments about “standards anxiety” and Basic Writing’s increasing distance from composition studies, an important topic that recurred in Wendy Olson’s presentation. While Melissa Ianetta and Joseph Turner talked about the University of Delaware’s “strategy instruction,” I began to consider how my institution might usefully connect Basic Writing with one of our most popular first-year history courses. The professor for this particular course has already expressed interest in incorporating writing pedagogy into his content course; he seems like an ideal candidate to help me develop this kind of program. Michael Hill’s presentation infused the room with a fantastic sense of collegiality as well as the kind of good energy that leads to productive activism. I also enjoyed the time we spent on a Basic Writing mission statement. This work helped me think through the mission of Basic Writing at my institution. Hearing what others believe BW can and should do was illuminating and inspiring.

I’m bolstered by the fact that my BW work seems well in line with others’ ideas about best BW educational practices; most importantly, though, I’ve been challenged to reconsider aspects of my teaching and our overall program in productive ways. Among other things, I need to consider and build upon Basic Writing’s connections to other programs at Dickinson State University. At DSU, as at so many institutions across the country, Basic Writing has become “somewhat distanced from composition studies” (Soliday) and connections and networks need to be rebuilt. Basic Writing isn’t separate from composition writ large; it has to be one step within a student-oriented composition program.

Once the CBW workshop was over, I began attending CCCC panels and individual presentations, so many of which were pertinent to my work as a Basic Writing instructor and Writing Center coordinator. The Council on Basic Writing special interest group meeting was useful and energizing, not just in terms of knowledge garnered, but in terms of contacts made and friendships begun. Another particularly valuable session was the panel on the public university (“Screaming in Silence: Accessibility, the Public University, and Existential Despair”). Here, I had the opportunity to listen to and talk with scholar-teachers whose Basic Writing programs are being downsized as the result of state budget cuts. Roused by panelists Susan Bernstein and Aaron Barlow (and by the paper of Rachel Rigolino, who was unable to attend), audience members couldn’t stop talking about the importance of Basic Writing programs and ways to keep these programs available to students who need them. Come fall, I look forward to sharing these panelists’ ideas at a brown-bag luncheon with my DSU colleagues. Their work seems like an exceptionally good starting point for our institutional discussions.

On Saturday, April 9, I joined my CBW colleagues at the CCC annual business meeting, and almost had the pleasure of speaking on behalf of Basic Writing and students’ and the profession’s needs. When two lines formed behind the floor microphones, CCC chair Dr. Gwendolyn Pough asked whether any of us were rising in objection to the BW State of the House resolution. No one was, so she requested a “so ordered” call.

After the CCC town meeting concluded, I started attending sessions again, and I rounded out my CCCC experience with these: “Instructor Feedback in ESL Writing Courses,” “Underdogs and Underprepareds: Issues in Teaching Basic Writing,” “Contesting Identities in Writing Centers: Theorizing Subject Positions, Practices, and Political Contexts,” and “Pedagogies of Passion: Exploring Enthusiasm in Teaching and Writing.”

All in all, my experiences at the CBW and CCCC were incredibly enriching. Although I’ve attended many conferences over the years, I have never before been able to say that I learned something of value in every session I attended. What’s more, my conference involvement has enabled me to get to know Basic Writing and Writing Center colleagues, and I believe their mentoring will prove invaluable in the days ahead. The CBW’s greatest gift to me may well be the colleagues I met, through whom I can stay connected to the profession and maintain the all-important “support group” of which Michael Hill spoke during his pre-conference presentation. It helps so much, as he noted, to have “a group to which [one] can point and say, ‘I’m NOT the outlier. THIS is the field.’” In the CBW workshop, I was reminded that I am not alone in my BW efforts; I realized that I have a wealth of talented, energetic, activist colleagues as a support system. As tired as I am as my institution ends its academic year, I find myself excited about the summer ahead, which will be a summer of planning and preparation. This fall, in addition to developing a series of brown bag luncheons and other gatherings, all based in discussions related to Basic Writing and so-called Basic Writers, I intend to launch a program that actively recruits former Basic Writing students as Writing Center tutors. At the center of all these activities will be the inspiration, energy, and wisdom I gained from my experiences at the Atlanta CCCC.

Thank you for helping to make my conference attendance a possibility. Thank you, all.

Sincerely,

Michelle L. Stevier

Adjunct Instructor in Basic Writing
Coordinator, Tutoring and Writing Centers & Supplemental Instruction

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Sense of the House Motion, CCCC 2011

The Resolution:

The Executive Board of the Council on Basic Writing put together a Sense of the House resolution, which was presented and passed at the 2011 CCCC business meeting on 9 April 2011. This resolution came out of a sense of the increasing invisibility of Basic Writing at CCCC.

