Issue 3, Spring 2009
Spring is a busy time on college campuses. Our graduating seniors are transitioning to new life adventures; our first-year students are discovering their intellectual passions and shaping their academic identities. Here at the Writing Studio, we are busy planning a major event that taps into the relationships among writing, academic identity, and intellectual curiosity. Through the two components of this event, the Vanderbilt Undergraduate Writing Symposium and the faculty and graduate student symposium Writing and Discipline, we hope to bring together members of the Vanderbilt community for a celebration of and thoughtful discussion about writing as it intersects with and shapes the work that goes on at Vanderbilt.
Writing and Discipline will address the topic of writing within and across academic fields of study. The day and a half symposium will occur on Thursday and Friday, March 19 and 20, 2009 and will consist of panel discussions and presentations by faculty and graduate students from across the University. Participants will address issues of writing practice and pedagogy, the roles of discipline and creativity in writing, and the ways in which shifting conventions inform, shape, and re-shape our experiences as writers. Writing and Discipline will bring together voices from across campus whose writing lives include teaching, mentoring, editing, policy-making, and scholarship. We hope that you will be able to attend a panel discussion or other session during the event. For more information, see the Writing and Discipline program.
Although we are eager to bring together so many voices representing so many theoretical perspectives on the practice of writing and writing pedagogy, we also realize that no writing symposium could be complete without a celebration of the practice of writing itself. And who better to celebrate than our students? For this reason, the symposium will also include a full day of panels on Sunday March 22nd in which undergraduate students will read and discuss exceptional course papers in a conference-like setting. These papers have been competitively selected after having first been nominated by instructors from across the disciplines. The Writing Studio is excited to be able to offer this opportunity to undergraduate students since we know that scholarly writing relies so heavily on presenting one's work to one's peers. These panels will give students a chance to receive feedback from their fellow students and from other members of the University community. The opportunity for conversation will continue with an on-line forum where students can respond to each others’ papers in a blog format. For more information, see the Undergraduate Writing Symposium program.
Given the Writing Studio’s process-based and collaborative focus, it is fitting that our two symposium events highlight both the collaborative discussion that so often sparks intellectual fire, leading to strong writing as well as the polished individual works that result from lots of thoughtful conversation between instructors and students. In this way, the symposium weekend encourages us to think about what it means to write for others, whether for a class, for a discipline, or for a much broader community. All symposium events are free and open to the public.