25
Inkshedding in the Twenty-First Century:
Transformation and Transfiguration
 

Make us an offer we can't refuse

Since the first Inkshed Working Conference, in 1984, the purpose of the conference has been twofold:

In the planning for that first conference, two considerations were uppermost: most conferences we went to were based in, and dominated by concerns specific to, the United States; the other, more important, was that the standard method of exchange at conferences didn't seem to us to work very well. We were all unhappy with the usual conference session: three 20-minute presentations, followed by a few minutes of more-or-less perfunctory questions, often intended more to show the knowledge of the questioner than to elicit more understanding and reflection from others. And of course we were almost equally unhappy with the lack of opportunities for real conversation in the halls and lobbies at the huge conferences we typically attended in the US -- and in Canada and elsewhere, for that matter.

So Inkshed has typically been small, and often (though hardly exclusively) dealt with Canadian contexts and concerns, and has usually included elements designed to foster real exchange of ideas. Elements, often, that you don't find at "conventional" conferences -- most regularly, and most dramatically, inkshedding itself.

The theme for Inkshed 25 is "Inkshedding in the 21st Century." We're excited that the idea is coming home to where it all started, and we think all of us would like to know what's become of it in the past quarter of a century.

We believe the Inkshed conference should give participants the best possible opportunity to share what they're working on, what they're thinking about, what they're puzzled by, and to get the most thoughtful possible responses from the Inkshed community (and, not incidentally at all, to have a good time with colleagues).

We think we can do better than twenty minute read presentations. Here's how we think we can pull all of those goals together.

Propose what you'd like to share with the rest of us. It would be good if it dealt with what's become of the Inkshed idea now that we're solidly into the 21st century, but really, if you're interested in language and learning, other inkshedders are interested, too, whether it fits the conference theme or not. We'd be especially interested in collaborative proposals, of course; Inkshed has been about collaboration from the beginning. Be as specific as you can about what you have to say -- what questions you're dealing with, what you've learned that the rest of us might like to know, what you'd like to ask us.

There are two ways to make your proposal; you can send it to inkshed25@stu.ca., or you can go to the Inkshed 25 wikispace -- click on inkshed25.wikispaces.com -- and post it there for discussion by all of us. Let's make this a good one.

We'll respond, with acceptance, or maybe with suggestions as to how you might participate, and we'll negotiate. Some ideas, we know, are best presented as discourse from a presenter, and we'll welcome that -- but we'd like alternatives as well. Among the possibilities we might suggest are these:

Tell us this as soon as you can, but by March 21 for sure. We'll respond quickly. We'll agree on a way to fit you into the program, and we'll do formal acceptance letters before the end of March.

All accepted proposals will get a letter of acceptance and will be listed in the program.


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