The Resolution: “Be it resolved that Basic Writing is a vital field and its students and teacher scholars a productive force within composition; is under attack by exclusionary public policies; and therefore must be recognized publicly and supported by CCCC as a conference cluster and with featured sessions.”

The Signatories:

Bill Lalicker
Westchester University

Shannon Carter
Texas A&M–Commerce

Sugie Goen-Salter
San Francisco State University

Peter Adams
Community College Baltimore County

Hannah Ashley
Westchester University

J. Elizabeth Clark
LaGuardia Community College, CUNY

Karen S. Uehling
Boise State University

Greg Glau
Northern Arizona University

Alan Meyers
Truman College Chicago

Kathleen Baca
Dona Ana Community College

Susan Naomi Bernstein
Independent Scholar

Barbara Gleason
City College, CUNY

Tom Peele
Long Island University

Deborah Mutnick
Long Island University

Rebecca Mlynarczyk
City University of New York

Kelly Ritter
University of North Carolina Greensboro

Michael D. Hill
Henry Ford Community College

Marisa A. Klages
LaGuardia Community College, CUNY

Sarah Kirk
University of Alaska, Anchorage

Bruce Horner
University of Louisville

David Bartholomae
University of Pittsburgh

Michelle Stevier
Dickinson State University

Elizabeth McLemore
Minneapolis Community & Technical College

Christina Montgomery
Saginaw Valley State University

Elaine Hunyadi
Saginaw Valley State University

Hope Parisi
Kingsborough Community College, CUNY

Chitralekha Duttagupta
Utah Valley University

Ann Shivers McNair
University of Southern Mississippi

Heidi Johnsen
LaGuardia Community College, CUNY

Linda Chandler
LaGuardia Community College, CUNY

Chuck Jordan
Lake Michigan College

Lee Torda
Bridgewater State University

Liz Bryant
Purdue University

Michelle Zollars
Patrick Henry Community College

Reid Sunahara
Kapiolani Community College

Lynn Reid
Brookdale Community College/City College of New York

Alexandra Reihing
Nassau Community College

Kathryn Douglas
Fairleigh Dickinson University

Sara Webb-Sunderhaus
Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne

Kelly Keane
Bergen Community College

Leigh Jonaitis
Bergen Community College

Mark Sutton
Kean University

Dan Beugnet

Laura McCartan
Metropolitan State University

Jennifer Cost
San Diego Mesa College

Elizabeth Modarelli
Stark State College

Joanne Gabel
Reading Area Community College

Rachel Rigolino
SUNY New Paltz

Joanne Howard
Montgomery College, Rockville Campus

Ana Marie Lopez

Jennifer Swartout
Heartland Community College

Pamela VanHaitsma
University of Pittsburgh

Jason Evans
Prairie State College

Elizabeth Cone
Suffolk Community College

Thomas Reynolds
University of Minnesota

Linda Stine

Judy Hansen
College of Southern Idaho

Beth Gulley
Johnson County Community College

Sue Henderson
East Central College

Robert Miller
Community College of Baltimore County

Sheila Otto
Middle Tennessee State University

Nicole P. Greene
Xavier University of Louisiana

Carla Maroudas
Mt. San Jacinto Community College

Melinda Veller
Rend Lake College

Julie M. Thompson, Ph.D.
Hamline University

Gail Stygall
University of Washington

M. Lani T. Montreal
Malcolm X College

Jim Cody
Brookdale Community College

Bonne August
New York City College of Technology, CUNY

Wendy Smith
San Diego Mesa College

Jessica Schreyer
University of Dubuque

Marsha Millikin
Saginaw Valley State University

Deborah M. Sanchez
North Carolina Central University

Kim Ballard
Western Michigan University

Wendy Olson
Washington State University Vancouver

Cheryl Hogue Smith
Kingsborough CC, CUNY

Lynn Quitman Troyka
Queensborough CC, CUNY

Cheryl Smith
Baruch College, CUNY

Amy Edwards Patterson
Moraine Park Technical College

Statements of Support

I fully support a conference cluster and featured sessions devoted to issues represented by the term “basic writing.” This commitment will insure that the organization continues to pay appropriate attention to questions of diversity and language difference.

