Fall 2019 Conference

Engaging with the Work of Composition

ECE English Conference Fall 2019


October 25, 2019

Student Union Ballroom

Storrs, CT

In this conference, we will explore the role of literature in the composition classroom. How should we approach a literary text? Do you come to it as someone seeking to interpret it? (Is it a literary object?) Do you think about how it addresses a reader or conveys an argument? (Is it a rhetorical object?) Do you think about how it conveys history, experience, place, identity? (Is it an evidentiary text?) What else is possible?

In FYW, texts are usually embedded in contexts, with sequences of readings and assignments. The course ecology sets up cross-disciplinary contexts, which enable students to take up a wider range of “lenses” beyond that of literary studies and build projects that take them beyond discrete readings or interpretations of individual texts. What can students produce, with a literary text as a starting point? How can we ask them to compose through or with literature rather than just about it?

Why might fiction (or aesthetic or cultural texts more broadly) be useful in a course that focuses on evidence, argument, persuasion—academic modes of engagement? What are the advantages of turning to literary or cultural materials in the midst of a cross-disciplinary inquiry? Is there an affective or aesthetic dimension that is missing when we leave literature behind? Do we have skills as readers/interpreters that we can put to use to strengthen or broaden a more purely rational or argument-based discourse?



Registration (8:30-9:00)

Welcome and Introduction

Breakout Sessions

  • Multimodal Composition (Ballroom) Lalitha Kasturirangan and Tamara Connors
  • In-Class Composition (304A) Regan Rowley and Scott Campbell
  • Major Assignment (304B) Kim Shaker and Hannah Taylor
  • Research Project (304C) Emily Kilbourn and Jason Courtmanche
  • In-Class Activity (325) Caitlin Donahue and Elizabeth Simison


  • ENGL 1011 (Ballroom)
  • ENGL 1010 (304A)
  • AP Literature (304B)
  • Urban Schools (304C)
  • ENGL 1011: Politics and Civic Discourse (325)

Lunch and Program Notes

NCTE Presentation

Session Materials

Click here to access conference files.