Writing Research Without Walls: A Symposium for Interdisciplinary Writing and Collaboration

October 5-6, 2018, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA
Hosted by Crow, the Corpus & Repository of Writing ~ 

Plenaries by Dr. Shondel Nero, Professor of Teaching and Learning, New York University, and Dr. Susan M. Conrad, Professor of Applied Linguistics, Portland State University

Dr. Shondel Nero is Professor and Director of the Program in Multilingual Multicultural Studies in the Department of Teaching and Learning at New York University. She is an applied linguist whose research examines the politics, challenges, and strategies of educating students who speak and/or write in nonstandard varieties of English, World Englishes, and Creoles.

Dr. Susan Conrad is Professor of Applied Linguistics at Portland State University and principal investigator for the Civil Engineering Writing Project, in which engineering practitioners and faculty at four universities work to improve undergraduate students’ writing skills. Her research uses corpus analysis techniques, along with a variety of other techniques and interviews, to investigate how writers vary their grammar, vocabulary, and organization for different contexts, especially in the disciplines.

Register now for the symposium! Tenure-stream faculty pay $60; all others pay $30. Registration includes continental breakfast, box lunches, and a coffee break on both symposium days.

Accommodation & Travel

Hotels: As you begin making your travel arrangements, please use the reservation code “WRWW” for Hilton Garden Inn, West Lafayette Wabash Landing before Sept. 12, 2018 to get the discounted price of $103, plus 12% local sales and occupancy taxes. You can either book your room through the website or via a phone call. This hotel is less than a mile from the Purdue buildings where we’ll host the symposium (in and around the Purdue Memorial Union).

Travel: For those of you not driving to West Lafayette, you can fly to Indianapolis (IND, about one hour from Purdue) or Chicago O’Hare (ORD, about 2.5 hours from Purdue). Shuttle services are available from both airports, as documented in Purdue’s Visitor Transportation. Please share any questions you have about travel with us.


In a changing educational climate, it is not enough to simply say that writing research  has intrinsic value, or to appeal to vocational impulses by insisting on the value of broad humanities education. Nor is it enough to look outward, seeking to appeal to STEM by adopting a service role. Rather, writing researchers must seek ways to eliminate the unnatural divides that have developed among areas of the humanities and between our fields and other disciplines.

Digital technologies are creating new potentials for humanities scholars to collaborate across disciplines and institutions. This is especially important for writing scholarship as networked and digital media are influencing writing profoundly, sometimes in unexpected ways. For example, the Internet has changed the way we conceive of writing, research, and information sharing with the emergence of participatory social media platforms and “fake news.” Additionally, new cloud-based writing technologies such as Google Docs have revolutionized how we write collaboratively. In the face of these changes we see emerging, the traditional attention to language and writing that the humanities has always manifested presents opportunities for response—if we can create research infrastructures that are both sustainable and relevant.

With these issues in mind, Crow, the Corpus & Repository of Writing, in collaboration with the Humanities Without Walls consortium, will be hosting its first symposium, “Writing Research Without Walls: A Symposium on Interdisciplinary Writing and Collaboration,” at Purdue University on October 4-6, 2018. As a part of Crow’s commitment to promote sustainable, data-driven research, this symposium will feature empirical interdisciplinary writing research with focuses on technology and undergraduate research. We welcome both scholars studying undergraduate writing and undergraduate students conducting research in writing studies, and we hope writing scholars at all levels in the university (tenured/tenure-track professors, adjunct professors/lecturers, graduate students, and undergraduate students) will join us in West Lafayette.

Suggested topics include (but are not limited to):

  • Corpus-based approaches investigating undergraduate writing practices
  • Quantitative and/or qualitative analysis of pedagogical materials
  • Collaborative and sustainable research practices
  • Collaborative writing practices and interactive technologies
  • Computational rhetoric and/or computational linguistics
  • Source use and citation practices in undergraduate student writing

Submission Guidelines

Crow invites proposal submissions for individual papers, posters, panel presentations, works in progress (WIP), and workshops. We highly encourage those interested in interdisciplinary and collaborative frameworks, as well as discussions of data-driven research, to apply. All submissions—even those that are WIP—should clearly articulate their research methods. Please see a description of each submission option below.

Crow especially values the voices of undergraduate researchers. We encourage undergraduates to submit completed or ongoing research using the submission option which is the best fit. We welcome collaborations between undergraduates and faculty, graduate students, or other undergraduates.

All proposals must be submitted by February 1, 2018. Applicants will be notified about acceptance decisions by mid-March. Each proposal submission will include a title, 3-4 descriptive keywords, and a a tweet-length description of the project in addition to the proposal. These will be used for assigning reviewers, developing the program, and promoting your work at the symposium.

Submission Instructions

Please review the following instructions before completing your submission:

  1. You’ll need to make an EasyChair account to submit your proposal.
  2. Complete all relevant fields in the submission form, including the professional status of all the presenters associated with your proposal. Mentoring is an integral part of the Crow approach to research, and we want to incorporate mentoring opportunities into our conference planning.

  3. Respect word count for all submission types. (800 words for panels, roundtables and workshops; 250 words for posters, individual papers, and works in progress)

  4. Proposals for panels, roundtables and workshops should include individual presentation titles for each speaker in the attached proposal. (For example; Speaker one: Writing Research Without Walls)

  5. Please remove all identifying information from your proposal files uploaded in PDF, .doc, or .docx format. (Do not include your name, institution, or professional status on your proposal upload.)

Submit your proposals now. We welcome submission questions:

All sessions will be 75 minutes and will be held in rooms with internet and an LCD projector.


Poster presentations are highly valued and enable extended face to face discussions with other researchers. Poster presentations are best for information and data that can be presented visually with graphs, charts, tables, etc. Posters will be displayed during dedicated poster sessions. Poster proposals should be no more than 250 words.

Individual Papers

Papers are formal presentations describing the research of one or more authors. Individual presenters will be added to 3-4 member panels, and presentations will be 10-15 minutes in length. Individual paper proposals should be no more than 250 words in length.

Panel Presentations

Panels usually consist of 3-4 members with each presentation running 10-15 minutes. All panels should include at least 20 minutes for discussion. Panel proposals should be no more than 800 words.


Roundtable presentations are shorter presentations where people are asked to briefly present on a related topic and then open discussion to audience members. Roundtable panels should consist of 5-8 members, and proposals should be no more than 800 words.


Workshops are intended for participants able to create hands-on experiences for interested writing researchers by focusing on application and interaction and articulating the concrete takeaways for potential audiences. Workshops may include topics related to, but not limited to: corpus creation, programming, coding, interdisciplinary research collaboration, undergraduate writing activities, etc. Workshops should consist of 1-4 facilitators, and proposals should be no more than 800 words.

Works in Progress (WIP)

Works in progress allow researchers to receive feedback from the community on their on-going projects. WIP submissions should clearly articulate what stage the research is in, the projected contributions to the field of study, and a timeline for completion. WIP presentations will be 5-10 minutes with at least 30 minutes for discussion and feedback. WIP proposals should be no more than 250 words.

The Crow project is supported by the Humanities Without Walls consortium, based at the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The Humanities Without Walls consortium is funded by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Printable version of Writing Research Without Walls Symposium CFP (PDF)