Spring 2014 Events


Wed., Jan 29

Spring semester PWR Department Meeting


Wed., Feb 5

Portfolio Expectation/Calibration and Assessment Session (rescheduled)


Wed., Feb 12

PWR READING SERIES hosted by Kevin Clouther (Poetry Center, Humanities 2001)

Sharbari Ahmed, Norwalk Community CollegeSharbari Ahmed

Sharbari Ahmed's fiction has appeared in The Gettysburg ReviewThe Asian Pacific American JournalCatamaranCaravan MagazineInroads, and the anthologies A New Anthem (Tranquebar) and Lifelines (Zubaan). Her debut book, The Ocean of Mrs Nagai: Stories (Daily Star Books), was published in 2013. 




Wed., Feb 19

Writing in the Post-Disciplines, William Marderness

A writer should not allow himself to be turned into an institution. –Sartre

Multi-disciplinary studies has gained a minor role in universities. This “field” provides a space for minority ideas, ideas that are excluded (perhaps unfairly) from traditional disciplines. Multi-disciplinary and traditional specializations involve different types of authors: In the former the author is clearly an agent, a critical and creative voice. In the latter the author may be simply an agent of an institution. How do disciplines help or hinder the critical and creative process? To what extent should we teach disciplinary conventions? In this workshop, we will apply Jean-Francois Lyotard’s theory of the postmodern to understand what it means to write in and outside the disciplines.


Wed., Feb 26

Reading and Writing the Personal Statement for Medical/Dental/Graduate School: A Roundtable Discussion (Poetry Center, Humanities 2001), Dr. David W. Paquette, Associate Dean for Education, SBU School of Dental Medicine; Grace Agnetti, Assistant Dean of Admissions, SBU School of Medicine; and Dr. Anne E. McElroy, Professor & Graduate Program Director, SBU School of Marine & Atmospheric Sciences.

In the roundtable discussion, admissions committee members will talk about the essay-reading process, offering insight into how they assess personal statements for admission to medical, dental, and graduate school. Ample time will be available for questions from attendees. Please share with interested students.


Wed., March 5

Writing Tutors and Writing Teachers Talk and Eat Pizza, Dennis Clarke

Description forthcoming


Wed., March 12

Writing Minor Open House

Please join current and prospective Writing Minors for pizza and conversation about the PWR, our writing courses, and our Minor in Writing. Representatives from the Career Center will also attend, sharing information about internships, volunteer opportunities, and employment for writers.


March 17-21



Wed., March 26

The Role of Grammar in Teaching Writing: Establishing Consistency with PWR WRT 102 Outcomes, MaryAnn Duffy

Last semester, Peter Khost shared the PWR Student Learning Outcomes Statement and there was much comment about how to word the grammar and usage outcome description. Then, in another Brown Bag, the Writing Center tutors spoke at length about how to deal with the myriad of grammar issues they face as tutors.  We also have descriptions of grammar outcomes on the PWR website, and Cynthia Davidson is adding a grammar tip sheet to the PWR ePortfolio.  In this Brown Bag, I’d like to discuss how we each define grammar and if we should aim for consistency in this definition. Then, I’d like to share what resources (if any) we use in our classes to aid in teaching foundational grammar.  I will also share how I approach teaching grammar in WRT 102 and 200, as well as AIM 102 and discuss the grammar handouts I am creating for the Writing Center.


Wed., April 2

“How Can I Help?”, Christine Szarez (from the Center for Prevention and Outreach) and Robert Kaplan

This workshop will train professional staff to recognize and respond to student distress or disruption. We’ll discuss risks and protective factors for college students, common warning signs of distress, on- and off-campus resources for help, and University reporting policies and procedures. Strategies for referring students to support services and responding to student disclosure and disruptions will be reviewed, and interactive workshop elements will provide opportunities to practice.


Wed., April 9

Responding to Student Writing, Carolyn Sofia, Wilbur Farley, and Jennifer Albanese

Responding to student writing is an integral part of our teaching process in the Writing and Rhetoric Program. A time-consuming task, it is fraught with challenges that range from explicit or accidental appropriation of student texts to fear about engaging with such writing that is so extreme virtually no comments are given to the students.  Our discussion is meant to outline theoretical perspectives on this topic as well as to solicit instructors' feedback on what works well with their students.  


Wed., April 16

Intersections in Basic/Introductory College Writing, Shyam Sharma and Liz Kotseas

From Sondra Perl’s observation of the “composing process of unskilled writers” in general (1979) and the class-based dynamics that Mike Rose (1988) discussed as “narrowing the mind and page” to the discourse about the complexity of nonnative English speaking students’ language proficiency today, the teaching of basic and introductory writing has entailed many and complex, often controversial, issues. Our own students who take the WRT 101 course are very diverse in their language and writing competencies, as well as other issues like motivation and academic level, at the time they decide to take the course. In this session, drawing on some relevant scholarship on basic and introductory college writing, we will address two overlapping subjects. First, we will discuss some of the challenges that we have faced in sections that have nonnative English speaking students, including international students, in the majority. Second, we will address the issue of motivation, transition to college, and language competency among native English speakers that we have encountered in this course. Then, we will invite colleagues to share their experience and how they tackle these and other challenges in their WRT 101 classes.


Wed., April 23

Evaluating Analysis: The (In)Sufficiency of Gesture, Robert Kaplan and Jennifer Albanese

Analysis is the genre with which students in WRT 102 have the most difficulty, and in turn it presents certain difficulties in the evaluation process. The portfolio guidelines state that students should provide evidence of “skilled textual analysis.” The goal of this Brown Bag is to discuss what that phrase means. For example, if a student gestures toward analysis—that is, if a student makes an analytic point and provides textual evidence to support it, but then follows with summary—is that sufficient? Is it more important to get the student to think, even if it only leads to a gesture, or is it more important to see a better developed analysis, even if it is not sustained throughout the paper? How much direction from an instructor or class discussion is too much?


Wed., April 30

End-of-Semester Portfolio Calibration and Assessment Session



Wed., May 7

Kevin Clouther: Fiction Reading

Kevin Clouther, lecturer in the Program in Writing and Rhetoric, will be doing a reading from his recently published book,We Were Flying To Chicago, on May 7 at 1:00 in the Poetry Center.

Program in Writing and Rhetoric • Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794-5340 • 631.632.7390
Writing Center • 631.632.7405 • writingcenter@stonybrook.edu
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