The Center for Writing Studies

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Rafters and skylights in the English Building

Colloquium Series


Each academic year the Center invites several well-known scholars to campus to speak as part of our colloquium speaker series. The colloquia run for one and one half hours, with a 45-minute talk followed by a question and answer session. Center graduate students also present their research at the colloquium series twice a year at the Graduate Research Forum.

Typically, talks are held on a Thursday afternoon in room 126 of the Graduate School of Library and Information Sciences. The Center hosts a lunch on Thursday with graduate students and/or faculty, a dinner with faculty members on Thursday night, and a breakfast with graduate students on Friday morning.

For the schedule of colloquium speakers, please see the center Calendar. For our archive of previous colloquium talks, many of which are available as streaming audio, please see our colloquia archive.


Fall 2015

Stephanie Kerschbaum Flyer

Stephanie Kerschbaum

Associate Professor, English, University of Delaware

"Disability Disclosure, Research Interviewing, and Markers of Difference"

How does disability matter to everyday communication between interlocutors? Specifically, how do disabled faculty members purposefully negotiate others’ awareness and understanding of their disability? To answer these questions, I draw on the concept of markers of difference that I forward inToward a New Rhetoric of Differenceas well as more recent work in intercultural pragmatics and sociolinguistic narrative analysis to unpack how people position and present themselves as well as what linguistic, embodied, and material resources they use in interactions with others. First, I’ll consider a set of examples involving research design and methodology from an ongoing collaborative interview study I am conducting with Margaret Price. I’ll then turn to narratives shared by disabled faculty members about moments of disability disclosure that reveal some surprising means by which disclosures happen, as well as the ways that disability disclosure is simultaneously a singular and momentous event as well as a recurring and ongoing process.

Robin Jensen Flyer
Robin E Jensen
Associate Professor, Communication, University of Utah

"Fertility in Clinical Time: The Integration of Scientific Specialties as Infertility Studies"

The 1960s and 70s saw the rise of the "infertility clinic" in Western Europe and the United States. Such clinics engendered a shift from disciplinary specific approaches to infertility related research and treatment to integrated approaches that incorporated the methods and expertise of multiple fields of study. This rhetorical history demonstrates that appeals to time--or, more specifically, appeals to clinical tracking, managing, and otherwise intervening in reproductive timing--served as the discursive common denominator for this trans-disciplinary effort.

Drawing from a range of documents from different infertility clinics, professional correspondence, scientific reports, and mainstream media coverage, I contend that to be "fertile" in this context was to be functioning within scientific and clinical time, while to be "infertile" was to be out-of-time, often in more than one sense. I trace this definitional metaphor to the emergence of the "biological clock" trope in the 1980s and its continued employment in the twenty-first century, and I consider the implications of this discursive temporal regime for constructions of sex, gender, and public health.

Spring 2015


Marcelle Haddix Flyer



Fall 2014

Christine Tardy


Sandra Jamieson - UIUC - CWS