Inkshed 19 Conference Program
May 9-12
Stanhope by the Sea

(May 7 Version)

Note: this program exists in two layouts: first, a chronological framework with titles; second, a chart with only the names of presenters. In each case, clicking the link on the title or name will take you to a description of what is planned. These descriptions are in most cases drawn from the original proposal letters.


Thursday, May 9

Transportation and arrivals
[shuttles from Moncton and Charlottetown -- and possibly Halifax -- to Stanhope are being arranged]

6:30 pm Dinner

8:00 pm WELCOME & SESSION ONE:

Betsy Sargent. "Embodied Theory: Introducing Undergraduates to the Technology of Writing-to-Learn"

Friday, May 10

8:00 am Breakfast

9:00 - 10:30 am SESSION TWO:

Nan Johnson. "Email and the Rhetorical Situation"
Anne Hungerford. "A Theoretical Analysis of E-mail Issues in the Workplace"
W. Brock MacDonald, J. Barbara Rose and Kathryn Voltan. "Brave New World: Big New Problem?"

10:30 - 10:45 am Break

10:45 - 12:15 pm SESSION THREE: Reading Time
On the reading table:
Roger Graves. "Reading Contexts: Collapsing the Workplace/Classroom Distinction"
Russ Hunt. "Between Planets: What's Between the Worlds of Worlds Apart"
Margaret Procter. "The essay as a literary and academic form: Closed gate or open door?"
Wendy Strachan. "Writing as professionals: an inquiry into pre-service teachers' role-taking in writing"

12:30 - 1:30 pm Lunch

1:30 - 3:00 pm SESSION FOUR:

Andrew M. Zinck. "Leaving Grades Behind: Encouraging a Paradigm-Shift through Online Learning Records"
Laura Atkinson. "'Fitting' Instructional Innovation in Reading and Writing: Mediating Factors in Activity Settings on Teachers' Adoption of New Methods"
Will Garrett-Petts, Rachel Nash, Susan Edelstein. "Visual Literacies: the Artist’s Statement as Genre

3:00 - 3:15 Break

3:15: 5:00 SESSION FOUR: Reading time

6:30 pm Dinner

8:00 - 9:00 SESSION FIVE:

Tosh Tachino. "Responding to Student Writing: Generic Considerations"
Shurli Makmillen and Deborah Payne. "Writing their way into academic culture: L1 and L2
writers 'talk back'"

Saturday, May 11

8:00 am Breakfast

9:00 - 11:00 am SESSION SIX:
Ginny Ryan. "Intervention in Students' Literary Analyses: Part of a Writing Centre's Role?"
Roxanne Ross and Jennifer Gilbert. "Workshopping Writing at University"

11:00 - 11:15 am Break

11:15 - 12:15 am SESSION SEVEN: Reading Time

12:30 pm Lunch

1:30- 3:00 pm SESSION EIGHT: Poster Session

Helen MacDonald-Carlson, Will Garrett-Petts, Donald Lawrence, and Erin Moen. "Documentation: A Workshop in Visual and Verbal Literacies"
Sharron Wall and Janet Barkhouse. "Writing and Learning Together at a Distance"
Margaret Procter. "iWRITE and Who Reads?"

3:00 - 3:30 pm Break

3:15 - 4:15 pm SESSION NINE:

Rachel Nash and Jan Duerden. "Understanding Collaboration through a Video"

4:30 - 6:00 pm

6:30 pm Dinner

8:00 pm TALENT NIGHT

Sunday, May 12

8:00 am Breakfast

9:00 - 10:30 am Discussion of Reading Table materials

10:30 - 10:45 am Break

10:45 - 12:00 am Annual General Meeting of CASLL, planning for 2003

12: 00 am Lunch

[Transportation to Charlottetown and Moncton]


