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


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.

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.

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.

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 .


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.


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.


What is the journal of the association?

Formerly known as Technostyle, the Canadian Journal for Studies in Discourse and Writing/Rédactologie (CJSDW/R) is the official journal of Canadian Association for the Study of Discourse and Writing. Since 1982, the journal has been publishing articles of interest to teachers of technical, professional, scientific and academic writing. The journal shifted to an online, open access format in 2011 with a broader focus on discourse and writing studies. Currently the journal is hosted by the Public Knowledge Project at the Bennett Library of Simon Fraser University and is edited by Joel Heng Hartse and Sibo Chen of SFU. CJSDW/R aims to promote a variety of approaches to writing and discourse research within the humanities and social sciences. It welcomes contributions on theoretical and pedagogical issues related to discourse and writing from a variety of academic fields, such as communication, education, English, journalism, linguistics, psychology, rhetoric, and sociology.

For more information, please see this 2017 editorial.


How do I join the CASDW-ACR 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 the University of Toronto) is to share news, announcements, and resources of interest to teachers and researchers in academic and professional communication, in Canada and elsewhere. Anyone is welcome to subscribe.

Note: Any subscriber is welcome to write to the full list with topics relevant to the whole group. However, if you simply wish to discuss your listserv subscription or other technical difficulties, please write to the list manager directly. If you reply to a listserv message, your email will be sent to everyone on the list. At any point, if you wish to write to a particular person, you will have to do so by writing to them directly.

To subscribe to the CASDW-ACR listserv: Email the list manager directly or follow these U of T Listserv instructions:

To subscribe to the list, send an email to (upper or lower case is acceptable). In the BODY of the message, type a command of the form:

subscribe CASDW-ACR-L firstname lastname

You will then receive a “Command Confirmation Request” email. You must reply to that email with “ok” written in the body of the email. This will complete the subscription process. If you have an automatic signature in your email, please remove it when sending and replying to For a list of other commands (such as quitting a list or temporarily turning off delivery), please visit the Listserv at U of T page.

To write to the CASDW-ACR listserv: Write to CASDW-ACR-L@LISTSERV.UTORONTO.CA

To leave the CASDW-ACR listserv: Email the list manager directly or visit the Listserv at U of T page.

If you have questions about the listserv, please email the list manager.