Florida A&M University (FAMU), in partnership with Macmillan Learning, will host the fourth Historically Black College and University (HBCU) Rhetoric & Composition Symposium. The national symposium focusing on excellence in English composition and rhetoric, will be held virtually from Thursday, September 23 to Saturday, September 25.
The symposium gathers English and writing professors to HBCUs bi-annually to discuss strategies that support student engagement and success.
“With COVID-19 continuing to exacerbate the social and racial inequities we see in the classroom, it’s more important than ever we uphold this symposium’s tradition of gathering leading faculty from the Rhetoric and Composition Disciplines at HBCUs to discuss the state of education, celebrate our contributions to it, and strategize about what we can do to improve on it,” said Symposium Chair Kendra L. Mitchell, Ph.D., a FAMU assistant professor of English.
Macmillan Learning is a privately held, family-owned education and publishing services company. is hosting the 2021 event in partnership with Florida A&M University (FAMU).
The theme, “Transdisciplinarity @ HBCUs: Rewriting Black Futures beyond the Margin,” will offer a nuanced look at the intersections between “the meaning we can make with all of the languages and literacies we speak and understand.”
In addition to keynote presentations and panel discussions, there will also be workshops that provide opportunities for hands-on experience. The virtual symposium is open for all faculty, and is free to attend.
“For nearly 200 years, HBCUs have played an essential role in providing access and support for Black students and others who have been traditionally marginalized from the opportunities afforded by obtaining a higher education. Bedford/St. Martins, an imprint of Macmillan Learning, began this partnership in 2014 with our first writing symposium in order to facilitate collaboration among HBCU scholars, and we are proud to sponsor the fourth symposium in 2021 to ensure that this important work continues,” said Leasa Burton, Vice President of Humanities for Macmillan Learning.
This year’s symposium will feature two keynote speakers. On Thursday, Sept 23, The Three Mothers: How the Mothers of Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and James Baldwin Shaped a Nation author Anna Malaika Tubbs, Ph.D., will present: “If We Don’t Tell Our Story, Who Will?”: A Fireside Chat. On Friday, Sept. 24, Regina N. Bradley, Ph.D., Associate Professor of English and African Diaspora Studies at Kennesaw State University, will present: “Still Standing: Student Voices, Curation, and HBCU Legacies.”
Panels and workshops will be presented by instructors from Arizona State University, Bethune Cookman University, Bowie State University, Dallas College, Florida A&M University, Florida State University, Howard University, Kennesaw State University, Langston University, Morehouse College, Norfolk State University, North Carolina A&T State University, North Carolina Central University, Oakland University, Stanford University, Texas Southern University, Tougaloo College, University of Maryland, Virginia Commonwealth University, and Virginia Tech.
- Kick-off and Welcome with Kendra Mitchell, Ph.D., Symposium chair
- Through Voice and Pen: Transdisciplinary and Social Justice in HBCU Speech Education, A Workshop
- Developing Foundational Approaches to Teaching Writing Using Black Voice
- Writing Across the Curriculum at HBCUs
- Engaging Non-English Faculty in the Work of the Writing Center, A Workshop
- HBCU/PWI Partnerships to Increase African American Scholars(hip), A Roundtable Discussion
- Transdisciplinary Strategies for Promoting Cognitive Shifts in Student Writing
- Framing Writing Instruction through a Black Worldview in Writing Courses at HBCUs
- Using Multimodal Texts to Teach Rhetorical Analysis
- Rewriting the Learning Relationship in the Writing Classroom
- Black to the Future: An Analysis of Past and Future Black Voices
- Transdisciplinarity Beyond the Classroom
- Transdisciplinary Perspectives on Modern Black Writing
- Transdisciplinarity and Social Justice in the Writing Classroom
- Roundtable Discussion with Past Chairs of the HBCU Rhetoric & Composition Symposium, representing North Carolina A&T State University, Howard University, and Morehouse College
- Publication Roundtable with Editors from College Language Association Journal, Journal of Multimodal Rhetorics, and CaKe, FAMU’s Literary Journal
- Workshop: Getting Your Article Published
To learn more about or register for the symposium, click here. Select sessions will be available on the Macmillan Community following the event. Media interested in attending should email [email protected].
*Speakers and sessions are as of September 14, 2021, and are subject to change.