Call for Proposals. WAC and the Global Future: Flexibility, Action, Innovation

Note: Proposals for the conference will be accepted beginning this fall. Please check this page or look for announcements via email, social media, and related websites. 

The Writing Across the Curriculum movement is at an inflection point. IWAC 2025 offers an opportunity to explore how best we might support the work of teachers, administrators, and students with the flexibility required to address challenging and often vexing issues and with action built on innovative and respectful approaches to teaching and learning.

IWAC 2025 is centered on questions shaped by global and national shifts and the debates that surround them. These questions are associated with long-standing concerns about how best to use writing to support teaching and learning and how best to prepare students for the writing and speaking situations they will encounter in their professional, personal, and civic lives; how best to design, manage, grow, assess, and sustain WAC programs; movements for and against diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice; and the emergence of generative artificial intelligence applications that challenge our understanding of what it means to write and to be a writer. These questions continue discussions at previous IWAC conferences, in particular those that took place in 2021 and 2023.

Considering WAC’s Role in Teaching and Learning

As an educational movement, WAC is both successful and widely recognized. Early in the effort to identify high-impact practices, under the phrase “writing-intensive courses,” it was included in a list of several educational practices that had been shown to contribute to student learning and success (Kuh, 2008). Since its founding in 1970, the conditions under which writing is used to support teaching and learning have changed, and we can anticipate that the rate of change will only increase in coming years. Questions to explore in this area include:

  • How will these conditions shape the work of teachers and students in courses that use writing assignments and activities to reach their learning objectives?
  • What have we learned over time that is durable? What must be reconsidered?
  • What proven and emerging practices can we turn to as we work to enhance learning, critical thinking, and the development of writing and speaking skills?
  • What strategic partnerships can we make at our institutions to support the use of writing to support learning and critical thinking?

Considering the Development and Sustainability of WAC Programs

The work of designing, funding, managing, growing, assessing, and sustaining WAC programs remains both challenging and rewarding. As we look forward, what considerations should we make to adapt to changing conditions and what lessons have we learned over more than five decades of the WAC movement that can help us sustain our efforts? We can benefit from continued inquiry and discussion of innovative approaches to WAC program design and development and from efforts to recover and deepen our understanding of WAC histories. Questions to consider in this area include:

  • How can those of us involved in the WAC movement ensure that it continues to evolve and adapt, and that it remains sustainable?
  • How can we improve working conditions for WAC leaders and teachers?
  • What strategies can we employ to adapt to changing educational conditions and what lessons have we learned over more than five decades of the WAC movement that can help us sustain our efforts?

Considering WAC’s Future in Light of Challenges to DEI and Social Justice

In their plenary presentations at the 2021 IWAC Conference, Pamela Flash, Al Harahap, Federico Navarro, Teresa Redd, and Alisa Russell considered the current and future status of WAC through a collective perspective on coloniality, equity, and sustainability. Russell argued for flexibility as we work to make visible—and expand—the ways in which we enact WAC, an argument that is particularly significant in light of tensions surrounding higher education across the globe. Flash and Redd described these tensions—including the growing number of anti-DEI laws and regulations enacted recently in the United States—as “forces of pushback”  that challenge members of the WAC community who have put into practice or are developing innovative responses to national and local challenges. Harahap, pointing to a disconnect between our ideals and our actions, called for situating our research and pedagogies in ways that demonstrate our commitment to action. And Navarro highlighted the extent to which shifting student populations and communities are challenging the structures of higher education.

Questions addressed in relation to this area might include:

  • How can we respond effectively to forces that embrace values at odds with our mission of enhancing learning, critical thinking, and the development of writing and speaking skills?
  • What do histories of WAC reveal about the questions we should be asking about the role of WAC within shifting contexts of higher education?
  • How can the WAC movement support activism that pursues a vision of inclusiveness and respect for difference?

Considering WAC’s Future in Light on New and Emerging Technologies

Scholars have described generative AI as a “tool” or “aid” to research and communication while wondering whether students will lose the educational value of developing their critical thinking abilities (Werse, 2023).  This challenge implicates the need for innovative practices that will support the use of writing, learning, and critical thinking at a time when technologies are reshaping our understanding of writing itself.  Shifts in technology, particularly in generative and even general artificial intelligence, will continue to challenge our conceptions of what it means to position humanistic values at the center of education. Questions to consider in this area include:

  • What innovative instructional practices might we turn to in an age of generative AI, and how might those practices shape our work supporting the use of writing to support learning and critical thinking?
  • How can the WAC movement remain grounded in humanistic values at a time when technological changes are challenging our understanding of what it means to write and to teach writing?

Considering WAC as a Global Movement

At IWAC 2025, we will consider questions about flexibility, action, and innovation in ways that respect traditions that span continents and cultures. As we attend to these questions, we will necessarily explore how best to address the needs and goals of faculty in different types of institutions, in different global and national regions, and in different language contexts and language traditions—all of whom are working with students who have a wide range of needs, interests, and learning goals. Questions to address in this area might include:

  • How can the WAC community benefit from the insights of teachers using writing across a wide range of languages and language traditions?
  • What does it mean to view WAC as a global movement and what actions are required to put that vision into practice?