David Bartholomae
Professor and Charles Crow Chair
Department of English
University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA 15260

***
The teaching of basic writing occupies a paradoxical position in composition. It is the specialty of some of the leading figures in composition studies and, simultaneously, the province of teachers and students placed at the bottom of the academic institutional hierarchy. The emergence of basic writing as an academic field in the early 1970s has frequently been cited as crucial in the development of composition, producing “[m]any of the teaching and research projects we now take for granted and “a number of remarkable innovations in the study and teaching of writing” (Trimbur, “Cultural Studies” 14). Basic writing represents a writing movement that has consistently addressed “broad questions about the aims of education and the shape of various educational institutions” and that contributes significantly to the “revitalizing of the teaching of writing” (12). By working with students institutionally designated as at the bottom, basic writing has explicitly called into question the social and political role of educational institutions and the politics of representing students, or prospective students, and their writing in particular ways, as either “literate” or “illiterate,” “college material” or “remedial,” “skilled” or “unskilled.”

Yet the lessons and insights of basic writing are at risk of being lost or forgotten. John Trimbur has written that we need to “relearn” the insights of open admissions (“Cultural Studies” 14-15). James Slevin has expressed concern that the training of writing teachers typically does not include investigation of the role writing instruction has played in socializing those new student populations historically called “remedial” (14).

I support the statement to sustain the continuing insights of basic writing and its project of responsibility to those most commonly identified as outsiders to the academy. I do so both in order that we meet our responsibilities to these students, but also to ensure that we meet our responsibilities as a field and organization committed to rethinking the meaning of literacy, the teaching of writing, and their potential contributions to projects of democracy and justice.

References:

John Trimbur’s “Cultural Studies and Teaching Writing,” Focuses 1.2 (1988): 5-18.
James Slevin’s “Depoliticizing and Politicizing Composition Studies,” The Politics of Writing Instruction: Postsecondary, ed. Richard Bullock and John Trimbur (Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 1991): 1-21.

Bruce Horner
Endowed Chair in Rhetoric and Composition
315 Bingham Humanities Bldg.
University of Louisville
Louisville, KY 40292

***
Basic Writing is an important sub-set of composition studies with a significant student population and with a long and distinguished history and scholarship. We feel it is important that Basic Writing be acknowledged explicitly by CCC in a time of waning public support for this important endeavor.

Rebecca Mlynarczyk
Kingsborough Community College, CUNY
CUNY Graduate Center
Co-Editor of Journal of Basic Writing

***

We need to support and sustain programs, courses, and scholarship in Basic Writing. Our students must have to access to resources that allow them to learn and to grow as writers– and as full participants in democracy.

Susan Naomi Bernstein
Independent Scholar
Queens, NY

***

Reports from the floor of the business meeting, 4/9/2011:

I’ve never been prouder of CBW. The way so many people came together to work on getting the resolution urging CCCC to give BW more visibility at the conference was simply amazing. Yesterday, so many people emailed their support that we “crashed” the server. And this morning the resolution passed without opposition. Chris Anson added that he supported our suggestion and would work to find ways to accomplish it for the 2012 conference, even though that process is already underway.

I just want to thank and congratulate everyone CBW who contributed to this impressive achievement in the space of about 48 hours.

Peter Adams
Community College of Baltimore County

***

Hello All,
The resolution we developed and passed in the CBW workshop and SIG of CCCC was entered into the CCCC business meeting as a sense-of-the-house motion this morning. That resolution is:
“Be it resolved that Basic Writing, a vital field and its students and teacher scholars aproductive force within composition; is under attack
 by exclusionary public policies; and therefore must be recognized publicly and supported by CCCC as a conference cluster and with featured sessions.”

After a careful explanation and reading of the motion by William Lalicker and words of support by Lynn Troyka, Kelly Ritter and Shannon Carter (Kelly read a statement by David Bartholomae and Shannon read a statement by Bruce Horner), the motion was unanimously passed by the body of CCCC. We received a promise of support by Chris Anson, next year’s CCCC chair, who believed we would be able to cull and highlight BW presentations during next year’s conference.

Yay, us!

It’s worth noting that this motion and the movement it has spurred is just the start. Now, we need to inundate the review committees with proposals that show the vibrancy and validity of BW as a field of study within CCCC and as a vital social concern for all compositionists. We also need to start to take a much more vocal presence in journals, in the media, and on the social front. To that end, look for an article on Insidehighered.com on Monday morning regarding the motion and (hopefully) the current movement within CBW.

Please join the CBW in moving our issues and our ideas to the forefront of composition studies and to the larger higher education world.

Great conference all. Great movement all. See you back in the classroom.

Mike Hill
Henry Ford Community College

Inside Higher Education Article

Basic, But Vital

Previous versions of this post appear here, here, and here.

