United Arab Emirates University (UAEU), Al Ain, United Arab Emirates
8th & 9th November 2018
Deadline for Submissions:  3rd June 2018
  Organised by the Middle East – North Africa Writing Center Alliance (MENAWCA) in collaboration with The Student Academic Success Program (SASP), University College, UAEU

To communicate successfully in different contexts, writers need a variety of rhetorical, academic, sociocultural and linguistic competencies. When approaching specific writing tasks, students need to draw on prior learning experiences, and select and deploy strategies and skills appropriately. They also need to navigate situations that require them to upgrade or transform their current knowledge and skillset. Writing centers and writing programs have a pivotal role to play in helping students transfer, apply and adapt writing-related competencies from one context to another. In preparing the MENA region’s writers of the future, regional writing centers and programs may also wish to reappraise objectives and practices in light of recent trends in writing theory, notably ‘writing for transfer’ and multi-modal composition.

MENAWCA’s 6th biennial conference is a platform for teachers, tutors, peer tutors, center directors, and other professionals supporting student writers in the MENA region, to share and explore theoretical and practical perspectives related to themes of transfer and transformation. We invite proposals that reflect the conference theme with specific reference to the MENA context. Questions to consider include:

  • How can writing centers and writing programs help students transfer writing-related knowledge from one context to another? How can we help students use current competencies to navigate new writing contexts?
  • How can writing centers and writing programs collaborate to foster writing transfer between different learning contexts? How can writing professionals work towards transforming writing support throughout an institution?
  • To what extent can MENA writing centers transfer theory and practices forged in predominantly English-speaking academic communities into their own multicultural and multilingual contexts? How can research inform decisions about the appropriacy of our work? How could our practices extend or transform scholarship on writing centers?
  • Do MENA writing programs and centers prepare students adequately for the diversity of writing tasks they encounter in educational settings and beyond? To what extent should writing centers and writing programs re-imagine their objectives and practices in response to the growth of multi-modal composition?
  • Research strand: MENAWCA is committed to fostering writing-related research activity in the region and providing a forum for researchers to network and collaborate. Proposals for sessions reporting on research studies carried out at an undergraduate, postgraduate or professional level, specific to the MENA region, are strongly encouraged.

Session Formats

  1. Presentation: 1-2 presenters; 45 minutes including Q & A. This format can be lecture style, but presenters are encouraged to be interactive.
  2. Multi-presenter panel: 3 or more speakers; 45 minutes including Q & A. This format provides for structured discussion e.g. choreographed roundtables, intentionally sequenced panels, or point-counterpoint discussions.
  3. Workshop: 1 or more facilitators; 90 minutes. This format is intended as an instructional session that enables participants to attain specific practical knowledge, experience or skills.
  4. Poster presentation: 1 – 2 presenters; 15 minutes. Poster presentations provide short, visual representations of a specific topic, issue or research study accompanied by a brief oral presentation.

Proposal Guidelines

  • Please submit proposals in the form of a session abstract (no longer than 100 words).
  • Be specific and clear about the focus and purpose of your session. No supplementary material will be accepted.
  • Proposals should respond directly to the conference theme (outlined above), foster constructive interaction and be of potential interest to a diverse group of conference attendees.

 Submitting Proposals

  • Proposal should be submitted online via this link: http://bit.ly/menawca2018
  • You will be asked to submit a presenter bio description with your proposal (no longer than 50 words). Please ensure all information is accurate and up to date.
  • Submission deadline: 3rd June 2018
  • Presenters will be notified of acceptance by: 29th August 2018
  • Selected presenters must accept invitations and register for the conference by: 27th September 2018.

Queries

  • Conference chair, Elizabeth Whitehouse: Ewhitehouse@uaeu.ac.ae 
  • Conference administrators: menawca@uaeu.ac.ae
  • MENAWCA Executive Board: menawcaboard@gmail.com

Notes:

  1. All presenters will undergo UAEU security vetting prior to the conference. The conference organisers will contact presenters regarding this vetting process upon acceptance of a proposal.
  2. All presenters and participants are responsible for obtaining their own visas. This responsibility does not lie with either MENAWCA or UAEU.