I managed to get to quite a few more panels today, many of which were quite interesting:
- In "What Is Our Profesionalism For? The Role of Composition and Rhetoric Scholars in the Public Practice of K-12 Literacy Educators," Maja Wilson of the University of Maine gave a talk ("The Rhetoric of Literacy Instruction: Engaging Parents") in which she discussed the importance of professionalism as means of engaging parents in an effective manner.
- The session I chaired ("Designing Engaging Writing Assignments with Video Games and Fanfiction") went well; the panelists were funny, spoke well, and :
- Mark Mullen from the George Washington University gave a talk ("Getting Back to Basics by Going Back to the Future") in which he discussed his using game reviews to teach critical thinking and writing, as something the students might find "useful" and actively engaging, to cultivate beliefs that writing matters and how much criticism means.
- In his talk entitled "Deconstructing the Borders of Digital and Analog Identity, Understanding the Relationship between Architects, Rule Sets, and Player Characters," Peter Brooks from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee discussed agency and social structure in games, and how they equal different objectives and rationalization, and how rules are interpreted. I interpreted this as analogous to the classroom, that teachers might be the architects of their classrooms, rule sets their rules, and player characters the students.
- Daphne Daugherty from Missouri State University and Sarah Wynn from the University of Southern Mississippi gave a talk entitled "The Unexplored Gate: Charting Compositional Energies of Fanfiction Writing"; they spoke of the potential in using fanfiction in the composition classroom because of the skills one might use in writing fanfic - recognizing discourses and code-switching, having a critical eye, analyzing audience - are all things we want to teach in the compisition classroom. They noted that fanfic writers read for a specific purpose, place emphasis on very detailed observations, and place an importance on reviews (a form of peer review). They further suggested that fanfic could be used as a peer review model and editorial authority.
- Next up was "Critical Food Literacy: New Territories of Inquiry in Rhetoric and Composition," which I'm glad I went to because I'd been considering integrating some manner of food writing into future courses. Maxwell Philbrook of the University of Missouri, Columbia, spoke about food literacy movements (you can listen to his talk here, while Naomi Clark, also of the University of Missouri, Columbia, spoke of the correlaton between food production and writing pedagogy (her talk is here).
- I also heard Marjorie Roemer of Brandeis University speak of her experiences teaching memior in "Framing Experience, or What I Learned from Frank McCourt." (Her talk is here.) She contended that as an authentic writing assignment, memoir is an effective way for older writers to write.
The last session of the day allowed many of us to come together and talk about developing papers and sessions for next year's convention. I made contact with three other teachers, and we're (hopefully) going to try to put together a proposal for next year's convention, which I'm very excited about. One of the problems, of course, is that it can be difficult to meet folks who might have the same research interests and/or background, so this was much more helpful than I had anticipated.