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Filed under Calls to Action, CBW 2011, CCCC 2011, Sense of the House Motion, Who is Basic Writing?

CBW Awards, 2011

Michelle Stevier, Dickinson State University, was this year’s recipient of the Council on Basic Writing’s Travel Grant. Michelle Zollars of Patrick Henry Community College won the 2011 Innovations Award. Gregory Glau and Peter Adams presented the awards. [l-r: Stevier, Glau, Zollars, Adams]

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Inside Higher Education Article on CCCC

Serena Golden of Inside Higher Education wrote this article, “Basic But Vital,” detailing CBW’s work around the Sense of the House motion at CCCC 2011.

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Mike Hill’s Summary of the Sense of the House Motion/CCCC Business Meeting

Hello All,
The resolution we developed and passed in the CBW workshop and SIG of CCCC was entered into the CCCC business meeting as a sense-of-the-house motion this morning. That resolution is:
“Be it resolved that Basic Writing, a vital field and its students and teacher scholars aproductive force within composition; is under attack
 by exclusionary public policies; and therefore must be recognized publicly and supported by CCCC as a conference cluster and with featured sessions.”

After a careful explanation and reading of the motion by William Lalicker and words of support by Lynn Troyka, Kelly Ritter and Shannon Carter (Kelly read a statement by David Bartholomae and Shannon read a statement by Bruce Horner), the motion was unanimously passed by the body of CCCC. We received a promise of support by Chris Anson, next year’s CCCC chair, who believed we would be able to cull and highlight BW presentations during next year’s conference.

Yay, us!

It’s worth noting that this motion and the movement it has spurred is just the start. Now, we need to inundate the review committees with proposals that show the vibrancy and validity of BW as a field of study within CCCC and as a vital social concern for all compositionists. We also need to start to take a much more vocal presence in journals, in the media, and on the social front. To that end, look for an article on insidehighered.com on Monday morning regarding the motion and (hopefully) the current movement within CBW.

Please join the CBW in moving our issues and our ideas to the forefront of composition studies and to the larger higher education world.

Great conference all. Great movement all. See you back in the classroom.

(Note: I posted this email to the listserv, but I think the listserv is still crashed from our many, many messages that signed onto the motion. If you get this message in your email, sorry for the duplication.)

 

Mike Hill

 

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Filed under Calls to Action, CBW 2011, CCCC 2011, Sense of the House Motion

Update on the Sense of the House Resolution

I know that many of you have been following the Sense of the House Resolution at CCCC over the past two days. We will send a full update later this weekend, but Peter Adams sent this word from the floor of the house.

“The resolution just passed unanimously at business meeting and that Chris Anson, the program chair for CCCC 2012 indicated his support for improving the visibility of BW.”

I cannot thank you enough for all of your support both at CCCC and virtually. It has been amazing to watch this unfold over the last 3 days. I think we are all feeling a collective sense of immediacy in our work around Basic Writing right now and this spoke to our shared concerns.

Again, a full report will follow later, but many folks were involved in seeing this through: William Lalicker, Shannon Carter, Peter Adams, Mike Hill, and Sugie Goen-Salter worked tirelessly behind the scenes collecting signatures, making copies, gathering statements so that those who could not be in attendance were well-represented. Many others came to the business meeting this morning to speak in support of the resolution and to read statements from those who could not attend. (Full list to follow later). We also released a press release to Inside Higher Education (Thanks Mike!). I’m hoping we’ll see that in IHE later today. Also, many, many thanks to William Lalicker, who proposed the idea in our preconference workshop on Wednesday. And, thanks to all of you who took time from your very busy lives to send statements of support!!! I also thought that you would be interested to know that David Bartholomae, Bruce Horner, and Rebecca Mlynarczyk sent in very eloquent statements about the importance of Basic Writing to be read on the floor in support of our motion.

I think this marks an excellent moment in Basic Writing. We need to seize the moment and run with it.

In the coming weeks, we will be posting more information on the listserv about a concerted effort to get BW into CCCC 2012. Please stay posted for this and be thinking of sessions you would like to propose!

Many folks are traveling from CCCC today, but once everyone has arrived home and rested, we will post a full account of the meeting here and on CBW-L. We will also compile a complete list of signatories on the motion. Right now those signatures are in digital and handwritten form.

Finally, I cannot thank you enough for all of your support and your work for our community of Basic Writing faculty, staff, and students!

(J. Elizabeth Clark, posting on behalf of the CBW Executive Board)

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Filed under Calls to Action, CBW 2011, CCCC, CCCC 2011