2024 Watson Conference

CREATE, CONNECT, REFLECT: Launching Collaborations
and (Re)building Community in Our Fields

Recognizing the joys and challenges of collaboration in our field, and the professional ruptures forced or exposed by the many pandemics afflicting our world, the fourteenth biennial Thomas R. Watson Conference in Rhetoric and Composition is sponsoring 14 collaborative projects—from the development of an app to the creation of websites to the drafting of book proposals—to which participation can be open and more widely accessible. Attendees will spend three days working together on a project, either over Zoom or on-site at the University of Louisville. The conference will also feature a keynote, reflection on the collaborative process, and social activities (including on Zoom). By the end of the conference, each group will have presented a project deliverable at the showcase and will be free to continue their collaboration thereafter.

The conference is driven not only by a desire to promote connection and community and to support shared work that addresses a pressing issue, but also by a dedication to antiracist and anti-oppressive praxis that will enable humanizing, rather than alienating, working environments. In this, we are guided by our commitments to fighting anti-Black racism and other forms of discrimination and by the writings of Croom (2022) and Johnston, Solomon Amorao, and Kim  (2022). We also commit to supporting project facilitators and participants in their praxis. (To read more about the exigence for the conference and its purpose, please consult our Call for Proposals.)