• This list was originally compiled by Annika Aren, of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY, January 28, 1991.
  • This list should give you an idea of some names of conferences to think about related to communication, literature, and language; the contact information is not always complete, nor has it all been verified. Web sites to these conferences are given where known.
Listed below are several professional conferences of interest to graduate students in the Department of Language, Literature, and Communication.

Many conferences have deadlines for proposals several months in advance of the conferences themselves. One conference, CCCC (Conference on College Composition and Communication), for example, requires proposals by early June and takes place the following March. Information about the place and exact dates of upcoming conferences is published in academic journals and in flyers distributed by the conference planners.

Calls for papers are generally published one to two months prior to the deadline. Some publications print extensive information about upcoming meetings, such as calls for papers and addresses to write to for further information, in every issue. Look in Spectra (the monthly publication of the Speech Communication Association), the ICA Newsletter (the quarterly newsletter of the International Communication Association), the Chronicle of Higher Education, and the journal Women and Language, as well as the section entitled "Announcements and Calls for Papers" in College English and the section "Forthcoming Meetings and Conferences" in the PMLA (Publications of the Modern Language Association).

Two other sources of information about conferences are Comserve and LL&C's ring binder holding conference announcements. The binder is on a podium in the mailroom (by the bulletin board). If you join Comserve, you can get the calls for papers and announcements for conferences that it carries. (If you are unfamiliar with Comserve, there is information about this on-line forum on the counter outside LL&C's main offices.)

Some conferences are sponsored by organizations which also publish journals. In these cases, you can write to the journal's editor for conference information. Of course, if you are a member of the organization, you will automatically receive both the journal and any conference announcements.

Because most conferences are organized around particular themes, you will want to get specific information about a conference before submitting a proposal. For some conferences, you must submit your proposal on a form produced by the conference planners. In a few cases, abstracts of papers or even completed papers are due sometime before the conference meets.

  • ACLA (American Comparative Literature Association)
    Proposals for papers are due in the beginning of October. The conference takes place at the end of March. The conference meets in the United States for two consecutive years and abroad every third year.
  • Advanced Communications Institute
    Proposals for papers are due in mid-September. The conference meets at the end of October.
  • American Educational Research Association
    Proposals for papers are due in the beginning of April. The conference is held in the middle of August. The call for proposals is published in the journal Educational Researcher.
  • The Association for Business Communication Midwest and Canada Regional Meeting
    Proposals are due in December. The conference takes place at the end of April.
  • CCCC (Conference on College Composition and Communication)
    Proposals are accepted no later than June 1. The conference takes place in the middle of March. The conference meets in larger cities across the U.S. This is a major conference for composition and rhetoric. Calls for papers are published in College English and College Composition and Communication, among other journals.
  • Computers and Writing Conference
    Proposals for papers are due in March. The conference is held in mid-May.
  • ECA (Eastern Communication Association)
    Proposals are due November 1. The conference takes place at the end of April or the beginning of May. This is a regional organization associated with the SCA, listed below.
  • ICA (International Communication Association)
    Proposals are due no later than November 1. The conference usually takes place at the end of May; the 1990 meeting will be held at the end of June.
  • IEEE PCS (The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers' International Professional Communication Conference)
  • ITCC (International Technical Communication Conference)
    The conference meets in May or June and is sponsored by the Society for Technical Communication. The Society publishes the journal Technical Communication.
  • International Society for the History of Rhetoric
    The conference meets during the summer or fall. This conference is international, and its location is sometimes distant. The 1991 meeting will be in Baltimore, however. The Society publishes the journal Rhetorica.
  • Mid-Hudson MLA Conference
    Proposals for papers are due at the end of June. The conference meets in November. The Mid-Hudson MLA is a regional organization associated with the national MLA. For more information about regional MLA meetings in general, look under the listing for the MLA conference below.
  • Midwest MLA Conference
    Proposals are generally due in mid-April. The conference meets in November. For more information about regional MLA meetings, look under the MLA listing below.
  • MLA (Modern Language Association) Convention
    Proposals are due in January or February. The conference takes place in the last week of December. This is a major conference, attended by faculty in English and in foreign languages. Most panels address issues in literary criticism or literary theory. Anyone registering for the conference must be a member of the MLA. The organization publishes the PMLA (Publications of the Modern Language Association).

    In addition to the national MLA Convention, there are several regional meetings. As with the MLA, anyone participating in a regional meeting must be a member of the regional association (as well as of the MLA). Sometimes a region will hold two or more meetings at roughly the same time, each at a different location and with its own theme. The themes often invite interdisciplinary or rhetorical discussion of issues. Themes at regional MLA meetings have included "Gender Issues in Science and Literature," "History and Literature," and "The Language of Helpgivers."

  • National Reading Conference
    The conference meets in early December in warm places. Papers on both writing and reading are accepted.
  • NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English) Annual Convention
    The conference is held in mid-November. This conference is strongly oriented to secondary education, but it is a good conference for papers on cooperative programs between high schools and universities, such as writing-across-the-curriculum programs. The NCTE publishes the journal College English, among others.
  • NEMLA (Northeast Modern Language Association)
    This regional section of the MLA holds a conference each spring. NEMLA publishes the journal Modern Language Studies. For general information about regional MLA meetings, see the listing for the MLA, above.
  • Northeast Communication Conference
    Proposals have no regular due date. The conference takes place every two years or so; the most recent meeting was in the spring of 1989.
  • The Penn State Conference on Rhetoric and Composition
    Proposals are due in the middle of April. The conference is held in the middle of July. This conference always meets on the campus of the Pennsylvania State University. Anyone attending the conference can stay in a dorm room for a reasonable fee.
  • Rhetoric Society of America
    Proposals are due at the end of November. The conference takes place in Texas in May. This conference meets semi-annually; it last met in 1990.
  • SCA (Speech Communication Association)
    Proposals are due in early February. The conference takes place in early or mid-November. This is a major conference for communication and rhetoric. The call for proposals is published by May in the Quarterly Journal of Speech.
  • Social Studies of Science Conference
    Proposals are due in December. The conference meets in mid-November.
  • Society for Literature and Science
    Proposals are due in mid-April. The conference meets in September or October. Rensselaer hosted this conference in 1988. Professor Carol Colatrella is on the conference's publicity committee; she is a good person to contact for additional information.
  • Temple University Annual Discourse Conference
    Proposals are due in December or January. The conference meets in March or April. This conference changes in conception and focus each year.
  • Temple University Conference on Communication
    Proposals for papers are due in February. The conference takes place in October.
  • TWI (Technical Writer's Institute)
    Rensselaer sponsors this conference on campus every June. Nationally recognized experts in the field of technical communication give presentations and run workshops.
  • University of New Hampshire
    Every other year, the English Department at the University of New Hampshire hosts a conference on rhetoric and related topics. The name of the conference changes each time, depending on the theme. The next meeting will be held around October, 1990.
  • Wyoming Conference on English
    Proposals are due in mid-March. The conference meets at the end of June. This conference is the western U.S. counterpart to the Penn State Conference on Rhetoric and Composition.
  • Young Rhetoricians' Conference
    This conference meets in early summer, usually in June. It is a smaller, more informal conference, where several graduate students present papers and experts in the field run workshops. The conference is held in California. For more information, write to Hans Guth, Department of English, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA, 95192-0090.
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