ATTW Conference Call for Proposals: Global Perspectives in Technical Communication: Cultural, Rhetorical, and Technological

ATTW 2012—Call for Proposals

St. Louis, Missouri

March 21, 2012

The Association of Teachers of Technical Writing (ATTW) invites proposals for papers, posters, and workshops for its fifteenth annual conference to be held in St. Louis, MO, on Wednesday, March 21, 2012, immediately preceding the Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC). The full-day event includes concurrent sessions, poster presentations, workshops, book exhibits, and opportunities for exchanging ideas and networking in an academic environment.

Conference Theme

The theme of this year’s ATTW conference is “Global Perspectives in Technical Communication: Cultural, Rhetorical, and Technological.” Over the past decade, technical communicators have embraced increasingly global communication environments due to fundamental changes in the way we communicate across cultural boundaries, effected in large part by technological developments and increasingly networked environments. As a result, technical communication has come to be defined more from global perspectives, be it economic, cultural, ideological, political, rhetorical, or technological. Technical communicators, often being at the forefront of the fast-changing global information/knowledge landscape, are faced with the challenging task of engaging users from diverse cultural as well as other demographic backgrounds. The globalization of technical communication has promised to change and is already changing the way we approach our work. Especially relevant to our field are the cultural, rhetorical, and technological aspects of this globalization process as technical communication is essentially a technology-driven rhetorical act situated within particular cultural contexts.

Issues to Explore

Central to the globalization of technical communication are two fundamental issues:

1.     How has such globalization redefined and reshaped our field?

2.     How should we as technical communication teachers respond in the way we approach our teaching and research?

This ATTW conference, we hope, will provide teachers and researchers in our field with an effective venue to explore diverse perspectives on these issues. More specifically, proposals for conference presentations and poster sessions are encouraged to explore the following:

·      What are the specific manifestations of the reciprocal relationship between culture and technical communication?

·      How has globalization redefined the identity of technical communicators and their relationship with their audiences?

·      What extra dimensions have cultural contexts brought to technical communication and in what way are these dimensions becoming an integral part of global technical communication?

·      In what way is technical communication more a rhetorical act of persuasion in the global environment?

·      In what way do the complexities of cultural contexts lend themselves to various approaches to content/information management in technical communication, such as the datatizing of texts?

·      How does the digital, networked environment both simplify and complicate global technical communication?

·      What new dimensions has the globalization of technical communication added to the definitions of cultural, rhetorical, and technological literacies?

·      What implications does globalization have for our technical communication curriculum and pedagogy?

Proposal Format

Proposals of 300 words or less that explore these and related issues are welcome, although we also accept proposals that address issues that fall within the broad category of technical communication. All submissions must specify one of the following three formats for their proposals:

1.     Regular Session: Individuals may submit proposals for 15-minute talks on panels created by the conference organizers. Groups may submit proposals for 45-minute panel presentations.

2.     Poster Presentation: Posters will be on display throughout the day with special times dedicated for conversations about this work.

3.     Workshop Sessions: The conference will include two 90-minute workshops concurrent with the regular sessions. Workshops that would help newcomers enter the field are especially welcome.


Deadline for Submission

Proposals should be submitted no later than November 1, 2011 at the link for proposal submission is available at All proposals will be peer reviewed.






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