Attending to Transfer

3rd Mid-Atlantic CCCC Summer Conference


Call for Proposals

Attending to Transfer: Programs, Pedagogies, and the Complex Writing Lives of Students

Old Dominion University | Norfolk, VA | May 30-31, 2019

Submission Deadline: Saturday, February 9, 2019

CFP 2019 Summer CCCC Conference, ODU (PDF)

Submit a Proposal (deadline has passed)

The Department of English at Old Dominion University invites proposals for “Attending to Transfer: Programs, Pedagogies, and the Complex Writing Lives of Students,” a CCCC Regional Summer Conference we’re hosting on our accessible, vibrant, urban campus located along the southern reaches of Chesapeake Bay right in the heart of the historical Tidewater region. Please consider proposing an individual presentation, a panel, a workshop, or a working project for the Feedback Forum. We aspire to accommodate all proposers on the program within the cozy constraints of a small conference format (approximately 150 attendees). For more information about the conference details and its accessibility, including the location, lodging, logistics, and leisures of Norfolk, please use the navigational menu above.



While transfer as a concept traverses multiple disciplines and thus gets approached, defined, and applied in various ways, we encourage participants to think of transfer in the following way:

“Transfer refers to how previous learning influences current and future learning, and how past or current learning is applied or adapted to similar or novel situations. Transfer, then, isn’t so much an instructional and learning technique as a way of thinking, perceiving, and processing information” (Haskell, 2001, p. 23). To attend to transfer means to think of the myriad ways in which we ask, assume, and design our teaching around the idea that knowledge and skills get transferred from site to site. Conceiving of transfer as both a practice and “way of thinking” means to address the notion that “underlying our educational systems is an assumption that students will transfer knowledge—specifically written knowledge—across critical transitions (e.g., course to course, school to workplace)” (Moore & Anson, 2017, p. 3). Our educational systems also too often assume a particular type of embodied student experience, and too often privilege particular literacy traditions and practices above others.

Although critical attention to transfer has deep roots in psychology, writing studies, and education (Anson & Forsberg, 1990; Perkins & Salomon, 1988, 1989), it wasn’t until the last decade or so that we have seen a surge of composition research on writing transfer exploring the assumptions behind it (Pettipiece et al., 2007), perceptions of it (Driscoll, 2011; Nelms & Dively, 2007), and long-term processes experienced with it (Wardle, 2007; Yancey et al., 2014) from student, admin, and teacher standpoints. Significantly, the Elon Statement on Writing Transfer emerged in 2013 out of a two-year seminar involving 45 scholars to help provide a writing-focused framework for how those of us in writing studies might approach transfer as a pedagogical practice and administrative philosophy.

The urgency of attending to transfer has become more and more evident as the landscape of higher education changes. Students are, now more than ever, following educational pathways that do not resemble the “expected” high school to four-year degree to workplace sequence. Influxes in dual enrollment programs, transfer credit opportunities from two-year colleges, distance learning courses, and part-time pacing options have offered students the desired flexibility in their learning trajectories, but these influxes also have the effect of leaving teachers of writing with the complex task of preparing curricula with a less stable sense of what students already know and what students will need to know moving forward. Subsequently, teachers and researchers are now being called to attend to the interconnectedness of our institutional spaces, to work and conference more closely with each other across rank, college type, and classroom context.


The Call

In light of these research trends and pedagogical challenges, we invite you to engage any of the following areas pertaining to how we might work with students and each other to better facilitate the transfer of writing (broadly defined) knowledge and skills across and within a wide variety of spaces. Rather than pose a series of questions, we invite you to think of how teachers of writing might attend to:

  • Gaps between high school and first-year composition curricula;
  • Literacy traditions and practices (e.g., African American, Latinx, religious, and LGBTQ) students bring into the classroom and that might be under-acknowledged;
  • Unique challenges posed to teachers in dual enrollment programs;
  • Best practices for workplace preparation or internship projects;
  • Approaches to faculty development initiatives fostering a teaching-for-transfer perspective in disciplinary faculty;
  • Relationships between two-year and four-year colleges;
  • Perceptions of students, teachers, and administrators on skill-based transfer;
  • Issues and questions of metacognition (i.e., how to best get students to think critically about and reflect on their own writing practices);
  • Cross-disciplinary partnerships within or across institutions;
  • Challenges of teaching credit-transfer students;
  • Curricular redesigns and the debates driving them; and/or
  • Complications and limitations of transfer as a theoretical concept and practical application (i.e., the influences extending beyond formal writing instruction).

Please note that these sub-areas are meant to be suggestive and generative, not exhaustive.


Proposal Types

We invite you to submit proposals for one of the following presentation formats. Each session at the conference is given a 60-minute time allotment, with at least 15 of those minutes allotted to discussion. All individual submissions must be kept to 250 words; panel proposals should not exceed 800 words, and should include a brief introductory paragraph providing the connecting theme. Please also attend to how you will be providing accessible materials. The deadline for submissions is 11:59 p.m, Saturday, February 9, 2019:

  1. Individual Presentations. Fairly traditional 15 minute presentations. We will insist on shorter presentations than usual (15 minutes rather than 20 minutes), asking presenters to supply background information on handouts or websites and to concentrate on direct, focused, and action-oriented remarks, leaving more time for discussion. Submissions to this category will be placed by the program committee on a panel with other presenters proposing a similar theme.
  2. Panels. Group of three speakers following the same parameters as the individual presentations above.
  3. Feedback Forum. Similar in form and function to the Research Network Forum and the Teacher to Teacher event at CCCC, this Forum invites participants to share ideas, questions, challenges, and in-progress work that would benefit from focused feedback. We welcome submissions from a wide range of perspectives, including classroom praxis, program development, and potential research publications. Presenters’ names and presentation/project titles will appear in the program. Participants will be placed at tables led by a facilitator. Participants will present a one-page handout, brief overview, and questions for small-group discussion with peers and senior scholars.
  4. Workshops. These sessions will be organized by topic and have assigned leaders. Workshop topics might include: Connecting High School and College Educators; The Role of the Two-Year College; Assignment Development; Transfer and the Use of Digital Writing Tools; and WPA Work with Transfer. Workshop proposals should provide as much detail as possible as to the workshop’s objectives, means of achieving those objectives, and intended audience.

Draft Submission for Coaching or Feedback Deadline (Optional): January 17, 2019

Final Proposal Submission Deadline: February 9, 2019


Submission Instructions

Please submit using the following Google Form: Submission Form for 2019 Regional CCCC (submissions closed)


Further Opportunities

If you’d like anonymous feedback and/or coaching on a draft proposal before final submission, please submit the proposal through the submission link above by January 17, 2019 and be sure to begin your abstract noting your desire for coaching. This is entirely optional. The conference program and steering committees will provide developmental support, with the goal of the individual revising before the final submission deadline on February 9, 2019.

This conference will abide by a full participation policy.  Because our space is limited, we cannot guarantee placement on panels. However, we aspire to offer a place on the program for every proposal. Any proposal received by the deadline that is not accepted for inclusion in the panel format will be considered for inclusion in the program in the Feedback Forum, to the extent that we have space.



For further information, please contact the conference chair, Dr. Daniel P. Richards at