The Center for Writing Studies

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Navigation: Quick Links

Rafters and skylights in the English Building

Colloquia & Symposia Series


Guest Scholar Speakers

Each academic year the Center invites several well-known scholars to campus to speak as part of our colloquium speaker series. In the fall of 2016, we began hosting symposia with multiple speakers and a range of activities.

For the schedule of colloquium speakers, please see the Center calendar.

Graduate Student Research Forum

In fulfillment of the Writing Studies Concentration requirements and in preparation for long-format job talks, CWS graduate students in their final two years of study present their dissertation research at the colloquium series.

For our archive of previous colloquium and symposia talks, many of which are available as streaming audio, please see our colloquia archive.

Fall 2019

Race, Translanguaging, and Language Ideologies Across the Lifespan

Friday, September 27, 2019; 10.00am-3.30pm

Flyer for Race, Translanguaging, and Language Ideologies Across the Lifespan

CWS Flyer for Laura Gonzalez's Talk Technological Innovation through Language and Community Engagement

CWS Flyer for Ramon Antonio Martinez's Symposium talk

Fall 2018

Circulation and Mobility Symposium

Friday, October 19, 2018; 10.00am-3.30pm

Banner for the Center for Writing Studies's



Brice Nordquist, "Go-Along Methods: Affordances and Limitations"

Friday, October 19; 10.00am-11.00am

In the decades since Law and Urry (2004) proclaimed “orthodox” social science methods insufficient for dealing with fleeting, sensory, emotional, and kinaesthetic dimensions of practice, many in literacy and writing studies have developed and refined multimodal and mobile methodologies attentive to phenomena that “overflow” our abilities of apprehension and representation. However, we still have much to learn about how affective, emotional, and sensory experiences shape and are shaped by literacy practice. This workshop focuses on the affordances and limitations of go-along methods (Kusenbach, 2003) for accessing and reflecting on fleeting, relational, and felt aspects of mobile literacies resistant to representation.

Laurie Gries, "Iconographic Tracking"

Friday, October 19, 11.00am-12.00pm

In this workshop, Laurie Gries will provide a step-by-step account of how to do iconographic tracking-a digital research method for tracing how images, circulate, transform, and become consequential with time and space. Participants can expect to walk away with a handout delineating these steps that can be used for research and/or teaching. Participants will also get a quick sense of doing iconographic tracking by participating in a collective exercise tracking the image of Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani activist for female education and Nobel Prize winner whose image, as of late, has become a cultural icon experiencing widespread circulation and rhetorical transformation across the globe.


Laurie Gries, "New Materialist Autiobiography: A Multi-Sensory Approach for Studying Rhetorical Entanglements and the Ontology of Becoming": In this talk, Laurie Gries discusses and models the affordances of new materialist autobiography (NMA), an in situ, experimental research method that attunes writers to our affective, persuasive encounters with the things around us. As a method, NMA studies how non-human entities in our surrounding environment trigger affective, cognitive, emotional, and physical experiences in order to disclose how rhetoricity emerges through deep relationality. In addition to relying on autoethnographic research strategies such as walking, recording, dwelling, and reflecting, NMA relies heavily on autobiography to recall memories and epiphanies as well as phenomenology to tap into our embodied responses and account for aiesthesis--the ancient term for sense perception. In addition, NMA--which operates through creative nonfiction--demands bringing forth energia in our writing in order to cultivate a state of heightened awareness and affective experience for not only ourselves as writers but our audience members. Grieswill itnroduce this method and then read two vignettes that demonstrate how NMA can help generate deeper understandings about the relations between rhetoric, life's deep entanglements, adn the ontology of becoming.

Brice Nordquist, "Literacy, Mobility, and Nonscalability": Drawing on a series of go-along video observations with high school seniors on their daily commutes from Queens, the Brox, and Brooklyn to a public school in Lower Manhattan, this presentation reveals how students use their smartphones and time in transit to complete most of their reading and writing for school, collaborate on school work across languages and media, and maintain and expand transnational social networks. Reading students' mobile literacies against the backdrop of pedagogies of containment that characterize their experiences in school, I investigate the effects of material and embodied mobilities on literacy practices and demonstrate how scales of education are constituted, in part, by traversals across the city and internet.

Through an integration of literacy and mobility studies, the presentation offers researchers, teachers, and students ways to attend to pluralities of moving bodies, objects, ideas, and texts that make up and connect literacy practices and scenes across space-time. This attention is central to the project of "learning across contexts" in literacy education and paramount in the face of increasing movements of people around the world; accelerating circulations of capital and messages; and intensifying exertions of control over individual and collective mobilities imposed by neoliberal states and institutions, including K-16 education systems.

Fall 2017

Social Justice Education Symposium

Saturday, November 4th, 2017; 10.00am-5.00pm


Social Justice Education Symposium Info FlyerSocial Justice Education Symposium Schedule

Trans-{Language, Literacies, Modal, National} Symposium

Friday, October 6th, 2017; 12.00pm-5.00pm


Trans Symposium Description FlyerTrans Symposium Schedule

Fall 2016

Center for Writing Studies Inaugural Symposium

Wednesday, October 6th, 2016; 12.00pm-5.00pm


CWS Inaugural Symposium Wednesday

CWS Inaugural Symposium Thursday


Spring 2016

The Center for Writing Studies Colloquium Series Presents: Elizabeth Moje

"Writing in the Disciplines: From Evidence-Based Argument to Navigating Ways with Words

Thursday, April 28th, 2016; 4.00pm-5.00pm


Elizabeth Moje flyer

The Center for Writing Studies Colloquium Series Presents: Jeff Rice

"Craft Identities"

Thursday, January 28th, 2016; 4.00pm-5.00pm

Jeff Rice Flyer