Pre-Conference Workshop Schedule

These workshops are for graduate students and are free. Register by Thursday, April 8, 11:59 pm EST.

Read presenters' bios.

Download the complete schedule below as a Word file.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Though many of DBLAC's programs are tailored to Black graduate students, we are increasingly aware of the collective and universal need for community, especially in intellectual pursuits. That considered, we strive to share our methods and also to promote supportive communal interactions when possible. Our Writing Workshop is an extension of our organization’s goal to foster a learning community where members are able to present their ideas, research, and writing amongst emerging scholars as a means of professional support and development.

During the Writing Workshop, we will engage in a brief synchronous talk on anti-racism writing with/in community, participants will be encouraged to share writing goals and work asynchronously through individual projects and writing activities, and we will conclude with a brief synchronous closing talk.

This workshop is open to all interested participants. 

Presenter Profiles: Khirsten L. Scott and Louis M. Maraj

While we have always known it is critical to one’s success that we carve a lane for our work, it has become even more needed to situate our research in its own lane now that we are operating in the virtual space--for what would be traditionally face-to-face conferences. At many of these conferences, connections are made and working relationships are built. Journal editors, department chairs, and general colleagues pull up to hear and meet up-and-coming graduate scholars. However, now that we are in the virtual space as a response to COVID-19, we got a gap on how to continue the amplification of graduate students in and out of virtual conference spaces. Even more so, with the recent response to the Conference on College Composition & Communication having to reduce the conference “by approximately 50 percent to accommodate the financial and logistical constraints of shifting from an in-person Convention to a virtual event,” we are at a space where we must reckon with just how can graduate students ensure their work is heard and amplified throughout their research communities without having to rely on “structural” conference spaces. While I understand the difficult choice CCCC 2021 Program Chair Holly Hassel and event staff have had to make, this still led to a great number of graduate students, especially many BIPOC students, left out from the opportunity to present their work on a larger scale. As I move to echo the call from Watson organizers to be more intentional in our conferencing practices and the work we present, I think we need to have a real talk conversation about how to not rely on the conference space to amplify the work of graduate students. This ain’t to say forget the conference, but we def need to be real in having conversations about stayin’ ready to be ready. Obviously, this is a play on the classic “Stay ready so you don’t have to get ready,” yet I’ve revised the statement to include "be ready" to lighten the labor that getting ready assumes. Furthermore, in being ready, the work is continuous and does not depend on a certain movement or call to action for response. You see, once you done got ready for something, that’s it. But the work must always continue if you are to be ready.

In my workshop, specifically geared to graduate students, I will discuss how graduate students can learn how to pivot and situate their work in their field of study on their own terms. We got all the good books on how to develop job materials and how to prepare for the job talk, but what we need to talk about is doing that work before you even hit the market--being ready. Graduate students will have time to reflect on their own personal goals as scholars and practitioners in addition to highlighting the various tools available to amplify not only their work, but the work of their peers. Rather than continuing to see the conference space as an either/or to graduate student research amplification, the conference space should instead be seen as an “and,” in addition to, when it comes to student research. This presentation will have a heightened focus on supporting the work of students from historically marginalized communities but will offer insight on just how we all can move forward in pivoting and amplifying the work of graduate students. This workshop is capped at 75 participants.

Presenter Profile: Temptaous Mckoy

Sharing as a model my own struggles to navigate personal, ethical, and methodological challenges in developing my book Surrender, this workshop will invite participants to think through and against their own most challenging, most ambitious collaborations. This workshop is about “doing the work that undoes us,” which means understanding how to approach—and why to approach (and perhaps even sometimes why not to)—the sorts of projects that may intimidate, frighten, even overwhelm us. Together we will work to ask the sorts of questions that build the foundations for doing challenging work, which include assessing the goals, standpoints, and limitations from all sides of the collaborative research relationship. Ultimately we will work to craft the sort of focus that can make such collaborations positive, inventive, and mutually sustaining. I will bookend the workshop with some reflection on my current project, a collaboration that reaches across significant differences in expertise and identities. Participants at all stages of project development are welcome. This workshop is capped at 25 participants.

Note: Dr. Restaino is offering an individual mentoring session for up to five workshop participants (draft feedback/conference on project idea); email her a short description of the project and mentoring needs ( She will schedule these separately. 
Presenter Profile: Jessica Restaino

Thursday, April 15, 2021

From feeling de-valued after a desk reject to refuting areas of revision requested in a resubmission, the process and practice of writing for publication can be precarious. This workshop seeks to demystify and critically engage with these divergent processes through a lens writing response-ably. Advancing an ethics of writing for publication that humanizes participants' experience, it hopes to build capacity for a diversity of knowledges and experiences present. Tracing a publication from initial submission to proof and publication, participants in the workshop will survey a variety of scholarly journals and venues for academic publication, discuss how to write initial editorial correspondences, and respond to reviewer feedback. The workshop will conclude by examining various issues and questions that may arise in academic writing, such as how to mobilize digital resources for disseminating work and how to negotiate collaborative writing processes. This workshop is capped at 25 participants.
Presenter Profile: Jon M. Wargo
In this interactive workshop, we will develop strategies for identifying, navigating, and confronting the pervasive whiteness of the archival enterprise that is, too often, unnamed and unaccounted for. We will begin by thinking through archives as mechanisms of mnemonic power, asking: who has the power to collect historical artifacts? What types of items are collected and whose histories are represented by these items? We will then shift to examining specific digital archival collections and the implicit logics that undergird their collecting scope, organization, and access tools. In the final segment of the workshop, we will consider anti-racist and anti-colonial archival practices that seek to reveal and upend the invisible ideological workings of archives. Participants will be asked to actively contribute to this workshop. This workshop is capped at 50 participants.

