Letter from outgoing CASDW-ACR President

Following our CASDW-ACR AGM, I’d like to welcome our new President, Dana Landry. Dana’s energetic two-year term as Vice-President and Conference Chair gave us a terrific conference in Vancouver last year. Many thanks to Dana and the organizing team who worked so hard on planning this spring’s conference, some of which we will get to experience next year in Edmonton, Alberta.

I’d also like to welcome the newly elected and continuing members of our executive:

  • Vice-President & Conference Chair: Joel Heng Hartse of Simon Fraser University, whom you know as co-editor (with Sibo Chen, Ryerson University) of our journal, Canadian Journal for the Study of Discourse and Writing/Rédactologie
  • Journal Co-editors: Kim Mitchell of Red River College and Sean Zwagerman of Simon Fraser University
  • Secretary: Sarah Banting, Mount Royal University
  • Communications Officer: Matthew Falconer
  • Treasurer: Brock MacDonald, University of Toronto
  • Graduate Student Representative: Britt Amell, Carleton

Thanks to the outgoing members of the executive: Rachael Cayley, Communications Officer; Kim Mitchell, Secretary; Sara Doody, Graduate Student Representative; and Sarah King, ex-officio Canadian Writing Centre Association (CWCA) Board Member.

A highlight of this year’s AGM was presenting the awards for the Joan Pavelich best dissertation and the best article/chapter. At the AGM we voted to name the best article/chapter award in honour of the late Doreen Starke-Meyerring, who was a former CASDW-ACR President; a longtime member; a distinguished scholar; and much beloved teacher, mentor, colleague, and friend.

It has been an honour leading CASDW-ACR for the past two two years and chairing our conference as Vice-President for two years before that. During this time we added a graduate student position to the executive and reconfigured the conference to make it more collaborative event and introduce new types of sessions. Another highlight has been building closer links to sister organizations such as ACUTE and CWCA, through multi-organization conference forums, the exchange of ex-officio board positions, and other collaborative undertakings such as the revision of the Statement on Writing Centres and Staffing, which CWCA has been developing with involvement from CASDW-ACR.

I am heartened to leave CASDW-ACR in the hands of the new executive, including journal editors, Kim Mitchell and Sean Zwagerman, who will no doubt continue the excellent work undertaken by Joel and Sibo to build and sustain our journal. Speaking of which, the current issue has an outstanding article by our own Rachael Cayley on the supervisory practices of doctoral writers.

CASDW-ACR is poised to thrive under Dana’s enthusiastic and capable leadership; her goal to make our organization more inclusive is a timely one.

Enjoy your summer and hope to see you next year at our conference in Edmonton.


Andrea L. Williams



Job Opportunity: Writing & Learning Centre, OCAD University, Toronto

The Writing & Learning Centre (WLC) at OCAD University (OCADU) in Toronto is hiring for three types of short term contract positions in its English for Art and Design (EAD) Bridge to First Year Program, a 6-week summer bridging program for English Language Learners (ESL/multilingual students) who have received a conditional offer of admission to OCADU and are planning on starting for-credit courses in September 2020. EAD Bridge will run from July 6th 2020 – August 14th 2020, with training and prep time beginning in mid-to-late June. This year, the program will be delivered online, predominantly asynchronously, with some synchronous components. The course team includes course leaders with previous experience teaching EAD, and the curriculum for the program has already been developed; while preparation for teaching will be required, curriculum will not need to be developed.

Links to the postings with further position details can be found below. Applicants with experience working with ELLs at a post-secondary level as well as those with TESL certification are encouraged to apply. Please note, the deadline for applications is rolling and appointments are subject to cancellation, pending enrollment confirmation.   

