Praxis 2020 CFP

Praxis Conference 2020 Call for Proposals

Access in Education: Making Space, Changing Spaces

Saturday, February 1, 2020, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

University of Washington, Seattle Campus, Allen Library

The English Writing Programs’ sixth annual Praxis Conference invites proposals that engage the topic of access in education. In defining access, we look to the roots of this conference, drawing upon activist-educator Paulo Freire's conception of praxis as the intersection of theory and practice. For Freire, access is "not a gift, not a self-achievement, but a mutual process” between educator and student in which each learns from the other (Pedagogy of the Oppressed, 7).

In practice, attempts at access are often unilateral, positioning institutions and individuals in power as gatekeepers. As more students from less privileged backgrounds have entered Western primarily-white institutions (PWIs), those spaces have also shifted away from students’ personal development and toward, at least in name, career preparation. As marginalized students are gaining greater access to the academy, they are less likely to be understood on campus as full participants in learning and knowledge production. For students most harmed by white supremacy and settler colonialism, “access” may directly oppose communal values of anti-racism, decolonization, and self-preservation (Grande, “Refusing the University;” Tuck and Yang, “Decolonization is Not A Metaphor”).

During this year’s Praxis conference, we invite you to explore, create, and share interventions that move us closer to student-centered access in the face of discrimination, privilege, and gatekeeping in education.

Keeping with the tradition of the Praxis conference as a place for conversations that engage the space between theory and practice and connections between different disciplines, we encourage proposals from individuals and groups in any field that engages with access as it pertains to education. This includes UW-affiliated teachers including graduate student instructors and K-12 teachers, faculty members, undergraduate students, staff, administrators, community activists, and independent scholars.

Some possible topics could include, but are not limited to:

• Redefining access

 Student-centered pedagogy

• Teacher and student positionality

• Gatekeeping

 Accessibility, universal design, and/or disability studies

 Anti-colonial, and/or anti-racist pedagogies

 First-generation college student experiences

 Multilingualism, translingualism, and/or translanguaging

• Peer mentoring programs

 Education in the carceral-industrial complex

• Socioeconomic barriers to education

 Queer and trans community-building in education

Praxis 2020 will include the following presentation formats:

 20 minute individual or group presentations,

 60 minute panels from multiple presenters proposing one presentation or three related presentations,

 60 minute identity caucus groups in which facilitator(s) lead a group of conference attendees with a shared identity (e.g., Black queer caucus, high school educators caucus, first-generation student caucus, formerly-incarcerated people caucus) in a guided discussion of topics related to access and pedagogy in regards to the specific needs, responsibilities, and/or experiences of the caucus group,

 90 minute workshops in which presenter(s) lead participants to engage in a topic related to the conference theme and help work on participants’ own materials.

Proposals should be 300-500 words and submitted via Google Form.

Deadline for submissions: Sunday, December 1, 2019 by 11:59 pm

Acceptance notifications: by Monday, December 9th, 2019

If you have any questions, please contact the conference chair, Sara Lovett, at or the associate conference chair, Nolie Ramsey, at