The Center for Writing Studies

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Gesa E. Kirsch CWS Graduate Student Symposium


The annual Gesa E. Kirsch CWS Graduate Symposium is a research forum where Illinois graduate students--working on topics within writing, rhetoric, literacy, discourse, media, and communication--can present work-in-progress and receive feedback from a small, interested group of peers and faculty. Presenters come from across campus, including English, Communication, Education, and the Institute of Communications Research.

The symposium, organized by CWS graduate students, typically includes breakfast, lunch, a keynote speech from a CWS alumnus, and an evening activity.

The idea for the symposium was hatched in spring 2010, when Gesa Kirsch, Professor of English at Bentley University, was a visiting professor at Illinois. Over breakfast at the Courier Cafe, she and some CWS graduate students talked about the need for more opportunities for students to share work-in-progress. The first symposium was held in late April of that year, with presentations from graduate students in English and Education and a keynote by CWS alum Kathie Gossett.


Please see our symposium archive for information on past Grad Symposia