Nope, not an April fools joke, I’m afraid….
In English 516 the other night, we talked about proposal for the upcoming CCCCs in Louisville, close enough to EMU for a car drive and a cheap hotel for some of our interested grad students. One of the students made reference to this post of mine about the weirdness surrounding the call for various editors of the CCCs online. Bradley Dilger mentioned that post on his blog here, and of course Collin Brooke has written about the work he did on his blog (here, for example). And if I wanted to add the “Conference” C to the conversation, I could take the angle I took in this post back in August.
Anyway, I half-jokingly said to my class that I might try to propose a panel called something like “The CCC(C)s Sux: Radically Rethinking the Conference and the Journal,” or something like that. What I’m imagining here are presentations (or a roundtable?) where presenters take up one issue of something that has gone terribly wrong with the conference and/or the journal over the last decade or so, and to propose a radical solution. For example, let’s close down the print version of the journal. Let’s make all presentations online. Let’s re-examine/re-expose the presentation review process and talk about the extent to which “sexy titles” win the day over content. Or whatever.
There are a lot of sucky things about the CCC(C)s that could work here.
One of my students said that there is no way such a panel called “The CCC(C)s Sux” would get accepted. On the contrary, I said. I think that the reviewers for the CCCCs would actually be more than willing to embrace a panel about the CCCCs sucking in the name of promoting the views of “other voices,” to be fair and balanced, to be open to change, etc. And if they didn’t accept such a proposal, well, then I and my fellow presenters would have yet more evidence that NCTE/CCCC is not truly able to revisit, rethink, revise, and/or renew the way that it does things, the proverbial “see, I told you so!” satisfaction.