Fall 2023 Conference

ECE English Presents

Salutations, Congratulations, and Critiques
Praise and Optimism in the Writing Classroom

October 2023 Conference

For conference slides, please visit this website:


Poster for the October 2023 Conference. Information can be found on the webpage.A lot has happened in the last few years from pandemics to wars to disagreements to economic upheavals. Our students have lived through these events, surviving and, hopefully in some cases, thriving resiliently. How can we make our classrooms a space for optimistic inquiry through writing? How might we facilitate classrooms with positive critique and critical praise? How can we bring some joy and light through multimodality and studio pedagogy into the lives and experiences of our students? This conference builds on the work of Deonna Smith on joy and the anti-racist classroom, Gholdy Muhammad on cultivating genius and unearthing joy, and Felicia Rose Chavez on the anti-racist writing workshop in a series of workshops that brings together our community of early college experience English teachers to share in the delights and failings of giving feedback.

We hope to welcome in the new school year with an approach to teaching that is firm to our core principles while at the same time bringing out more bright opportunities and chances for our students. Through the collective experience of attendees, this conference will create an archive of feedback models, facilitate close pedagogical relationships, and partner with others to improve all of our methods of communication with our students. We will engage in the first-year writing habits of practice—collecting and curating, engaging, contextualizing, theorizing, and circulating—to strengthen our community, learn from each other, and find joy in our students.

October 6 | 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Student Union 305
UConn, Storrs Campus

Registration now open!

Learn more through our blog series!

Throughout the months of September, October, and November, we will host a series of blogs focusing on our critical interlocutors—Smith, Muhammad, and Chavez—in order to think through some of the principles in their books.

Introducing Praise and Optimism in the Writing ClassroomCover image for the blog "Introducing Praise & Optimism in the Writing Classroom"

In this blog postAdam introduces the authors and texts we'll be working with, along with a brief thought on what feedback and critiquing—supporting our student's writing and revising—might be.

Gholdy Muhammad's Cultivating Genius and Unearthing Joy introduce the five points of historically responsive literacy.

Deonna Smith's Rooted in Joy centers our anti-racist work in joy.

Felicia Rose Chavez's The Anti-Racist Writing Workshop gives ideas of how we can run our classrooms and support our students writing.