Inkshed 19 program by time slot

Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
9:00 - 10:30
Nan Johnson
Anne Hungerford
Brock MacDonald et al.
9:00 - 10:30
Ginny Ryan
Roxanne Ross & Jennifer Gilbert
9:00 - 10:30
Discussion of reading table materials (texts listed above)
10:30 - 10:45
Break
10:30 - 10:45
Break
10:30 - 10:45
Break
10:45 - 12:00
Reading time
10:45 - 12:00
Reading time
10:45 - 12:00
Annual general meeting, planning for 2003
12:00 - 1:30
Lunch
12:00 - 1:30
Lunch
1:30 - 3:00
Andrew M. Zinck
Laura Atkinson
W. F. Garrett-Petts, et al.
1:30 - 3:00
Poster Sessions
Helen MacDonald-Carlson, et al.
Sharron Wall and Janet Barkhouse
Margaret Procter
3:00 - 3:15
Break
3:00 - 3:15
Break
3:15 - 5:00
Reading Time
3:15 - 5:00
Rachel Nash and Jan Duerden
6:00 - 7:30
dinner
6:00 - 7:30
dinner
6:30 - 8:00
dinner
7:30- 9:00
Welcome
Betsy Sargent
8:00 - 9:00
Tosh Tachino
Shurli Makmillen & Deborah Payne
8:30 - ?
Talent Night


The session descriptions below are in most cases drawn from the original proposal letters.

Betsy Sargent

"Embodied Theory: Introducing Undergraduates to the Technology of Writing-to-Learn"

I incorporate writing-to-learn (inkshedding) into every course I teach, but discover that students commit themselves to the process more fully if they understand the theory behind it. Thus, early in the course I devote an entire period to an exercise that they experience as a kind of intense and disorienting game to introduce them (although they don't know until they end of class that this is why I'm doing this) to Michael Polanyi's epistemology (Personal Knowledge, The Tacit Dimension). I'd rather not describe in detail what they do here -- it'd work much better for inkshedders simply to experience it as the students do. Suffice it to say that it involves people working in pairs, taking turns, with one person working with their eyes closed for five minutes to accomplish something while the other person writes down everything the "blind" person is saying (the "blind" person is instructed to speak out loud every speculation going through his or her mind as he or she works). Then they reverse roles. When each person has had a chance at each role (the introduction plus the exercise take about 15 minutes), we usually go around the room having each person simply read out the transcription of what was going through each partner's mind as they were "working."

The edited inksheds for this session are here


Nan Johnson

"Email and the Rhetorical Situation"

I will outline how I incorporate the study of email into my English 573 course on rhetorical analysis. This study takes up one unit. The point is to get the students to think of email as a very particular kind of rhetorical situation in which all the basic terms such as intention, invention, form, style, audience and context are influenced by technological features. In the Inkshed workshop, I would introduce this concept, share some student writing on the subject in a small handout I would send out ahead of time, and ask Inkshedders to do a work shop activity in which they would focus on an email event in which traditional rhetorical assumptions were challenged. I would have everyone write and then move to group discussion.

The edited inksheds for this session are here


Anne Hungerford

"A Theoretical Analysis of E-mail Issues in the Workplace"

Background: Over the past few years, I have been hearing business people increasingly complain that e-mail communication has abandoned the established conventions governing communication via written memo and telephone, as well as face-to-face meetings. The stories I have heard indicate that writers in business use e-mail to subvert, create, or redistribute power and that e-mail is not influenced by the traditional standards of etiquette and presentation for workplace documents.

Illustrative Narrative: A manager of operations received an e-mail from a VP of his organization asking him to do the impossible. He told me that under no circumstances would this VP have made such an outrageous request in a formal memo, in a telephone conversation, or at a meeting. The VP did, however, do so by e-mail and, what is more, he copied this e-mail to all other members of the senior executive. Because space here is short, I'll simply say that I have heard many stories of this kind (and of other kinds) while teaching in the business community. (In a recent class, I mentioned this topic, and the room just exploded -- everyone wanted to talk at once.)

Empirical Research: I'd like to interview a small sample of writers in the business community on their experiences with e-mail. So far, I have lined up four participants. I'm not sure yet, but I might also design a questionnaire for wider distribution. (All this has to go through the university's ethics committee for approval, and they may request changes.)

Theoretical interpretation: I'd like to use the work of Jurgen Habermas as a theoretical framework for interpreting the data. In particular I'd like to draw from his work "The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere." In this work, Habermas investigates tensions between and transformations of private and public spheres of communication. My application would, of course, be different from his, but I think some of the theory would transfer. (I'm still at the stage of reading and thinking about this.)