English for Art and Design (EAD): Art and Design Studio Instructor

English for Art and Design (EAD): Visual Culture Instructor 

 Writing & Learning Consultant, English for Art and Design (EAD) 

CASDW Award for Best Article

The CASDW Annual Award for the Best Article or Chapter in Writing and Discourse Studies

Congratulations to the winners of CASDW’s Best Article or Chapter in Writing and Discourse Studies for 2019:

Fogarty-Bourget, C. G., Artemeva, N., & Fox, J. (2019). Gestural silence: An engagement device in the multimodal genre of the chalk talk lecture. In C.S. Guinda (Ed.), Engagement in professional genres (pp. 277-295). Philadelphia, PA: John Benjamins.

Rachul, C. (2019). Digesting data: Tracing the chromosomal imprint of scientific evidence through the development and use of Canadian dietary guidelines. Journal of Business and Technical Communication, 33(1), 26-59.

Fogarty-Bourget, Artemeva, and Fox’s chapter, which used a joint multimodal and genre studies framework to explore “gestural silences” in mathematics teaching was an original and compelling contribution to writing and discourse theory and pedagogy.

Rachul’s article, which explores the genre of Canada’s Food Guide, offers an innovative hybrid genre and multimodal approach to document analysis. Writing specialists, especially those in medical and health rhetoric, should find this article holds meaningful implications for how health and science knowledge is mobilized in an everyday genre like the Food Guide. The innovative topics and scholarly rigour of these two publications, delivered in engaging and eloquent writing styles, impressed the committee.

Honourable Mention

Dunbar, L. (2019). Cross-border teaching experiences in Canada and the US: A writing teacher reflects. Canadian Journal for Studies in Discourse and Writing, 29, 173-183.

The committee would like to recognize Dunbar’s autobiographical article tracing her experiences in Canadian and American Writing Centres. In a compelling and engaging discussion, Dunbar offers valuable insights into how issues in writing centres and writing programs transcend national borders, while also pointing to how these issues are realized and addressed in Canadian and American contexts.

All of this year’s submissions were strong and highlighted the innovative and high-quality inquiry published by CASDW members in 2019.

CASDW Award for Best Dissertation

Joan Pavelich CASDW Annual Award for the Best Dissertation in Writing and Discourse Studies

This year’s CASDW Award for Best Dissertation goes to Matthew Falconer of Carleton University. Matthew’s impressive and timely study, “Providing Science Advice: An Ethnography of the Council of Canadian Academies Boundary Work of Reconceptualizing Expert-Produced Scientific Knowledge for Canadian Government Policy-Makers,” examines how science discourse becomes recontextualized for policy analysts.

Matthew’s study offers a cogent analysis of the communicative dynamics, strategies, and tools deployed by the Council of Canadian Academies’ as they translate knowledge from scientific experts into science-based reports for policy-makers. His study followed this collaborative process focusing on how the Academies culture shaped participants’ boundary work as they developed a series of intermediary texts towards the final report. The study produced significant empirical data through a number of interviews with participants and substantive textual analyses.

Falconer’s study contributes to a growing, current body of work of interest to writing specialists for its implications for those working at the policy/science interface and for scholarship related to recontextualizations of science research for non-specialist audiences. It is an important contribution to how we theorize transactional discourse across genre boundaries and to rhetorical studies of collaborative communication in the broader context of discourse and society.

Honourable Mention 

Congratulations also go to Chloe Fogarty-Bourget for her dissertation project, “Facilitating Student Engagement in Undergraduate Mathematics’ Lectures,” Education, Carleton University. Fogarty-Bourget’s study offers a sound, complex theoretical framework for her analysis of chalk talk as a socially situated genre in the teaching of university mathematics. Using social interaction theory in conjunction with aspects of comprehension theory, pragmatics, and genre theory, she examines how classroom context influences student engagement and how instructors adopt multi-modal strategies to enhance student engagement. Her study especially contributes to student engagement studies in English for Specific Purposes pedagogy, and shows how institutional pressures can hinder student engagement. Her study has implications for ESP policy and ESP pedagogical change.