SCWCA Conference 2009:
Writing and Teaching a Practice of Pleasure

Co-hosted by Southwestern University & Abilene Christian University
April 2-4, 2009: Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas
Keynote Speaker: T.R. Johnson of Tulane University, author A Rhetoric of Pleasure


Preregistration Deadline: March 15, 2008
You can register for the conference by downloading and completing the registration form for each attendee. Mail the completed form(s) and a check (payable to SCWCA) to

SCWCA 2009
Conference South Central Writing Centers Association
c/o Allison Holland, Treasurer
61 Sherrill Road
Little Rock, AR 72202

Download the form>>


General Information: Co-hosts Cole Bennett (Abilene Christian University) and Elisabeth Piedmont-Marton (Southwestern University) are delighted to welcome all of you to SCWCA 2009 Conference in Georgetown, Texas, April 2-4. The theme of this year’s conference is Writing and Teaching a Practice of Pleasure. Events, including all conference presentations, will be held on the beautiful campus of Southwestern University. Georgetown boasts several inexpensive hotels, a charming old-fashioned square, miles of hike and bike trail along the San Gabriel River, and close proximity to more dining and shopping (including IKEA and REI).

Featured Speaker: The keynote presentation, Tutoring Toward Pleasure: How and Why, will be delivered by T.R. Johnson at the luncheon on Friday in the ballrooms in the McCombs Center in the Southwestern University campus. Johnson has served as an associate professor of English and Director of the Writing Program at Tulane since 2004, having previously taught at the University of New Orleans and Boston University. He is the author of A Rhetoric of Pleasure: Prose Style and Today’s Composition Classroom (Heinemann, 2003) as well as the edited collections, Refiguring Prose Style: Possibilities for Writing Pedagogy (with Tom Pace; Utah, 2005) and Teaching Composition: The Background Readings (Bedford St. Martin’s, 2005). He has also taught at the University of Louisville, Bellarmine University, Boston Univerity, the University of New Orleans. At Tulane, he teaches courses on writing and writing-pedagogy, as well as an undergraduate introduction to critical theory and a course on the literature of New Orleans.

Conference Schedule: The schedule is now available. We’ll kick-off the conference with a casual reception Thursday evening from 4-6 at the Howry Center at Southwestern. Appetizers, beer, and wine will be served. From there you can find dining companions and get suggestions for where to eat for dinner. Sessions begin Friday morning, break for the keynote at lunch, and continue throughout the afternoon. For Friday night dinner you might try one of the fine restaurants on the square in downtown Georgetown and enjoy the extended shopping hours, activities and music offered during the Georgetown First Friday evening. Sessions will resume on Saturday morning immediately following the SCWCA business meeting. An informal lunch gathering on Saturday will close the conference.


All rooms at the Comfort Inn and Suites have been booked, but there are a number of options in Georgetown and the surrounding area. Holiday Inn Express (call direct to book: 512-868-8555) is conveniently located next door to the Comfort Inn and Suites. Or, click on one of the links below for a listing of other lodging options, including some bed and breakfasts in charming old town Georgetown:

Travel to Georgetown

Airport Transportation: Pre-arranged shuttles are available from Austin’s Bergstrom Airport from Airport Dash. The cost depends on the amount of travelers being transported (see below). We have arranged a special group discount based on a limited schedule. Please email Kelly Lessard (lessardk@southwestern.edu) with your flight information, and she will arrange your transportation with Airport Dash:

  • $135 round trip for one person
  • $140 round trip for two people
  • $200 round trip for six people
  • If there are more than two eligible drivers in your party, we suggest you consider splitting the cost of a rental car instead.

Local Transportation: We are arranging local transportation from hotels to campus and to and from dining and other destinations. Stay tuned.

Driving Directions: Georgetown is the northern most “gateway” to the gently rolling hills of Central Texas. Austin is 26 miles south. Dallas is two hours north. Houston is two hours southeast and San Antonio is one-and-a-half hours south. Access to Georgetown via the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport and the north/south highway artery of Interstate 35 and east/west highway artery of Highway 29 make traveling to and from Georgetown easy:

  • Driving Directions from Austin: Take IH35 North to exit 261. Turn right at University Ave. Travel east to Main St. (0.73 miles), take a left at the traffic light. Follow Main St. to 10th. At the stop sign, turn right. A large free parking lot will be on your left.
  • Diving Directions from Waco/Dallas/Ft.Worth: Take IH35 South to exit 261. Turn left at University Ave., crossing IH35 bridge. Travel east to Main St. (0.74 miles), take a left at the traffic light. Follow Main St. to 10th Street. At the stop sign, turn right. A large free parking lot will be on your left.

Dining, Shopping, and Other Extracurriculars

Coming soon: a guide to activities, dining, shopping and everything else. In the meantime, check out the links below:

First Friday in Downtown Georgetown (April 3, 6-8pm): Downtown Georgetown is alive with art, history and shopping opportunities. Stroll in and out of downtown boutiques, galleries, and home decor shops as you join in our hometown party! Enjoy intimate dining, book signings, artist receptions, and much more. Live music fills the air on the street and inside many of our fine restaurants. Shop owners greet you, and you will be delighted by treasures to discover in each of their stores. A relaxing stroll around the Historic Square will captivate your senses.

Premier Performance of original opera, The Color of Dissonance: The Sarofim School of Fine Arts of Southwestern University will stage the premiere performance of an original production entitled The Color of Dissonance, a creative adaptation of the correspondence between Kandinsky, Münter, and Schoenberg, whose artistic collaboration played an important role in the development of modernism in Western music and art during the period 1911-14.


Please direct questions to conference organizers Cole Bennett of Abilene Christian (writingcenter@acu.edu) or Elisabeth Piedmont-Marton of Southwestern University (piedmone@southwestern.edu).

Call for Proposals

The deadline has now passed. We invited proposals for individual papers, panels, and roundtables that address the ways in which pleasure figures into our practices and theories. Recent writing center scholarship has explored the importance of play in the preparation and ongoing development of consultants and tutors. We invited proposals that expand and deepen these innovative anatomies of the ludic dimensions of our work, and that examine or demonstrate the way pleasure – or distrust of pleasure – influences the way we regard writers and writing in the center. Possible lines of inquiry included, but were not limited to the following:

  • Pleasure in tandem with, or opposed to, academic writing
  • The role of pleasure in consultant preparation
  • The possibilities or fruitful consequences of reading student writing
  • Composing pleasures
  • Pleasure and the collective work of undergraduate consultants
  • The writing center as a pleasurable alternate site of faculty work
  • The problem of pleasure and the fetish for “rigor” in the academy