The edited inksheds for this session are here


W. Brock MacDonald, J. Barbara Rose and Kathryn Voltan

"Brave New World: Big New Problem?"

The potential problems of applying new technologies to pedagogy are perhaps nowhere more obvious than in the Writing Centre context. Traditionally, the only technology we have needed in our work with students has been a pencil, some paper, and two chairs, but like almost everyone in today's universities, we are experiencing pressures to go on-line, put up Web pages, and deal with students via email. The essence of our work is dialogue, one-to-one interaction with each student; the success of that dialogue depends in large part on the Writing Centre's being a safe space for students to come with their work -- a space with a particular quality of openness. The question is, what is the effect on this dialogic relationship, on that sense of safety and openness, when we interpose a technological screen, in effect, between the tutor and the student? In our presentation we will explore the possible benefits of using new technologies in some aspects of our work, especially with respect to assessing students' learning outcomes, but at the same time we will argue that some resistance to technology is inherent in the nature of our pedagogy.

We envision a group presentation with some use of Power Point and a certain amount of Net surfing (if a Web connection can be rigged up).

The edited inksheds for this session are here



Andrew M. Zinck

"Leaving Grades Behind: Encouraging a Paradigm-Shift through Online Learning Records"

This paper discusses the use of Online Learning Records in a music course as a tool for cultivating critical agency in music students. Online Learning Records, developed by Dr. Margaret Syverson at the University of Texas at Austin, offer an assessment model that accounts for a wide variety of learning experiences. Writing portfolios built through learning
records rely on both formal and informal writing and encourage a culture of revision in the classroom. Through the instruction generated by the learning records, students learn to reflect on their positions as learners, shifting from a grade-centred to a knowledge-centred confidence that offers life-long strategies for growth as active participants in civic and cultural life.

The edited inksheds for this session are here


Laura Atkinson

"'Fitting' Instructional Innovation in Reading and Writing: Mediating Factors in Activity Settings on Teachers' Adoption of New Methods.'

I propose to look at the effect of teachers' participation (their habitual activities) in the worklife of their schools on their adoption of new "pedagogical tools" in their teaching of reading and writing (emphasis on writing). It's a new look at some of my dissertation material.

The edited inksheds for this session are here


Will Garrett-Petts, Rachel Nash, Susan Edelstein

“Visual Literacies: the Artist’s Statement as Genre”

Introduction: Defining the Artist’s Statement as Genre

During the last decade or so, scholarship in genre theory and composition studies has given increased attention to notions of discipline-specific writing and writing in the workplace —about how different communities develop ways of using and thinking about writing, and about writings relationship to other media. The visual arts community provides an intriguing case in point: here the focus is on the visual, on making the visual “speak for itself.” Yet visual artists must do a good deal of writing about their work. They write letters, reviews, critiques, proposals, grant applications, and perhaps most important of all for professional artists, artists’ statements.

Artists’ statements take the form of short comments -- miniature essays -- that introduce an actual or proposed exhibition. Like prefaces, forewords, prologues, and introductions in literary works, the artist's statement performs a vital if complex rhetorical role: when included in an exhibition proposal, a slide application package, and sent to a curator, the artistes statement must provide content, context, technical specifications, establish the artistes ethos and persuade the reader of the artwork's value; when hung on a gallery wall, the statement (or “didactic”) becomes both invitation and explanation, and in some measure an element of the installation itself. Less formally, artists’ interviews, journals, albums, sketchbooks, and all manner of private correspondence can, when made public, create meta-narratives that speak to and about the work. Martha Langford points out that “meta-albums as artistic statements have been part of the discourse for thirty years, first appearing in the 1960s and coalescing over the next decade under photographic movements such as the Snapshot Aesthetic and the Social Landscape" (30). Langford singles out Michael Snow / A Survey as an “arresting, . . . enigmatic” example of a catalogue that both enacts and comments on Snow's artistic practice.

