Frequently Asked Questions

Who may join CASDW?

Anyone interested in the teaching and practice of non-literary discourse and writing, including technical, scientific, business, and professional writing and communication in Canada and worldwide. CASDW has the unique mandate of encouraging research and discussion about discourse and writing in both of Canada’s official languages, French and English. Our association also actively encourages interdisciplinary and community-based research. Our members include:

  • college and university teachers
  • high school teachers
  • graduate students
  • writing consultants/editors
  • professional writers (e.g., technical writers, information architects, usability experts, writing development professionals)
  • government employees
  • translators
  • publishers and librarians

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What are the benefits of joining?

CASDW, first established in the early 1980s, continues to serve as the primary Canadian vehicle for scholarly conversation about the study and teaching of discourse and writing in academic and non-academic settings. Members meet and maintain contact with other scholars interested in discourse and writing studies, share ideas, explore possibilities for interdisciplinary and collaborative research, and stay up to date on relevant events and resources. Yearly membership averages over 100 individuals, students, and institutions combined. As a CASDW member, you can develop networking contacts with other colleagues in the field of discourse and writing studies, and:

  • explore possibilities for interdisciplinary and collaborative research;
  • present your research in a highly collegial atmosphere at our conferences;
  • receive an automatic subscription to our peer-reviewed journal, the Canadian Journal for Studies in Discourse and Writing;
  • propose your work for publication in the Canadian Journal for Studies in Discourse and Writing

As a CASDW member you can tap into a rich network of academic and organizational resources worldwide and—when available—gain access to government travel grants used toward holding CASDW conferences, and information on other government funding and grant possibilities.
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How much does membership cost?

Membership dues are given here in Canadian dollars:

  • $50 Cdn. for regular members
  • $35 Cdn. for retirees and students (Students, please include a photocopy of your valid student card with your cheque.)

Your membership extends through the calendar year, January 1 until December 31.

To whom do I send my dues?

Please refer to How to Join.

Is information about CASDW members made available to other organizations?

No, not without the express consent of its members.
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How do I know my membership status or when it’s time to renew?

To keep costs down, CASDW does not usually mail out “reminders” or invoices. If you aren’t sure of your status, please e-mail Brock MacDonald , Secretary-Treasurer.

The Secretary-Treasurer issues a yearly tax receipt to everyone who has paid dues. Your returned cheque and/or your receipt are proof of current membership. The association generally updates the membership list each fall, and members who have not paid their past-year dues may be sent an electronic reminder. The following year, the list is updated again to include paid members only.

If you haven’t received a membership receipt by the end of September, and can’t find your returned cheque or any other record of your membership status, please e-mail the Secretary-Treasurer.
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What is the organizational structure of CASDW?

Major decisions are made at our Annual General Meeting, held either before or after our Annual Conference. Routine decisions about budgeting, conference planning, publications, and other operations are carried out by a slate of elected executive and committee members. Our electronic discussion list keeps members informed of any issues arising and, when appropriate, invites members’ feedback.

For a list of current Executive Members and email addresses, please see the Executive Committee page .

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When, where, and what is our CASDW Conference?

Every year in late May-early June, CASDW hosts a bilingual, 2- to 3-day scholarly conference at the Congress of the Social Sciences and Humanities (formerly known as The Learneds). The Congress itself is organized by the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences.

CASDW members learn about each year’s conference themes and deadlines through a Call for Papers: broadcast each summer on the CASDW-ACR listserv and published on our website. We invite members of CASDW and other colleagues interested in the study and teaching of discourse and writing to submit formal proposals for research oriented and/or theoretically oriented papers. We also accept proposals for other sessions, such as roundtables, workshops, or panels. A special highlight: every year we invite one to three guest keynote speakers well known in the field of discourse and writing studies, including both members of CASDW, such as Catherine Schryer and Janet Giltrow, and non-members, including Dorothy Winsor, JoAnne Yates, Caroline Miller, Bev Sauer, Laura Gurak, Carl Herndl, Greg Myers, Ken Hyland, Jeff Grabill and Bill Hart-Davidson, Charles Bazerman, Vijay Bhatia–among others–have joined us.

The CASDW conference is unique for three reasons. First, we provide speakers with more time than usual for their papers–usually about 25-30 minutes. Second, we have traditionally insisted that all speakers leave lots of time for audience discussion. Third, we build plenty of networking opportunities into our programs. These three features make our conference an excellent venue in which to present new research and receive useful feedback and responses. Many conference-goers come back year after year, not wanting to miss this chance to make connections, learn about new ideas, present their work, and connect with colleagues and friends. CASDW also tries to create a particularly welcoming atmosphere for graduate students and new researchers in discourse and writing studies.

In general, CASDW conferences are great opportunities to meet new colleagues and renew old friendships! Another special highlight: at each conference, we set one evening aside to gather for dinner at an excellent local restaurant, an event attracting as many as 30 to 40 conference-goers and travelling-companions.

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Why is it important that CASDW is a member of CFHSS?

In 1998, CASDW joined the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences. The Federation sponsors a yearly academic Congress and serves, among other things, as an advocate to government and funding agencies for the social and human sciences. By working together with other scholarly associations in the Federation, we can also tap into a large network of academics and organizations and gain easier access to information about funding/granting possibilities.

Our membership in the Federation is renewed each January, and our dues are based on our total number of current members in December. Our yearly dues average $700 Cdn.

Visit the CFHSS FCSH homepages for more information about the Federation and its annual Congress.

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What is the journal of the association?

The Canadian Journal for Studies in Discourse and Writing/Rédactologie (formerly Technostyle) is the refereed scholarly journal of CASDW and is published once or twice per year. Until Spring 2000, the journal was edited by Diana Wegner of Douglas College in Vancouver BC and produced by students in the college’s Print Futures Program. The journal then moved to the University of the Fraser Valley under the editorship of Gloria Borrows, Nadeane Trowse, and Fay Hyndman. As of 2012, the journal is transitioning to the University of British Columbia and being published electronically by Rick Gooding, Katharine Patterson, Jaclyn Rea, Katja Thieme, and Anneke van Enk.

A member of the Canadian Association of Learned Journals (CALJ), the Canadian Journal for Studies in Discourse and Writing/Rédactologie showcases Canadian research in technical and professional communication and also features articles by international scholars.

A subscription to the Canadian Journal for Studies in Discourse and Writing is included automatically with your membership in CASDW.

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How do I join the casdw-acr discussion listserv?

CASDW maintains an open, bilingual, unmoderated electronic discussion group for CASDW members and others interested in the study of discourse and writing.

The purpose of this discussion group (hosted by McGill University) is to share news, announcements, and resources of interest to teachers and researchers in technical and professional communication, in Canada and elsewhere. Traffic is usually light, so you won’t be overwhelmed with e-mail messages. Paid members are encouraged to subscribe to keep track of what’s happening in CASDW and to receive useful news and reminders. Potential members are welcome to subscribe to get a “feel” for our organization. Only subscribers can post to the list, and subscriptions are monitored to protect the list from spam.

To subscribe…
If you aren’t subscribed to the CASDW listserv and would like to join, please send an e-mail with only the command SUBSCRIBE CASDW-ACR to listserv@lists.mcgill.ca.

To post to the list …
To post to this list, send your email to: CASDW-ACR@LISTS.MCGILL.CA

To set your preferences for this list, please visit the LISTSERV site.

To unsubscribe …
To unsubscribe from this list, send a blank email with the command SIGNOFF CASDW-ACR to listserv @ lists.mcgill.ca.

If you have questions about the mailing list, please email the list administrator, Doreen Starke-Meyerring.

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