“Writing as a Way of Being Human”
June 22–25, 2017
YMCA of the Rockies, Estes Park, CO
Inspired by keynote speaker Robert Yagelski’s Writing as a Way of Being, the Assembly for Expanded Perspectives on Learning (AEPL)’s summer 2017 conference will bring together teachers, writers, and scholars from a variety of institutions, K-PhD, to investigate and enact what Yagelski calls the “potentially transformative inquiry into self and world that writing can be.”
The human element has never been more important for our teaching and writing practices. As a result of defunding, perpetual assessment, and other ideological and social pressures, our institutions are in crisis. Yagelski views these problems as a result of the artificial separations of self/world and mind/body in everyday experience. The divides widen when we conceive of writing and writing instruction as means to an end rather than as a reflective and generative practice we might share together. Joining together in intentional acts of writing can awaken us to our interconnectedness, and to ways in which—as individuals and as a writing community—we might address the social and environmental challenges of our present and future world.
You can find early details about the conference site, the call for papers and presentations, and conference registration details below.
Please join us.
Lodging fees are in addition to conference registration fees. Attendees are responsible for arranging lodging through the
YMCA of the Rockies.
Rates are discounted for conference registrants and include lodging for June 22–25, 2017, and meals from dinner on June 22 through breakfast on June 25. Shorter stays are available.
Deadline to reserve: April 22, 2017. After that day, AEPL must release rooms not yet reserved and participants will need to find other accommodations in Estes Park and pay for meals individually. Questions about accommodations or requests to be placed with roommates can be sent to
Denver International is the nearest airport to the conference site. AEPL attendees have a tradition of sharing rides to/from the airport. Write
email@example.com if you would like to share car rental expenses—a good way to make new friends off the bat.
This year has for many of us been one of very tough new
times: times that call out to us to seek anew to build a world that is “more
decent, more humane, more peaceful,” in the words of AEPL 2017 conference
speaker, advisory board member, and this year’s NCTE President Doug Hesse, from
his deeply stirring presidential address
at November’s NCTE annual meeting.
Please come help us do that at this year’s summer
conference, “Writing as a Way of Being Human,” also featuring Bob Yagelski and
Kurt Spellmeyer—and, hopefully, you! The conference is being organized by our
great new Associate Chair Nate Mickelson (see below) at our traditional
location in the Y of the Rockies, near Estes Park, Colorado, June 22–25. This is
going to be a very, very special conference, in a time when it will be more
meaningful than ever for us to come together in the deep community it has
always been the main intent of our conferences to bring into being. As Doug so movingly sang to the words of
Sondheim’s Into the Woods to end his
Hard to see the light now.
Just don’t let it go!
Someone is on your side.
No one is alone!
It will be great to have you
at our side this summer, and I think
we will all be there for one another
in new ways in these new times in which we need more than ever what Yagelski
has called “the potentially transformative inquiry into self and world that
writing can be.” The brochure is attached—do note that there is a $50 discount
up to January 15, and that the proposal deadline has been extended until April 8.
It is also my great pleasure to inform you that Cambridge
Scholars has already expressed great interest in publishing the proceedings of
this conference. So we are going to invite (though not require) all presenters
to prepare versions of their presentations as papers that we will post online
before the conference. Of course, the presentations themselves, as always, will
need to be highly interactive (and acceptance for the conference does not
automatically entail acceptance for the book); but, we are hoping that this will
add to the dialogue taking place at the conference, as well as expediting the
process of getting the new book ready.
Also, the Cambridge Scholars volume The Art of Noticing Deeply, edited by Jan and David Buley and
Rupert Collister, deriving from many of the presentations of the 2014 conference
of that name, is now out, and an extract is available!
For those of you wishing to receive the upcoming JAEPL, the
next to last under the spectacular editorship of Joonna Trapp and Brad Peters,
your membership is now due: $30/one year, $75/three years, $100/five years, and 50 percent off each for
students, adjuncts, and retireees. You can either renew online at AEPL, or send a check to AEPL Membership
Chair Christy Wenger at 334 Hallmark Dr., Martinsburg,
West Virginia 25403. You may write her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Christy will be in touch soon with multi-year members whose membership has
Associate Chair Maureen Hall, who organized last year’s
conference, needed to focus her energies elsewhere, so we asked Nate Mickelson,
ex officio board member since 2013, and now also our CCCC’s Standing Group
leader and 2017 conference organizer, to take over that position. Nate is a
Yale PhD, teaches at Guttman College in New York City, and has been a quite
stirring presenter and a quite warm presence at our conferences. We could not
be more pleased at his willingness to offer his brilliance and positive spirit
in so many ways to us.
We are also greatly happy to announce two new ex officio
board members. Vajra Watson, of UC Davis, keynoted both last summer’s
conference and this November’s NCTE SIG, and both her work in the “literacy of
hope and liberation” and her luminous presence are going to be great assets to
us. Sheryl Mylan, dean of Humanities at the College of DuPage County, Illinois, is an
old friend, having served as secretary from 2004 to 2006, and another luminous
presence who joined us again last summer with many fond memories that we wanted
to encourage her to add to.
Last, Bruce wanted to share with you a grant proposal
pertinent to these times that he has been working on over the holiday. In some
ways it is the project he’s been working on his whole life, that first brought
him to AEPL: finding the right philosophical concepts to match the human
intuitions of the deep teaching this organization has, more than anything else,
sought to promote, which may well decisively justify the dramatic expansion of
that kind of teaching to a public that can deeply benefit from it, in a time in
which it is more than ever needed.
Finally, an enthusiastic attendee from last summer’s
conference is preparing a newsletter we hope to send out early next year—and
we’ll also include in that any messages or news any of you has to offer about
what you’ve been doing lately—just send them to email@example.com. This is one way
of coming together through the offering and affirmation of the meaning of what
we do, even for those unable to attend the conference!
Yours, Yvonne and BruceAEPL Co-Chairs Yvonne Siu-Runyan and Bruce Novak
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