Boston Area Rhet/Comp Meeting
What Brings Us to the Room:
Bruce Herzberg (Bentley)
 Credential Institution
 Sharing resources and mixing students and instructors
Matt Parfitt (Boston University)
 Collaborative Research
 Perhaps something like the citation model
Patricia Sullivan (Northeastern)
 Collaboration between students and faculty
 Conferences, seminars, etc.
Gesa Kirsch (Bentley)
 Collaborative Research
 Consortium
Suzanne Lane (MIT)
 What would a credential-granting program be?
 Reading/writing group
 Institution that raises the visibility of rhet/comp in area and universities
 Seminars and colloquia that instructors and students could go to…
Nancy Sommers (Harvard)
 Continue the social group
 Start small and then build a more substantial organization
 Speaker series or workshops
 Pull in community colleges
Steve Sutherland (Umass Boston)
 Workshops
 Re-credentialing (for long-term faculty that don’t originally have degrees in rhet/comp and
therefore have difficulty moving forward in profession)
Paula Mathieu (Boston College)
 Continuing the social group (conversations about projects and research)
 Start small and then build up
Marlon Kuzmick (Harvard)
 Continuing the social group (feeding ideas for collaborative projects and research)
Beth Britt (Northeastern)
 Involving graduate students in conversations
 Continuing social group
Joe Bizup (Boston University)
 Credential-granting institution (for instructors who don’t have credentials to continue in field)
Robin Reames (Bentley)
 Roundtables, writing groups – senior and junior faculty mixing
Neal Lerner (MIT -> Northeastern)
 Pulling in the writing center to most of the already stated ideas
 Collaborative research
 Mini-conference
 Topics: how might research methods be brought into already stated ideas
Matt Noonan (Northeastern)
 Didn’t share other than introducing self.
Les Perelman (MIT)
 Arrived late.
John Trimbur (Emerson)
 Arrived late.
Sustainability Conversation: What Will Keep Us Coming Back?
 Rotating Host (+ a back up plan/host)
 Name and Website--identity
o Staying Connected: Listserv / Google Group
 Organize around topics which could be reading/research/workshop/writing group-based
 Social aspect (informal)
 Money?
o Split honorarium fees among members of group for “big speakers”
o Pro bono presentations by members
o Institutional investment
 Athenaeum?
 Bedford/St. Martins
 University sponsorship
 Membership fees (Should membership and sponsorship be separate? Should
sponsorship be tiered?)
 Institutional sponsorship?
 Individual membership fee?
 Joe B.: Need to strategize before approaching institutions. There is a risk
of underselling organization and receiving less funding than we could
receive if we approach with a lesser amount than universities had in
mind/available. Sponsoring this kind of organization looks good for
universities as well. Perhaps having tiers of sponsorship (and maybe not
advertising this). Perhaps keeping membership/event-attendance and
sponsorship separate.
 Location – Participation
o Bigger speakers once a year (open to lecturers and students)
Former/Other Organizations:
 Former Organizations:
o BAWD (Boston Area Writing Directors) – lost identity and focus
o Metropolitan WPA (80s)
o Often devolved because (1) their drive was maintained by a specific individual who ran
out of time, energy, or interest; (2) membership location became too diffuse and
shifting so members stopped attending; (3) organizations lost their focus and purpose;
(4) organizations were not established as both professional development and academic
 Other organizations to consider as models/Organizational Schemes:
o Graduate Consortium for Women’s Studies
o Rhetoricians and Compositionists at CUNY
 John Trimbur has a contact
Steering committee with sub-groups/committees
Summer Workshops/Institute(s)
What Needs Might This Meet?:
 Dossier bolster/credential for CVs.
 Professional development (potential conflict with unionized instructors if required)
 Academic synergy and conversation
 Desire for collaborative research (both graduate student/faculty and faculty/faculty)
 Increasing awareness of Boston schools as rich in rhet/comp
o Boost university awareness of discipline, resources and work done by scholars
o Draw graduate students and other scholars
BARCC Boston Area Rhetoric and Composition Consortium (Taken)
BARACK (Boston Area Rhetoric and Composition Konsortium (Too political)
CRAB? (Composition/Rhetoric Around Boston)
CCAR? (Consortium for Composition and Rhetoric)
Boston Rhetoric and Writing Network (BRAWN)
Types of Activities/Committees/Responsibilities:
Activity Groups/Responsibilities:
 Summer colloquia/institute/conference/symposia—aiming for next summer
o Career development and academic inquiry
o Practical and theoretical (there was talk on both sides, but the idea of both seemed
pleasing to most)
o Neal Lerner, Joe Bizup, Matt P.
 Workshops/forums for discussion/book club/work groups/interest groups:
o Topics: assessment, using courses/citation practices, writing centers, research methods,
multimodal composition
o Floated ideas:
 Gather grad students around a research topic that could lead to publication
 Book group/discussion groups around topics
 Humanities Center model
o Patricia Sullivan, Robin Reames
Writing groups/retreats
o Suzanne Lane, Nancy Sommers
Certificate (perhaps more long-term)
Consortium (perhaps more long-term)
Collaborative research
o Neal Lerner, Robin Reames, Steve Sutherland
Speaker series
Social events
o Book-launch-esque events
Market research/surveys
o Use Survey Monkey
 Lecturers, WPA, and graduate students
 Discover what interests them, what they’d most like to see, what they’d most
likely attend, what they need.
 Joe Bizup, Suzanne Lane, Chris Gallagher
Organization Groups/Responsibilities:
 Once sponsorship/funding is decided, we will need a treasurer.
 Potential Hosts
o Next full group meeting: Early September, Harvard
 Presentations by the sub-committees, conversations, and revisions
o Next potential informal meeting: John Trimbur’s Solidarity or Service book launch
o Volunteer hosts: Nancy Sommers/Harvard, BU, BC, and Bentley
 Steering Committee
o Purpose: decide membership/sponsorship structure, organization/committee structure,
process for selecting/moving forward with events, mission statement, and branding and
website development.
o Members: Paula Mathieu, Nancy Sommers, Suzanne Lane, James Stanfill, Patricia
Sullivan, Chris Gallagher.

Boston Area Rhet/Comp Meeting 6.1.11 What Brings Us to the