Inkshed 30 Call for Proposals

Beyond Accent: Taking Risks in Writing, Research, and Teaching


Email proposals to . . . Kim Garwood

Inkshed exists as an alternative to the conventional academic conference format, fostering innovative, interactive, and generally unconventional sessions. Its stated goals in 1984 were:

  • to create occasions for people concerned with the learning, teaching, and study of literacy and literate behaviour to talk about the issues and problems of concern in specifically Canadian contexts
  • to explore ways of deepening and enriching the exchange of ideas, information and insights at a conference.

The title for Inkshed 30—Beyond Accent: Taking Risks in Writing, Research, and Teaching—acknowledges its nature as a working conference and its focus on work in progress. It’s a conference devoted to asking questions as much as (or even more than) presenting answers, as well as one that tries to maximize opportunities to network, share ideas, ask questions, and challenge or reaffirm convictions.

(News flash: The keynote speaker, Vershawn Young, will offer a performative take on the theme of Code Meshing, World Englishes, and Linguistic Hybridity — while also asking “But How?”) 

During this year’s conference, we invite you to explore, experiment, and share features of your research and pedagogy in which you don’t feel totally comfortable or fluent, the ways in which you work behind closed doors, the risks you take in writing, researching, and teaching that you don’t accentuate, as it were, in your public life as writer, scholar, and teacher.

We invite you to think and write about failure—and what can be learned about writing, research, and the teaching of writing when we fail ourselves, when we fail others, when we reflect on failure, and when we adapt theory and practice in response to what we’ve learned.

We invite you to explore the conference theme more literally: to think and write about the multiple Englishes in which all of us think, compose, communicate. In what ways do you sustain or challenge prevailing monolingualism within the academy, in your classrooms, or in your own research and writing?

We invite you to take us with you in turning toward features of your life as writer, scholar, teacher that typically function as grace notes rather than the primary melodic line of your work. What can be learned, we wonder, by delving into the apparently ornamental, the accidental, or the incomplete and unfinished in writing, research, and teaching? What are the opportunities and potential for further study and experimentation?

We invite proposals that address any of the themes above—or others related to the exploration of code meshing and convention (re)mixing in communicating and collaborating. We encourage related explorations of technologies, classrooms, hierarchies, workplace genres, drama and visual arts, Indigenous perspectives, and disciplines.

Proposals for presentations of all kinds are welcome:

  • Roundtables, panels, other forms of group presentation, including sessions involving student participation
  • Workshops, demonstrations, exercises in collaborative teaching and writing
  • Performance art, performance scholarship
  • Conventional conference paper presentations, including—yes!—collaborations
  • Presentations in other innovative forms.

Proposals should generally be for 20 minute sessions, with some flexibility: if you want to propose a session that will need 40, 60, or 90 minutes, let us know why and we will consider it.

Proposal length: maximum 500 words (proposals for multi-presenter sessions can be longer, to allow descriptions of the session as a whole and the contributions of individual presenters)

Email proposals by March 24 to . . . Kim Garwood

Your Inkshed 30 organizing committee looks forward to welcoming you to Waterloo in May!

Frankie Condon, Jay Dolmage, Kim Garwood, Judi Jewinski, Lenore Latta, Jodie Salter, Boba Samuels, Kyle Scholz

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