2023 Tutor Conference

SoCal WCA 2023 Tutor Conference Call for Proposals: Creative Resilience

The Southern California Writing Centers Association invites proposals for our 2023 Tutor Conference. This year’s theme is “Creative Resilience.” The date and location of  the SoCal WCAs  conference is forthcoming. 

Writing center tutors and professionals are often at the forefront of responding to institutional obstacles that affect access to writing support and overall student success.  For example, in recent years, writing tutors and professionals have had to transition to remote tutoring, learn how to tutor asynchronously; and for some institutions, navigate in-person tutoring and programing during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. While showing resilience to these challenges, we have also had to grapple with the weight  of ongoing global challenges and social injustices. As Writing Center administrators and tutors can attest, we have a rich history of creatively   overcoming challenges and changing the course of the tide. As we attempt a “new normal,” what matters is “furthering the mission of writing centers as models for educational reform” (Grimm, 1999, p. 197) that are equitable and socially just; this is the creative resilience we seek. 

For the 2023 Tutor Conference, we ask you to consider what creative resilience looks like at your writing center—in your tutoring practices, in cross-campus relationships, and within your staff culture. However, we also want to consider Neal Lerner’s (2019) warning that resilience can connote change that reinforces the status quo, or it can be a radical change—one that thwarts the status quo and addresses these issues fundamentally. Building on our conference theme of creative resilience, we call for proposals that respond to the following  questions for consideration. These questions are not all inclusive; rather, they serve as a starting point to garner ideas for topics related to creative resilience that you may want to consider: 

  • How does your writing center define “creative resilience”? What does “creative resilience” mean to your writing center? 
  • How do tutors support each other?
  • What creative pedagogical practices are you employing to address global and/ local issues that may impact writers and tutors?
  • How has your writing center responded to or advanced issues of equity and inclusion in your writing center?  
  • How have tutors creatively re-envisioned WC programming (e.g. workshops, social media presence, class-visits, marketing, eco-friendly practices in the WC, DEI in the WC, mission statement committee) during and in response to global and/ local issues? 
  • How have you modified face-to-face vis-a-vis online offerings since the pandemic? What tutoring strategies have you developed in response to the pandemic and/or other current issues impacting your writing center?
  • How do you creatively envision your tutoring space? What are the affordances of these creative revisions?
  • How can creative resilience at the writing center enhance working relationships with cross-campus partners—faculty, libraries, counseling and academic services, and other resources?
  • How do we design writing center spaces to best support our students? What are the complications? How do we decide our design? What is our process in designing WC spaces that support undergrad and graduate students? 
  • What tensions emerge when developing tutoring practices or WC programming that challenge or go against the status quo? 
  • What are WC center theories or tutoring strategies that you have redefined or reimagined in your center? Why? (e.g. active listening, reading aloud, not writing on a students’ paper).  
  • How do we ensure that tutors benefit from our commitment to creative resilience at the center?
  • In what creative ways are writing centers implementing self-care as a form of resilience?

We invite proposals for presentations, panels, workshops, or posters. Please submit your proposal to the conference submission form by 11:59 (PST) on Dec 9th. (Please note that this is a firm deadline.) The proposal review committee will be in touch about the status of your proposal by early January . 

Proposal format: A 50-word abstract and a 250-word description of the session.

Description of proposal formats:

  1. Panel Presentation (50 minutes):  We seek proposals for highly interactive 50-minute conference sessions (approximately 20 minutes of presentation, 30 minutes of interaction) that facilitate an exchange of ideas in writing center work and adapts knowledge to local contexts. After giving a short framing presentation on research or ideas related to the theme, presenters will engage the audience in activities or discussion to collaboratively explore the issue.
  2. Panel or roundtable (50 minutes): Panels and roundtables are intended to engage a larger topic from multiple perspectives; the point of such a structure is to provide an audience with exposure to varying perspectives on a topic and/or to engage audience members in a discussion of that topic. Panels/roundtables should include at least three presenters. Panels are more presentational and less discursive with the audience members, although there certainly should be opportunities for audience interaction. Roundtables should be understood more as the audience actively participating in the development of the session topic. Proposers should explain why the topic requires such an approach and why the selected format is the best option. Please be sure to reserve time at the end of your session for discussion and Q&A. 
  3. Poster presentation: We will have a space where posters can be set up during a community hour (1 hr). Presenters will stand next to their poster presentations to answer questions and/or discuss their work with visitors.