UVU Writing for Social Change 2013 Conference
November 14 & 15, 2013
UVU's annual Conference on Writing for Social Change challenges students and community members to effect positive change in the world through the power of writing.
Our mission is to empower students and community members with the writing skills and experience they need to effect positive social change in the world. We accomplish our mission in several ways. Primarily, the conference provides students and other presenters with an audience for their research, writing, and other social change project presentations. While audience members benefit from receiving a wealth of information on social change issues and strategies, each presenter also receives invaluable, confidence–building experience by sharing their work in a formal, academic setting. This experience will strengthen presenters in their roles as future community leaders.
We also organize free community writing workshops in conjunction with each year's conference which are held at the Orem Public Library Community Writing Center. The workshops teach attendees valuable writing skills related to social change, as well as skills that prepare conference participants to submit polished abstracts and successfully present their projects. Because we open them to the public, the workshops help the conference accomplish its secondary goal to involve community members beyond audience participation.
We invite you to help us fulfill our mission by submitting your own social change project to present at the conference or by simply attending any of the conference events.
Utah Valley University is located in Orem, Utah and is home to more than 30,000 students. UVU began as a vocational school during World War II, and in the seven decades since has evolved into a technical school, community school, state college and, finally a comprehensive regional teaching university. UVU is one of Utah's largest institutions of higher learning and offers programs ranging from career training to high–demand master degrees, with emphasis on undergraduate education.
Cheryl Glenn is a Liberal Arts Research Professor of English and Women's Studies and the Director of the Program in Writing and Rhetoric at Pennsylvania State University. In 2006, she co-founded (with Mike Hogan) the Center for Democratic Deliberation (CDD) and currently serves on the CDD Advisory Board; co-edits the CDD book series, "Rhetoric and Democratic Deliberation"; and leads the CDD Dissertation Fellows writing group. Glenn believes that coursework at the nexus of rhetoric, deliberation, and democracy is important for undergraduate and graduate students alike because "such courses provide students authentic reasons to speak and write; to enter the scholarly, political, or social conversation; and to improve the community in which they live and work."
Glenn's current book project, Field of Dreams: At the Intersection of Rhetoric and Feminism, illustrates the collaborative and cooperative objective of her scholarship. Her goal is to stimulate an academic field that merges rhetoric and feminism, leveraging the strengths of both fields: "The powers of rhetoric can invigorate feminism, making it more individualistic and universally humane, more deliberative, and more powerful and effective at reaching an audience–all features feminism could improve. And then feminism, in turn, can enhance rhetoric, helping move it toward issues of social justice, true equality, and equal opportunity–places rhetoric should always be, but is not."
Featured Utah Activist Speaker
Award–winning writer Mary Dickson began her career as a journalist, telling other people's stories. After being diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 1985, she began a tireless investigation of what nuclear fallout from atomic testing did to Americans living downwind of the Nevada Test Site. Telling the story of what happened to "downwinders" and exposing the pattern of government lies surrounding testing became her passion. She has written and spoken about the human toll of testing at symposia, conferences and classrooms around the West, and most recently in Japan. During a residency at the Mesa Refuge in Point Reyes, California, she wrote a book–length manuscript that combined her own story with powerful documentation. The manuscript led her to write her first full–length play, "Exposed," which played to sold–out houses and critical acclaim during its world premiere at Plan B Theatre in Salt Lake City.
Dickson works full–time as the director of Creative Services at PBS station KUED Channel 7 in Salt Lake City, where she also serves as on–air host of Contact. Under her direction, the station has won a variety of local and national awards, including Emmy and New York Film Festival Awards as well as those from PBS and the Utah Broadcasters Association. She wrote and co-produced the PBS documentary No Safe Place: Violence Against Women, which won a Gold Award from the Houston Film Festival and was nominated for an Emmy Award.