CEAO Spring Conference Call for Proposals

College English Association of Ohio
Spring Conference 2018
Ohio University: Athens, OH

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Freedom of Expression and English Studies

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Renea Frey, Xavier University


ohio-university-student-loses-presidency-and-scholarship-after-arrest-for-disorderly-intoxicationFreedom of speech and expression is a constitutional hallmark of American liberal education. Institutions of higher education have historically been sites of civil rights controversy surrounding freedom of speech and expression, as evidenced by protests on college campuses both now and in the past. As instructors of English with an interest in language, in its power dynamics and potential for creative change, we must recognize our positions at universities and colleges to weigh in on matters of free speech. Ever more essential to today’s cultural and political challenges, we must ask ourselves and each other: how do we, should we, and could we approach issues of free expression in the classroom? How do we consider our roles as faculty members, scholars, students, and citizens contributing to this contemporary and weighty topic?


Athens—the conference site for 2018—is historically linked to protest and active democracy. From its ancient namesake in fourth century BCE Greece, to protests in Ohio against the war during the Vietnam era, to current controversies surrounding students’ rights to protest, Athens has been long associated with a tradition of speaking out and free expression.

Possible topics might include:

  • Balancing free expression with safety in the classroom
  • Securing academic freedom in research pursuits
  • Encouraging free speech and respect for diversity amongst students
  • Engaging the debate between free speech and safe zones
  • Interrogating “off limits” topics in the classroom
  • Opening spaces for underrepresented voices in public spaces
  • Responding to hate speech on college campuses
  • Considering how place and postionality affect free expression
  • Designing courses to include diverse student voices
  • Situating notions of “activism” within the field of English studies


This year’s CEAO Spring Conference will take up the theme of “Freedom of Expression and English Studies” and accepts proposals for individual 15-20 minute sessions or 60 minute panel sessions from full-time faculty, graduate students, adjunct and part-time instructors, as well as individuals living/working both inside and outside Ohio. We invite proposals for individual speakers, panels, roundtables, and creative works from all related fields in English studies including (but not limited to):

Literature Fields (Medieval, Renaissance, Global, Modernist, 18th Century, etc.)
Literary Criticism                  Creative Writing                     Rhetoric and Composition
English Education                   Linguistics/ESL                       Basic Writing


Submission Requirements: Send proposals of no more than 300 words by Friday, March 9, 2018 to: ceaospringconference@gmail.com   Creative writing submissions should include poetry or fiction/nonfiction suitable for a 20 minute reading. All proposals submitted by the deadline will be considered. In addition, include your name, academic rank, university affiliation, and a short 100-150 word biography in the email message. Technology (computers, projector, DVD, etc.) will be available for all presentations. Please note if you have a special technology request.

Participants may submit both a critical paper and a creative work, limited to one entry in each category, sent together as separate attachments in the same email. We will notify entrants by March 23rd on the status of their proposal.


Please visit https://ceaoenglishnotes.com for additional information. Presenters must be registered for the conference by the deadline.


Download a PDF copy of the CEAO CFP 2018 for distribution.


I am a professor of Composition and Rhetoric at Xavier University, as well as the Writing Program Director. I am also the Co-Editor of English Notes, the web site and journal for the College English Association of Ohio.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s