This roundtable will provide a forum for discussants to describe, analyze, and critique their experiences of teaching writing at specialized institutions. “Specialized institutions” will be interpreted broadly as an institution of higher education that is neither a traditional liberal arts college nor a regional, public university, but instead one that offers a narrower focus through its curriculum. For instance, federal service academies (i.e., West Point or Annapolis), technical colleges (i.e., Georgia Tech, MIT, or Cal Poly), or professional schools (i.e., Bentley University or FIT).
While a clear majority of contemporary colleges and universities offer professional training (Nursing, Business, Engineering, etc.), we hope to focus upon schools whose primary pedagogical goals are to train individuals for more specific, predetermined career paths. The fundamental questions of our inquiry will revolve around the instruction of writing and academic research methods. How is writing viewed by the student population? By the administration? How does the larger apparatus of a particular future profession present challenges to traditional humanities-driven inquiry? What must be accounted for in the assignments and syllabi used in these writing courses, especially in terms of personal expression? An assemblage of perspectives on this matter will help to locate comparable pedagogical obstacles as well as to record a catalog of successful tactics to employ in an educational setting that is evermore privileged in the American academy.
We also welcome participants who wish to extend the definition of a “specialized institution” to a cultural or historical level. This could include proposals that develop arguments about writing at institutions like Historically Black Colleges and Universities or Tribal Colleges into this conversation.
Please submit abstracts thru the NEMLA website.
You will be asked to register at this address: https://www.cfplist.com/nemla/Home/Login
Then search for session 17730 and submit your proposal.
Keith Clavin, MIT