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 ~ symposium@writecrow.org

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

Read the symposium program (PDF), including descriptions of plenaries.

Our symposium was great! Thank you to our presenters, attendees, and volunteers. We look forward to talking more with everyone as we develop the Crow system.


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.

About our plenary speakers

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.

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)