Crafting Conference Presentations, Workshops, and Teaching Demonstrations

As we imagine WAC’s global future, we point to the following themes relevant to IWAC 2025:

  • WAC as an International Movement. While WAC has deep roots in the United States and, historically, in the Language Across the Curriculum movement in the United Kingdom, it has expanded across national boundaries over the last two decades. We invite discussions of how WAC is situated in and has adapted to various national and transnational contexts, the challenges WAC practitioners have faced within those contexts, and the outlook for growth and change in those contexts.
  • WAC, Civic Action, and Engagement. We encourage proposals that explore connections between WAC and the impact of intrusive governments, the burden of student debt, public dis-investment in education, and the engagement of our students and graduates in civic and professional discourse. We also encourage proposals that consider the opportunities and challenges associated with shaping public perception and policy regarding language and literacy instruction.
  • The Role of WAC in Advancing Social Justice. We encourage discussions of how WAC might play a role in addressing issues of social justice. In particular, we seek proposals that address the role of WAC in (1) working against racism, sexism, classism, ageism, ableism, intolerance of diverse sexual orientations, intolerance of the religious beliefs of others (including the lack of such beliefs), and exploitive labor practices, and (2) addressing the gap between rich and poor that continues to shape the preparation and perceptions of students entering our classrooms. We welcome explorations of WAC and DEI, WAC as inclusive action, and WAC as activism.
  • WAC in Diverse Social and Linguistic Contexts. We invite proposals that address the role of WAC in a world where linguistic diversity is increasingly common, where our confidence in the information we consume is eroding, and where “standardized” notions of writing and reading shape the experiences of our students.
  • WAC and Technology. We encourage proposals that address the wide range of technologies that share writing, the teaching of writing, and the use of writing to support learning and teaching. We welcome proposals that explore the affordances and downsides of generative AI, multimodality, social media, among a wide range of other technologies.
  • Histories of WAC. We seek to celebrate the scholars and programs that have shaped WAC as a movement—of those whose stories have been told and those whose stories remain yet to be shared, of voices that have not been heard outside of local contexts, and of once-innovative practices that might bear reexamination. We welcome all types of historical inquiry, including historical ethnographies, archival analyses, oral narratives, and explorations of historical events that have shaped WAC, among other approaches.
  • WAC Pedagogies and Practices. We encourage proposals from both WAC scholars and disciplinary colleagues outside of writing studies that address the wide range of instructional practices that use writing and speaking to support learning and critical thinking in disciplines across the curriculum, in multilingual contexts, in new and established technological contexts, and in primary, secondary, undergraduate, and graduate education.
  • WAC Program Design and Leadership. We invite proposals that consider the range of options for designing and assessing programs, addressing faculty resistance, supporting students, and ensuring funding, among other issues. Given the complexity of developing, leading, and growing WAC programs, we value perspectives from the wide range of programs that have developed across the globe.
  • The Challenges that Unite Us as a Community. More generally, we seek proposals that explore the wide range of challenges that we grapple with as a community. We encourage proposals that identify challenges or define problems and then explore potential responses to them.

Coming Together as a Community

As WAC continues to shape teaching and learning across various disciplines, it is clear that making connections to the issues and questions raised above must emerge out of “people’s individual and collective reflection” in questioning and reflecting upon the “kind of WAC future we want to build” (Harahap, Navarro, & Russell, 2023). Equally important, as Navarro and others have called for, we urge the field to engage in a greater transnational exchange and dialogue, one that centers the knowledges and practices of WAC scholars and practitioners across the world. We encourage various linguistic exchanges, modes of presentation, and what Natalia Avila Reyes coined “building a dynamic of influence” that will continue to foster respect, exchange of knowledge, and a broader shift in how we, as scholars, teachers, and administrators, consider what it means to write and be a writer across the curriculum.

We welcome submissions for:

  • Interactive workshops
  • Panels (typically three or four speakers)
  • Roundtables (typically five to seven speakers)
  • Individual presentations (which will be combined with other proposals to form a panel)
  • Teaching demonstrations
  • Poster presentations (both print and digital)

We ask presenters to limit themselves to one speaking role in panels, roundtables and teaching demonstrations (excluding service as a chair or respondent to a panel). In addition to a speaking role on a panel, roundtable or teaching demonstration, we also encourage participants to consider participation as a workshop leader and as a presenter of a poster session.

We also ask presenters to consider issues of accessibility as they develop their presentation. Useful information about accessible presentations can be found on the Composing Access site at

IWAC 2025 centers the significant role of languages and the ways in which we, as a movement, might better facilitate conversations between scholars from the U.S. and around the world who speak a variety of languages. In keeping with that commitment, we are developing a statement on language inclusion that will be available on this site.