The Center for Writing Studies

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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About the Center for Writing Studies

The Center for Writing Studies is an interdisciplinary academic unit at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign that facilitates research and promotes graduate study in the areas of written composition, language, literacy, and rhetoric. Faculty and graduate students from several departments across the University comprise the Center and come together to attend courses, discuss teaching, share research, and participate in the Center's colloquia.

Graduate students who are interested in participating in CWS events and programs may become affiliated with the Center by sending an email indicating their interest to Paul Prior. For graduate students pursuing M.A. or Ph.D. degrees in participating departments, the Center offers a program leading to a concentration in Writing Studies. More information about the graduate concentration can be found here.

The Center's mission is to sustain a community of scholars in Writing Studies and to provide graduate students with opportunities to study various practices and discourses related to written communication.

For a list of the Center's graduates and placements, click here.

Please see the profile pages for faculty, students, and staff for more information on Center members' scholarly interests and activities.

The Center sponsors three special forums for scholarly inquiry and discussion: the colloquium and symposia series, the research-in-progress brownbag series, and the Gesa E. Kirsch CWS Graduate Student Symposium.

Each academic year the Center invites several well-known scholars to campus to speak as part of the colloquium series. In the fall of 2016 we changed this format slightly by hosting our inaugural symposium and we have continued to host symposia each fall since.

The research-in-progress brownbag series features presentations by Center core or affiliated faculty, graduate students, visiting scholars, and other faculty members from across campus. These informal talks are held for one hour and offer opportunities for discussion among faculty and graduate students.

The Gesa E. Kirsch CWS Graduate Student Symposium, which began in 2010, offers a chance for graduate students from across campus to gather and receive feedback on their work-in-progress. A CWS alum gives a keynote presentation, and the day ends with an evening activity.

Please see the Center calendar for upcoming event dates and times.