Not all artists and curators are comfortable with the public foregrounding of private aesthetics, written typically, as Derrida reminds us, “in view of their own self-effacement” (Dissemination 9); yet the visual arts community nonetheless employs artists’ statements as key liminal documents, as writing that both directs the viewer's gaze and indirectly announces or affirms the artistes rite of passage. Artists’ statements call attention not only to the artworks they introduce, but to themselves -- and to “the artist” as creative and critical agent. Artists’ statements are palimpsests, presenting, in words, a narrative or argument behind each principal visual representation.

Objectives of the Proposal: A Working Paper on Artists’ Statements

There are numerous collections of artists’ statements, documents, and manifestos, some held in libraries and galleries, and some published in major compilations such as Kristene Stiles and Peter Selz’s Theories and Documents of Contemporary Art: A Sourcebook of Artists’ Writings. To date, however —unlike the literary preface -- the artistes statement has not been the subject of sustained critical study. We propose the circulation of a discussion paper on our current investigation into visual arts literacies. We are prepared to circulate a 1000 word discussion paper (we'll include samples of artists’ statements) and lead a ½ hour – to – 45 minute discussion on the topic -- and on our related research.

The edited inksheds for this session are here



Tosh Tachino

"Responding to Student Writing: Generic Considerations"

Current socio-constructionist approach to writing assumes that writing takes place within a highly-specified discourse community (Swales, 1990), and the quality in writing is determined by the expectations from community members. Such a view is very useful in seeing writing as context specific as Johns (1997) and Bruffee (1993) point out that the nature of a writing task differs even from one university class to another in the same discipline because each class forms a discourse community distinct from others. However, this does not mean each discourse community is completely independent as discourse communities overlap. Such an overlap between professional writing and student writing is the focus of this study which attempts to show the similarities and differences of the expectations of each community.

Two (possibly three) professors are asked to evaluate student essays and journal articles, and they were asked to verbalize their thoughts as they read the texts. The task was complicated by the fact that a rather vague prompts were given for the last three texts so the professors were forced to guess whether the texts belonged to student essays or journal articles. This enabled the researcher to conjecture what distinguish the two genre, and whether journal articles can, indeed, serve as models for student essays.

The edited inksheds for this session are here


Shurli Makmillen and Deborah Payne

"Writing their way into academic culture: L1 and L2 writers 'talk back'"

L2 students are often known to make the disclaimer that "my English is bad," yet as instructors we often find their performance in the writing classroom comparable to that of L1 writers. Is "my English is bad" just another version of "my writing is bad" that we hear from L1 students? -- reflecting a lack of confidence rather than a lack of a general ability? As such, to what degree do we as writing instructors need to differentiate between L1 and L2 student writers in the writing classroom? We are aware that there may be, as Matsuda (1998) points out, “salient differences between first and second language writers" (p106) that, if ignored, may lead to the needs of L2 students being overlooked. We are also aware of the risks of essentialising students based on assumed differences in learning styles (Pennycook 1998, Kubota 2001).
In our 20 minute presentation, we will discuss the initial findings of our qualitative study that asks first and second language students about the discursive choices they make as academic writers. Through these discourse based interviews (Odell et al. 1983) we hope to enhance our understanding of how similar or dissimilar second and first language students are in regards to the tacit and explicit processes by which they come to feel more "at home" and confident as writers in Western University culture. The interviews will also give those who are newly using academic discourse the chance to “talk back” to the expectations put upon them as novice writers in an academic community. We are carrying out this research to better inform our teaching of academic writing in an increasingly diverse classroom.

The edited inksheds for this session are here


Ginny Ryan

"Intervention in Students' Literary Analyses: Part of a Writing Centre's Role?"

Is it ethical for a writing centre tutor to challenge a student's interpretation of a piece of literature when the tutor senses that that
interpretation is confused or uninformed? Conversely, would it be ethical for the tutor not to do so? In this "participatory exploration" we will examine a student's analysis of an assigned poem in order to discuss what degree and type of intervention, if any, is appropriate on a writing tutor's part when dealing with a student's interpretation of literature. The examination will also necessarily call into question the role of writing centres in post-secondary liberal arts programs, as well as what kinds of "learning" such programs are intended to foster in students through requiring them to write critical analyses of literature

The edited inksheds for this session are here



Roxanne Ross and Jennifer Gilbert

"Workshopping Writing at University"

We propose to facilitate an active, writing intensive workshop, drawing on the resource book that we are currently developing for faculty and TAs.

As part of our work at Carleton University's Writing Tutorial Service, we design and conduct writing workshops at the request of instructors in a variety of disciplines. Our understanding of writing as situated and social informs our practice. We advocate that students do writing in the classroom, which may be incorporated into their learning in a variety of ways: as a warm-up; as writing they can build on in later stages of the writing project; as thoughts to share with other students; as non-graded (risk-free) communication with their instructors. In co-operation with professors, we design writing and discussion activities to support students throughout the process of working on an assignment for that course. The feedback we've received indicates that this approach to teaching writing results in students learning more about writing, about their topic and about the nature of the discipline in which they are operating.

The edited inksheds for this session are here



Helen MacDonald-Carlson, Will Garrett-Petts, Donald Lawrence, and Erin Moen

"Documentation: A Workshop in Visual and Verbal Literacies"

A common interest in visual and verbal literacies has brought together a group of researchers from varied disciplines (including rhetoric and composition, visual arts and early childhood education). Their work has involved developing and practising strategies that make the learning process more visible. Inspiration for this research has been drawn from the early childhood programs in Reggio-Emilia, Italy, where documentation “ensures that the group and each individual child have the possibility to observe themselves from an external point of view while they are learning (both during and after the process).” Here “documentation” refers to the process of collecting materials (photos, videos, audio, written observations, children's art) which can be read and interpreted -- but documentation can also used as a means to foster learning.

In the field of early childhood education, where there are often few “products” produced, making the learning visible is a useful tool to understand and communicate children's ideas and thinking. However, documentation is not only useful with very young children: all age groups benefit from the opportunity to revisit and reflect upon their own learning, including post-secondary students, for whom the process of journaling and documenting learning becomes a personal, meta-cognitive complement to writing.

The edited inksheds for this session are here


Sharron Wall & Janet Barkhouse

"Writing and Learning Together at a Distance"

Last fall, Janet Barkhouse, from Park View Education Centre in Bridgewater, NS, and Sharron Wall, at McGill's Faculty of Education, collaborated on a communication project between grade 10 students and 2nd & 3rd year pre-service teachers. It was the task of the teachers-in-training to get the high school students' attention and present them a "life lesson" from their personal experience. E-mail, phone, Canada Post and FedEx were used as the need arose.
The two groups -- one rural, homogeneous, teenage; the other urban, multicultural, adult--both engaged in the "real" writing experience, and the interactions between the classes proved fascinating. The university students loved telling the younger students what they have learned from living in a first apartment, getting a tongue pierced, experimenting with drugs; the high school students, who ranged from basic to competent writers and readers, were enthusiastic about the project because they could communicate with real university students. In their enthusiasm, they learned a great deal about what constitutes strong writing as they evaluated the McGill students' writing using their school's rubric.

We will reflect on this collaborative assignment and discuss our methodology and results with Inkshedders.

The edited inksheds for this session are here


Margaret Procter

"iWRITE and Who Reads?"

iWRITE courseware is being developed to support writing-in-the-disciplines initiatives at the University of Toronto. It's our latest try at showing students what professors really want in course assignments. Users enter a course-specific website and look interactively at samples of past student papers along with instructors' detailed comments. Then they take part in a planning and drafting exercise for their current assignment. Students like seeing the "rules" in action, though they still have some misgivings about how their own papers are actually read and graded. Instructors also appreciate being able to set out lengthy comments on individual papers. We want Inkshed 19 participants to sit down and use iWRITE themselves and then inkshed about their responses to its pedagogical principles and strategies.