Presenter Profile: K. J. Rawson

Institutions frequently affirm the importance of inter- and multidisciplinary scholarship. The official discourse of inter/multidisciplinary scholarship frames it as a forward-thinking move to promote inquiry not confined to outdated disciplinary boundaries. The unofficial reality is that inter/multidisciplinarity is endemic to an oversaturated academic job market in which candidates are frequently expected to have not only secondary areas of specialization in addition to a primary area but instead multiple primary areas of specialization. Meanwhile, it is not always clear to emerging scholars what it means to actually do inter/multidisciplinary research. This workshop is designed to help graduate students think through the complexities of pursuing inter/multidisciplinary scholarship in a manner that is not only successful but, more importantly, responsible. This workshop is capped at 15 participants.

Presenter Profile: Jerry Won Lee

Friday, April 16, 2021

Poetic inquiry is an arts based research method used across disciplines in which a researcher composes poetry from research materials.  Poetic inquiry can be a means of data transcription, analysis, re/presentation, as well as an approach to invention or self-reflexive practice. As part of a feminist, liberatory methodology, poetic inquiry honors alternative ways of knowing, challenges claims to objective truth, dismantles binaries (public/private, mind/body, intellect/emotion) and stimulates embodied engagement. In this workshop, I’ll share how poetic inquiry has become central to my current project—a longitudinal study of faculty writers. Participants will experiment with poetic inquiry as a means of engaging in the intellectual, emotional, and spiritual work of research. Attendees should bring materials for art-making. These may include: reports from journal reviewers, excerpts of interview transcripts or fieldnotes from your research, a copy of a page from a book that gets you excited about your research, scissors, glue, colored pencils or markers, etc. Everyone should bring paper and something to write with. We will share our creations and reflect on the potential of poetic inquiry in ongoing research endeavors. This workshop is capped at 30 participants.

Presenter Profile: Sandy Tarabochia

This workshop follows Natasha Jones’ (2016, 2020) coalitional approach to narrative inquiry and Natasha Jones and Miriam Williams’ (2020) call for the just use of imagination to examine, (re)imagine, and (re)enact our uptakes of design frameworks and practices in rhetoric, composition, and technical communication. We will begin the workshop with a shared vocabulary for anti-racist, anti-oppressive design; then we will work through a three-part activity that participants can engage in on their own or in a shared document. Throughout the activity, we will attend to temporality, place, and sociality with a coalitional commitment to accounting for positionalities and redressing injustices (Jones 2020). In the first part of the activity, we will examine epistemologies and relations in our uptakes of design frameworks in our research, teaching, and/or community engagement. In the second part of the activity, we will employ our just use of imagination (Jones and Williams 2020) to imagine futures worth working toward in our design uptakes and practices. In the third part of the activity, we will enact our just use of imagination (Jones and Williams 2020) by identifying and committing to coalitional actions to implement anti-racist, anti-oppressive design.

Jones, N. N. (2016). Narrative Inquiry in Human-Centered Design: Examining Silence and Voice to Promote Social Justice Design Scenarios. Journal of Technical Writing and Communication, 46(4): 471-492.

Jones, N. N. (2020). Coalitional Learning in the Contact Zones: Inclusion and Narrative Inquiry in Technical Communication and Composition Studies. College English, 82(5): 515-526.

Jones, N. N., & Williams, M. F. (2020). The Just Use of Imagination: A Call to Action. Association of Teachers of Technical Writing List Serv. 10 June 2020.

Presenter Profile:Ann Shivers-McNair

Counterstory is a writing and research method of Critical Race Theory, founded in creative non-fiction genres of oral history, slave narrative, and testimonio. As a narrative form, counterstory illuminates other(ed) perspectives about genre and dominant ideology, and functions as a method for social justice-oriented writers to intervene in and counter practices that dismiss or decenter racism (and other intersecting forms of oppression and marginalization) and those whose lives are affected daily by it. In this workshop, writers will have the option to begin the process of crafting counterstories in genres of dialogue, autobiography, and/or allegory, based on personal experience and supported by data and literatures on their chosen topics. Through this exploration of new genres we will explore methods aimed at improving our skills in storytelling toward connecting narratives to our research project and larger arguments. Note: There is a recommended reading for workshop participants. The first chapter to Dr. Martinez's book, Counterstory, provides the reader with a history and the tenets of critical race theory, which will be helpful for framing the discussion of writing counterstory within the workshop. This workshop is capped at 40 participants.

Presenter Profile: Aja Martinez