University of Southern California, online and in person
May 1, 2023
The Writing Program at the University of Southern California and the Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism invite proposals for The Future of Writing: A Symposium for Teachers, a one-day event in which we look down the road to what is coming next.
We’re interested in coming together in-person and online for a collaborative, interactive event in Spring 2023 on the future of writing (from first-year college writing to journalism, from professional to creative writing) and how we teach it. Join us to explore the ever-changing norms of digital pedagogy and how our choices now will shape the classroom praxis of the decade ahead.
The nature of writing and writing instruction faces a sea change within the next 10 years. The pandemic years have shown us that writing instruction needs to become more inclusive, more robust, and more compassionate.
At the same time, the influence of Artificial Intelligence in the teaching and practice of academic writing is only beginning to emerge. Text-generating software, such as GPT-3, are shaking up our notions of what software can achieve, and the experience for students is changing radically as well.
Whether they’re relying on sentence-level “suggestions” from Google docs or working with AI generators before they’ve attempted a first draft, students are not resistant to AI text-writing engines. So as their instructors, we have the opportunity to explore how these tools might be used to facilitate learning within the writing classroom. As teachers of writing, we of course want to champion the strengths of our discipline–critical thinking, writing as a proSuggested: we have the opportunity to explore how these tools might be used to facilitate learning within the college writing classroom.cess, joining ongoing scholarly conversations, the power of developing voice and individual diction. Perhaps one way to do that is turning these considerable strengths to engage with the current debate over computer generated writing and its future role.
Our challenge–and opportunity–is how to cultivate student investment in practicing and cultivating those strategies when there are apparent “shortcuts” that seem shiny or easier to fall back on.
This year’s theme: INTERACTIVITY
Questions, Themes, Issues
We welcome both in-person and virtual panel proposals, and are particularly hoping for interactive materials workshops that allow for resource-sharing and collaborative discussion, providing opportunities to revise existing lesson plans or syllabi in a spirit of invention and play.
Future of Writing
What will teaching writing look like ten years from now? Or even five?
What other disciplines can Journalism, Creative, Professional, and Academic Writing look to for clues and tools?
What collaborative, inventive modalities can we learn and build in the present?
What do we already know about working with digital texts, unconventional or multi-modal formats, and collaborative tools that can be harnessed in service of the writing process?
What alternative texts might we ask students to produce, and how do we apply essential mechanics of composition and revision in less familiar media?
Future of Artificial Intelligence in Classrooms
What have sci-fi writers been preparing us for that might actually have a place in Digital Pedagogy and an AI-literate praxis? How can we make space for experimentation and play? Where could we incorporate non-linear approaches to composition, or social-media-inspired annotations to source work, or multimodal approaches like gestural or visual rhetoric into our sometimes rigid disciplinary spaces? What creativity and invention might these innovations make possible?
Future of Pedagogy
Where are we now, after three years of pandemic-induced hybrid teaching and learning? What have we missed most about in-person instruction, what have we most successfully applied in virtual spaces? How can we retain the best of both approaches–accessibility, inclusivity, adaptability–as we look ahead to future hybrid experiences in higher education?
Are there current pedagogical strategies we can forecast into the future to help us prepare for and respond to the increasing presence of AI-supported writing? What can we do to support or even embrace playing with AI as we teach composition, research, or revision? What role might these tools play in providing feedback or structuring our time in the classroom?
What To Send Us:
Proposals of 200-450 words; include a short, 50-100 word bio.
→ Pitches for interactive workshops on revising materials and activities
→ Panel presentations to share best classroom practices, reflect on how assignments have changed, with examples and a hands on workshop
→ Creativity in Praxis: bring your most imaginative approaches to writing, teaching, producing and revising to share. It may be wacky, off the wall, even messy, technologically inspired and provocative.
→ Creative Work: submit a creative work using these themes to be displayed online.
Some sample topics (a non-exhaustive list):
Pedagogy Tactics for professional, academic, creative writing and journalism teachers
Inclusive Tech-Assisted Writing and Instruction
Short-Circuiting Short-Cuts: Helping students find intrinsic motivation for learning
Planned Obsolescence of Academic Writing
Academic Creativity as Academic Integrity
Getting ahead of the canon (aka what GPT-3 is trained on)
Proposal Submission Deadline: February 20
For any questions about developing your proposal or arranging for support needs, contact Mark Marino firstname.lastname@example.org or Maddox Pennington MaddoxPennington@usc.edu .
Subject line: Future of Writing Instruction Symposium
Acceptance Notifications: March 15
Proceedings Deadline for short position papers: April 24, 2023 (optional)
To Register: Those who wish to attend can also use this form to get on the mailing list for registration. No proposal needed.
Event date: May 1, 2023
Submit through this Google Form: https://bit.ly/formfutureofwriting
Sponsored by the University of Southern California Dornsife Writing Program, USC Marshall Business Communication Department, Viterbi Engineering in Society Program, the Annenberg School of Journalism and Communication, USC Libraries’ Ahmanson Lab, and the Humanities and Critical Code Studies Lab & The Electronic Literature Organization