Corridors: A Regional Conference in Writing and Rhetoric

Corridors: The Great Lakes Writing and Rhetoric Conference

Building on the five-year history of WIDE-EMU, with slight reframing we are expanding its reach as Corridors: The Great Lakes Writing and Rhetoric Conference. The concept of corridors hearkens to the hallway conversations invaluable to this conference experience, the advantage of regional proximity and the interstate throughways amenable to our annual gathering, and the coordinated alliances that assure solidity in research and pedagogy related to writing and rhetoric in and beyond the Great Lakes region. (Est. December 15, 2016.)

Establishing Principles

  • Corridors is a free, one-day conference that meets each October.
  • Schedule the day into four, 75-minute sessions (see a recent sample schedule).
  • Schedule the conference on a low-traffic, non-football Saturday at the host institution.
  • Follow the conference with a social gathering (#beerrhetorics) identified and coordinated by the host institution.
  • Invite as a plenary/keynote a relatively new junior faculty colleague in the state or region.
  • Identify a simple theme, usually in the form of a question (e.g., What does writing want?).
  • Designate sessions upon the proposal phase as talk, make, or do.
  • Maximize hallway conversation and informal interactions.
  • Include open sessions on the program.
  • Continue using Google Sites+Google Forms (i.e., lightweight and non-institutional systems)
  • Keep logo?
  • Encourage attendees and presenters to re-use badges from other conferences and provide a template for a customizable badge.
  • Limit proposals for concision to approximately 50 words.
  • Honor a phased lead-up to event: Phase 1: Propose, Phase 2: Teaser, Phase 3: Confer.
  • A good host offers coffee. A great host offers morning noshes.

Exploratory Planning and To-Dos

  • Expand advisory board beyond Bill Hart-Davidson, Steven D. Krause, and Derek Mueller.
  • Create an open listserv. Solicit interest among regional institutions. (Mueller)
  • Establish a Michigan WPA Affiliate meeting on the Friday afternoon preceding the October conference date each year (Mueller in coordination with Megan Schoen of OU).
  • Explore coordinations with community colleges, MCTE, Midwest Writing Center Association, and National Writing Project sites.

Suggested Calendar

October – Determine next year’s host (meeting after conference)

May – Circulate call

August – Proposal deadline

September – Phase II teasers

Late September/Early October – Conference


2011 – What evidence do we have that teaching writing —especially in digital environments—works?, Ypsilanti, Mich., October 15, 2011

2012 – What is composing today? How to people learn (and teach) it?, East Lansing, Mich., October 20, 2012

2013 – Free?, Ypsilanti, Mich., October 12, 2013

2015 – Is _____ writing?, East Lansing, Mich., October 10, 2015

2016 – What does writing want?, Ypsilanti, Mich., October 15, 2016

2017 – When Does Writing Happen?, Detroit (Wayne State), September 30, 2017

2018 – Writing Out Loud!, Saginaw, Mich September 29, 2018

2019- Oakland University, Rochester, Mich September 28, 2019

Information originally compiled by Bill Hart-Davidson, Steven D. Krause, and Derek Mueller

Related Resources
The Free Conference Kit: How to Start, Promote, Organize, and Run a Local Academic Conference for (Almost) Nothing Using Web 2.0 Tools

Bill Hart-Davidson, Steven D. Krause, Derek MuellerPresented at the 2013 Computers and Writing Conference, Frostburg, MD