This past weekend, the Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC) in Las Vegas highlighted some of the most important issues in education, academia, and our communities. Thousands of educators and grad students took over the (in)famous Riviera hotel. It’s as if someone added a library to the hotel and casino, and the party was in the library. Or, it was like Coachella, but instead of bands there were around 40 panels for every hour and a half.
Henry Giroux spoke at 9:30 Friday morning, “Writing the Public Good Back into Education,” which reaffirmed and positively reinforced the audience’s roles as educators. There’s a lack of democratic process in education, and education should not follow corporate-based theologies. He echoed Emilio Zapata’s ideas, “Live standing up, not on your knees.” Giroux also referenced Angela Davis, Edward Said, and Gayatri Spivak in his speech. We have a social responsibility,and have an influence in moral values and forces. We need to continue to create new journals, and other outlets to push education. The “left” has no ideas, and has little sense of politics. It is necessary to keep in mind our collective worth and public service. The importance of the personal, political, and global. I hope that makes sense, those were from my semi-legible notes.
Of course, not all panels were amazing. One that I attended was a cheesy liberal analysis on Asians encountering racism on a particular campus. Although I felt the educator had good intentions, the way s/he approached the situation showed that s/he had extremely limited understanding of pan-Asian culture, and internet memes. Overall, it was “nice.” There may have been one other Asian-identified person in the room of 20 people. Maybe the other panelists were great, but I left after the first speaker.
The next session, “Socially Built Environment Surrounding Disability” had a great Speaker 2, who I believe was Rochelle Gregory of North Central Texas College. I arrived near the end of her speech. She discussed, autism is rhetorical. When we better understand the perspectives of people with autism, it will help better communication between each other. I know I’m being super general, but I didn’t take notes, and only caught the closing. Please click on the picture below to read the slide. Good stuff.
Another great featured session was “Walking the Fine Line between Insult and Injustice: Stories and Strategies for At Risk Faculty and Graduate Students” (link ). “Short description: This storytelling roundtable will focus on the injustices members of the Black, American Indian Scholars, Queer, Asian/Asian American, and Latina/o Caucuses experience in academia with a particular emphasis on new faculty and graduate students.” This empowering and informational panel reminded us that even in 2013, appearance and identity still plays a major factor in academia. Organizing with each other is still very important because uneducated intellectuals still work in academia. The panelists’ shared experiences promoted a productive and active discussion. Cool.
It was an honor to shake hands with John Carlos, one of the medalists in the 1968 Mexico Olympics who raised their fists in support of international human rights. He spoke Thursday morning, with his speech titled “The Silent Protest: Open Hands, Closed Fists, and Composition’s Political Turn.”
If you’re in Vegas and want off the strip, the Freakin Frog has a sports bar-like atmosphere, but have craft beer on tap (Dogfish Head, Chimay, etc.). The owner also digs books, zines, and poetry. Alice Cooper guitarist Keri Kelli owns Aces and Ales, a great gastropub with an awesome selection of brews. Kind of Motörhead themed. I highly recommend that place.
Shouts out to everyone who participated in this year’s Cs! The CCCC loves butts!