Roundtable Proposal for 4Cs 2022
We are looking for panelists for a roundtable session on the promises and perils of using posthumanism in higher education for the 2022 Conference on College Composition and Communication Annual Convention.
4Cs 2022 will be March 9–12, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. See the convention’s full CFP here: https://cccc.ncte.org/cccc/call-2022
Panelists would be committing to attending the conference next March and participating in a roundtable discussion/debate as outlined in the proposal we put together below (at this point you won’t need to write anything for the proposal itself). We will more than likely meet via Zoom a few times before the conference to get to know one another and hammer out any details for the roundtable as a group.
If you’re interested or have questions, please email us (Miriam Rowntree and Sarah Shelton) at email@example.com. In your email, please include either a very brief explanation of or a recent CV that shows your work/interest with posthumanist theories/conversations.
This is a quick turnaround and, in order to submit the proposal to the convention on time, we need those interested to express their interest by Wednesday 6/2.
The Promises and Perils of Posthumanist Praxis
The conference program for 4Cs 2021 covered a wide range of topics on social justice and decolonial practices. Many of these panels offered insights into the hows and the whys of what we consider practicing posthumanism in the writing classroom. However, none of these panelists actually used the term “posthumanism.” We propose making these links more explicit by holding a roundtable that also speaks to the conference theme by discussing the promises and perils of bringing posthumanism into conversations about higher education. Therefore, our answer to the 2022 call for proposals takes up Staci Perryman-Clark’s question “Why are we here?” using the framework of posthumanism and posthumanist praxis. Perryman-Clark says that to answer this question we must “be honest about what we mean by ‘here.’ The location of ‘here’ suggests a sense of belonging. It suggests access. It suggests invitations: Some people will be invited; some will not. Others will accept the invitation; others will decline.” Our roundtable seeks to consider these questions in the context of making posthumanism a deliberate part of our pedagogy.
We further consider Perryman-Clark’s questions: How do you promise to educate students in the pursuit of social justice? What are the perils for not doing so? And add: Why are we here and others are not? Who is also here and unacknowledged, unseen? What elements of our collective assemblage “here” need to be better understood to create a more equitable and just educational environment? Part of working with posthumanism is to acknowledge and better understand things we often don’t consider or take seriously, such as computers, depression, contact lenses, time, insecurity, all-purpose desk-chair combos, coffee, masks, lapel mics, and beyond. But while there is promise in this acknowledgement and deliberate consideration of actants (human and non-human alike) and their agency, there is also peril. Are we jumping on the new shiny thing? Why should any of our energy be focused on the agency of desks or the presence of viruses when these things seem, to some, so far removed from more immediate concerns of social justice and equity for human students (and faculty)?
After our land acknowledgement and as a posthumanist exercise, we will begin our discussion by acknowledging the space we occupy in the session, the non-human actants who are participating in the session, and ask all human actants present to introduce themselves briefly. The roundtable leaders will offer opening remarks establishing a working definition of posthumanism, offering perspectives on the promises and perils of posthumanism, and finally the implementation of posthumanist principles in the socially just writing classroom. While the roundtable will consist of four leaders, the goal of the session is to invite those who are ‘here’ to contribute to the conversation. Each participant will have a voice in the session and be acknowledged. We will close the session with an invitation to attendees to contribute to our ongoing digital archive in the form of story, classroom practice, and theoretical engagement. Attendees will leave with a better sense of posthumansim as a pedagogical practice, how it can help in the pursuit of social justice, as well as some of the pitfalls associated with this framework.
JamBoard Work and Diffractions from the 4Cs on 4/10
If you’d like to add your JamBoard work (from the 4Cs Convention session on 4/10) to the archive, please download and fill out the form below and email it firstname.lastname@example.org.