Finding each other in a hall of mirrors:
negotiating goals and values in language

May 6-9, 1999

Location: Hotel Mont Gabriel, Québec.
(Laurentian region, one hour north of Montréal)

The theme of the conference:

Walking through the "hall of mirrors" of language and literacy education, teachers constantly meet new reflections, surprising as well as familiar views of themselves and of others. Teaching communication (composition, language arts, literature, rhetoric and related subjects) involves an awareness of multiple cultures and contexts. Discussions no longer centre only on academic written language in a North American context; instead they move among many forms of communication: international, technological, intercultural, visual, oral and physical.

As the 1990s draw to a close, certain questions about negotiation among different cultures have become urgent. What misunderstandings can arise between teachers' and students' experience of the classroom and other educational settings? To what extent do teachers try to impose their own goals and values, and to what extent do they accept students' goals and values? Can educators establish a balance between what their teaching and learning have achieved in the past and must achieve in the future?

In line with Inkshed tradition, please call or e-mail us in advance if you want to discuss your proposal. We hope for a rich variety of topics, such as the goals and values of a web-based writing course, teaching English in an unusual setting, working with an unfamiliar student population, exploring particular cultural or community values through literature, or providing successful communication practices in a professional context.

As usual, the conference will avoid the "talking-head-reading-paper format" by continuing the venerable Inkshed tradition of active participant involvement and unconventional approaches. We welcome poster boards and performances, work-in-progress, case studies, collaborative presentations, workshops, and interactive demonstrations.

All proposals should include the names, addresses, and phone numbers of the chief proposer and any co-presenters, a title and abstract (approx. 200 words), and a brief description of the method of presentation. Explain how your presentation will relate to the conference theme. Please note that you may be invited to collaborate with another proposer. "This is not a traditional, agonistic, competitive paper call. Your document will not be blind-reviewed by a reader eager to find a way to turn away two-thirds of the proposals," as Russ and Marcy memorably said. Instead we want to combine and include as many proposals as possible.

We will continue with the tradition of built-in reading time. Please start to think about what you would like to bring or send to the reading table.

The deadline for proposals was December 10, 1998, but for information you can contact: