I just got the notice that neither of the proposals I was a part of was accepted at the 2009 CCCCs in San Francisco. Frankly, I’m kind of surprised because I was riding shotgun (and/or in the backseat) of a couple of different things that I thought were pretty good. One was a pre-conference workshop with Dennis Jerz, Sharon Gerald, and some other folks I don’t remember now that would have been a workshop on easy uses of free and open-source tools in first year writing classes. The second was a panel organized by Joanna Howard and it would have featured Joanna, me, Matt Barton, and Nick Carbone discussing some of the pros and cons of alternatives to the traditional textbook industry– e.g., the wikibook comp/rhet book that Matt has worked on, my The Process of Research Writing, etc.
I thought the workshop might be tricky because I’ve only been able to pull off one of those in my attempts at the CCCCs and there is always a space issue/lack of technology issue. But I thought the panel on publishing was a
shoe-in shoo-in. I mean, a panel about textbook publishing, about multimedia, one that features speakers from very different kinds of schools/occupations from all over the country? What’s not to like?
On the one hand, it’s not that big of a deal for me. It’s not like I need this on my CV, and I had been mulling over in my own mind the choices/opportunities of going to the CCCCs versus going to C&W at UC Davis in late June. My meager travel (and personal) budget can afford only one trip to California this year, and while I think I would have preferred the CCCCs because I didn’t go last year and because it still is the main conference in the field, I think computers and writing is a much more fun conference. Perhaps the fam and I will find a way to make this into a visit to Ashland, OR too.
On the other hand, I am at a bit of a loss at my recent CCCCs proposal record. Between 1995 and 2007, I presented at the CCCCs eight times, was on the program for a couple different special interest groups, and was a part of one workshop. In that time, I think I had a proposal rejected once– maybe twice– and I just decided not to go to the CCCCs that was in Minneapolis (I can’t remember why now). But since 2007, my batting average has been poor to say the least. Two rejections this year, one rejection for 2008 (which was a strange one because I didn’t get the final word until well into October), and one initial rejection but then an acceptance after I appealed (I ended up giving my presentation to an audience of 3, one of whom was, if I recall, Dennis Jerz).
All I can figure is that it’s a combination of bad luck and different emphasis at the CCCCs the last few years. My CCCCs proposal for 2008 was about my on-going research on blogs, and it was rejected; I proposed something pretty darn similar for C&W in Athens, it was accepted, and it was a very well-attended panel. It’s not that the CCCCs hasn’t excluded “technology things” from its program as of late, but it would appear that in the last couple of years, they aren’t that interested in the stuff I’m proposing. For whatever reason.
Oh well, there you have it. If there are any other CCCCs losers out there who want to share their stories, feel free. Or the winners too, you bastards.
By the way, if you are curious to see who did get accepted, check out the CCCC searchable program here.