Writing Centers: Multidisciplinary and Multimodal Spaces for Engagement

Education City, Doha, Qatar
8–10 February 2023

Deadline for Submissions: Monday, 31 October 2022

Organized by the Middle East – North Africa Writing Center Alliance (MENAWCA)

Sponsored by Qatar Foundation partner universities:
Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar
Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar
Northwestern University in Qatar
Georgetown University in Qatar
Weill Cornell Medicine–Qatar
Texas A&M University at Qatar


The technological advances of the twenty-first century have redefined literacy and composition. A critical thinker is a person who cannot only read and write complex texts, but can also understand and compose multimodal texts. Covid-19 accelerated the incorporation of technology into writing. These trends have transformed the role of the writing center, which is internationally regarded as a multidisciplinary hub for holistic student engagement. Writers and tutors use a variety of technological tools to compose messages that are translingual and transnational. To explore further the idea of multimodal and multidisciplinary writing centers, MENAWCA is accepting proposals investigating any of the following lines of inquiry:  

  1. How are emerging technologies affecting students’ composition process? How can these technologies enhance student engagement or performance? What difficulties do students face when navigating online writing and multimodal/multidisciplinary composition? How should writing centers respond to these new challenges?  
  1. How can the writing center support students from multiple disciplines? What kind of expertise is needed? What opportunities and challenges are involved in multidisciplinary support? 
  1. Are writing centers facing new challenges regarding academic honesty? What strategies do you use to address these issues? What training do tutors need? What is the writing center’s role in identifying and addressing plagiarism or ghostwriting?
  1. How has the pandemic influenced the trajectory of writing centers? Will online sessions remain a core component of our services? How have online services enhanced multidisciplinary and multimodal support? What procedures are needed to promote best practice? 
  1. In what ways do writing centers support the emotional and mental wellbeing of their students and staff? What are the implications of a center and its tutors taking on this role?

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. 

MENAWCA’s 8th Biennial Conference is generously supported by the Qatar Foundation partner universities including: Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar, Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, Northwestern University in Qatar, Georgetown University in Qatar, Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar, and Texas A&M University at Qatar.

Session Formats:

  1. Presentation: 1–2 presenters; 30 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 including Q&A. This format is intended as an instructional session that enables participants to attain specific practical knowledge, experience or skills.
  4. Pecha-Kucha presentation: 1–2 presenters, presentations under 7 minutes designed to highlight a single opportunity or issue. Presenters will be scheduled in blocks and questions will be addressed at the end of each block.
  5. Poster presentation: Posters provide visual representations of a specific topic, issue or research study and will be displayed in the conference venue. Poster creators are encouraged to share details about their projects during networking sessions.

Proposal Guidelines:

  • Please submit proposals in the form of a session abstract (no longer than 150 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:

  • Proposals should be submitted online via this link: Submit your Proposal
  • 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: October 23, 2022 October 31, 2022
  • Presenters will be notified of acceptance by: November 15, 2022.
  • Selected presenters must accept invitations and register for the conference by: November 30, 2022.

Please direct queries to one of the conference co-chairs: 


  1. Presenters may undergo security vetting prior to the conference. 
  2. All presenters and participants are responsible for obtaining their own visas. This responsibility does not lie with MENAWCA. Registrations received by November 30 will be eligible to receive an invitation letter (available upon request) to help secure a visa.