Midwest Writing Centers Association 2018 Conference

Social Justice in the Writing Center: Opening the Center for All

Call for Proposals

March 1-3, 2018

Hotel RL Omaha, Omaha, NE

Keynote Speaker:

Shirin Vossoughi
Assistant Professor, Learning Sciences
Northwestern University
more info


What does social justice look like in our writing centers? In an era when hate crimes are on the rise, students fear deportation for themselves and/or their families, and public dialogue has become increasingly polarized, how do we create spaces in our writing centers that welcome difference and that can respond to the social, cultural, and economic pressures acting on our colleges and universities? In a world of so-called “alternative facts,” what is our role as “centers of consciousness for writing” at our institutions (North 1984)?

For this conference, we invite proposals that explore any aspect of writing center work. We encourage submissions that engage directly with the theme of social justice in the writing center, including, but not limited to, the roles of race, gender, sexuality, class, disability, nationality, religion, and their intersections in a writing center context. We also welcome proposals that interpret this theme more broadly, considering how writing centers work to level the playing field and increase access for students on our campuses, as well as how we might build upon and extend this work.

UPDATED proposal deadline: November 1, 2017

Concurrent sessions will be 75 minutes. Much like the IWCA conference, we invite proposals in any of the following formats:

  • Panel Presentation: 3 to 4 presentations of 15-­20 minutes each on a specific theme or question.
  • Individual Presentation: 15-­20 minute presentation (that will be combined into a panel).
  • Workshop: A participatory session that engages attendees in active learning.
  • Roundtable Discussion:15 minutes of introductory framing by the leader(s) followed by a facilitated discussion among attendees.
  • Ignite Presentation: A 5-minute presentation composed of 20 images each lasting 15 seconds (modified PechaKucha).
  • Poster Presentation: A research-­fair style presentation in which the presenter(s) create a visual argument and informally discuss their research with attendees.

Audio/Visual needs:
We will have limited audio/visual capabilities and thus will only be able to accommodate a select number of A/V requests. (All Ignite presentations will be scheduled in an A/V-enabled room.) If your session relies on audio/visual elements, please provide a rationale. We request that you think seriously about your technology needs and consider creative ways to engage your audience!

We will not be able to accommodate last-minute requests for technology. If you need A/V, please be sure to include this in your proposal.

Proposal Submission:
Proposals should include a 50-word abstract and a 500-word maximum narrative description. Proposals should be as specific as possible about the role of the presenters, the participation of others in attendance, and the contribution the session makes to writing center studies. In addition, in your proposal submission, you will be asked to select a few keywords appropriate to your proposal.

All proposals will undergo blind review by members of the MWCA board. Please submit your proposal at

Rachel Azima, MWCA conference liaison and Director of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Writing Center,