The edited inksheds for this session are here


Rachel Nash and Jan Duerden

"Understanding Collaboration through a Video"

Collaboration has become a vital component in our classrooms at the University College of the Cariboo and, we suspect, may be a key feature in an emerging model of advanced literacy centered in performance. Contrary to what many educators believe, collaborative learning is not a new phenomenon in the academy, but it currently enjoying a renaissance as a prominent component of our composition courses, replacing a commonly perceived but not entirely accurate model of "solitary, silent and secret writer" (Obah 1993). As the result of collaboration during the writing process, in the form of workshopping written work, students become more aware of the complexity of text, the importance of peer review and develop an acute sense of ownership and pride in their writing. However, students need to see the process modelled to fully understand this process; a video modelling the process is a critical pedagogical tool. Such a video exists (Student Writing Groups, University of Washington, 1986) but is sorely outdated and deals with generic and cultural issues outside the contemporary Canadian context. Consequently, we are in the process of creating our own, theoretically grounded video based on the learning needs of our students.

We propose a short presentation, to include an overview of our video project, the theories informing our decisions behind it, a brief viewing of the existing video and then an open discussion of the video and the process of peer editing in general. Our aim would be to engage our audience on the topic of collaboration and peer editing, with a particular emphasis on what actually works in our own composition classrooms and what would create a valuable teaching resource for us all.

The edited inksheds for this session are here


Roger Graves

"Reading Contexts: Collapsing the Workplace/Classroom Distinction"

One school of thought -- represented in the writings of Anthony Paré, Patrick Dias, and Aviva Freedman -- has it that workplace writing is so distinct in its context from academic writing assignments that only a general rhetorical awareness and general rhetorical strategies can be usefully taught in the academic classroom. However one might want to quibble with this conclusion, it seems a reasonable enough one if you accept certain premises: that most academic assignments in a professional writing course -- and the "report writing" genre springs to mind here along with any set of memo or letter writing exercises -- are sorely lacking a meaningful context for student writing. That is, if the audience for the writing is, for all intents and purposes, the teacher, then this kind of writing activity has little potential for transferring learning from the academic context to the workplace one. I think that, if you assume this as the paradigm for instruction in professional writing (and there is some reason to believe that is a reasonable assumption), this view accounts for the middling success of traditional, textbook-based undergraduate instruction in professional writing. This does not mean, however, that there is no point in teaching professional writing courses at a university.

In my recent experience I have encountered two circumstances that suggest that professional writing can be gainfully taught, and those circumstances are the subject of my paper. I want to re-examine, first, a "faculty internship" experience I had last year in light of the issue of "context." What did I know about the context of my writing at this company before I went to work there? What context for this writing did I build in the five weeks I spent on site? How could I create or re-create a similarly meaningful context for my graduate students who were learning to write these kinds of documents? I will argue that both this course and student internships provide models of how academic study can be mingled with workplace contexts to provide meaningful learning experiences, especially for students of professional writing.

A second curricular innovation I have been working with for the past 3 years also challenges the conclusion that professional writing cannot be taught in a meaningful way in an academic setting. I teach a "service learning" course that directs students to write grants for a social service agency. To complete this assignment, students must "learn the agency": travel to the agency several times, meet with the agency director several times, interact with the clients the agency serves, research possible foundations the agency could apply to for money, write about the agency and the project they need funding to initiate. All of these activities--reading, writing, interviewing, researching--build the context traditionally associated with workplace writing. All of these activities take place in the shared context of our weekly class meetings at the university and our trips around the city.


Margaret Procter

"The essay as a literary and academic form: Closed gate or open door?" Literacy, Narrative and Culture, Ed. Jens Brockmeier, Min Wang and David Olson. Curzon, 2001.



Russ Hunt.

"Between Planets: What's Between the Worlds of Worlds ApartInkshed Newsletter 19:2 (Autumn 2001), 4-7.


Wendy Strachan

"Writing as professionals: an inquiry into pre-service teachers' role-taking in writing"

My question is:  How might writing in professional genres contribute to developing pre-service teachers' sense of identity?

My claim is that writing in such genres as: letters to parents, directions for writing-assignments, and rationales for curriculum offers valuable experience both because these are among the genres teachers use and because they require the teacher to project a persona or take a role that constitutes a profesional identity.

For the discussion, I will supply annotated samples of student writing, invite feedback on the approach I am taking to analysis which draws on Wenger's notion of identity in communities of practice.  I'm hoping for advice and suggestions on perspectives I might consider in trying to provide convincing evidence for my argument about the value of this use of writing.


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