In 1995, Dr. Thomas R. Watson donated 1.2 million dollars to the University of Louisville English Department to endow a biennial International Conference in Rhetoric and Composition and a Visiting Distinguished Professorship. The gift is a mark not only of Dr. Watson's extraordinary generosity but also of his imaginative and far-sighted vision.
The 2024 conference will offer a space for launching collaborative projects and making participation in them as accessible as possible. Participants will spend three days working together, either over Zoom or on site at the University of Louisville, as well as asynchronously over Slack. The conference will also feature a keynote, showcase, reflection on the collaborative process, and social activities.
The Thomas R. Watson Conference in Rhetoric and Composition takes place in Louisville, Kentucky, the ancestral homeland of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee, the Osage Nation, and the Shawnee (including the Absentee-Shawnee Tribe, the Eastern Shawnee Tribe, and the Shawnee Tribe). Kentucky itself is currently home to tens of thousands of Indigenous people.