Bedford/St. Martin’s, Howard University, and the United Negro College Fund Come Together to Host a Symposium on Teaching Writing at HBCUs

Partnership underscores the opportunity to spotlight solutions to improve instructor collaboration and student performance in academic writing

March 26th, 2018

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Bedford/St Martin's, an imprint of Macmillan Learning and the premier publisher in humanities, in partnership with Howard University, and the United Negro College fund, today announced the 2018 Symposium on Teaching Writing at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to take place in Washington D.C. on March 29 and 30. This innovative event will bring together educators, college administrators, and writing luminaries to discuss critical issues in rhetoric and composition, including disruptive language and writing pedagogies, technical communication, improving writing student outcomes, and HBCU leadership in the field.

Commenting on the event, Macmillan Learning General Manager, Susan Winslow, stated, "Bedford/St Martin's has always been enthusiastic about strongly supporting the composition curriculum and finding creative ways to elevate the experience for faculty and students. It's imperative that we continue to be involved in these events and discussions so that we can learn, advance important conversations, and match teaching practice and learning solutions in context. In the case of this unique symposium, the lens is HBCUs. I look forward to the output from the event and to building on the strong relationships we have with the writing community."

The dynamic program features a day one keynote by two-time American Book Award recipient, poet, scholar, and educator Dr. Keith Gilyard of Penn State University. In addition, Dr. Adam Banks of Stanford University speaks to his research, which "lies at the intersections of writing, rhetoric and technology," during the day two keynote. The event will also include a number of thought provoking panel discussions on topics such as disruptive language, digital publics, race and gender politics, and activism, featuring speakers from a myriad of schools including Morehouse University, Howard University, Winston-Salem State University, Florida International University, Bowie State University, Spelman College, and more. The symposium closes with a featured roundtable session, titled "Challenges and Triumphs: Increasing HBCU Leadership in Professional Organizations." The session is moderated by author and scholar Andrea A. Lunsford of Stanford University, and spotlights the active roles taken by HBCU faculty Karen Keaton Jackson, Collie Fulford, Faye Spencer-Maor, Jason DePolo, Kendra Mitchell, and Pamela Simmons in organizations from CCCC to MLA.

Dr. David F. Green Jr., symposium organizer and Assistant Professor of English at Howard University, noted that "the symposium represents a hallmark event for everyone invested in, laboring at, or researching rhetorical education and writing instruction at HBCUs. It brings to the forefront a long history and tradition of language analysis, composition instruction, and critical literacy work completed at HBCUs for the benefit of students learners. I am hopeful and inspired by the possibilities afforded by such an intersection of scholars, teachers, researchers, and organizations in one space for the expressed purpose of examining, historicizing, and celebrating the HBCU learner. "

Attendees will gain a nuanced perspective on teaching writing at HBCUs, along with numerous opportunities to interact with fellow attendees and panelists. This unique, multi-faceted event will take place on the campus of Howard University and at the United Negro College Fund's College Knowledge Center. Following the event, attendees will connect with colleagues via the symposium community space to continue conversations and work.

"Bedford/St. Martin's has a long and rich history of deep partnerships with educators in the writing community," noted Executive Marketing Manager Joy Fisher Williams. "Our sponsorship of these events represents a critical opportunity for us to come together and find solutions to faculty and student challenges--and in this case, to address the unique issues facing HBCUs."

Live-stream coverage of the event, photos, and discussions can be found at:


About Macmillan Learning:

Macmillan Learning improves lives through learning. Our legacy of excellence in education informs our approach to using user-centered design, learning science, impact research, and data mining to develop world-class content and pioneering products that are empathetic, highly effective, and drive improved outcomes. Through deep partnership with the world's best researchers, educators, administrators, and developers, we facilitate teaching and learning opportunities that spark student engagement and improve outcomes. We provide educators with tailored solutions designed to inspire curiosity and measure progress. Our commitment to teaching and discovery upholds our mission to improve lives through learning. Macmillan Learning includes both academic and institutional divisions. To learn more, please visit or see us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIN or join our Macmillan Community.

About Howard University:

Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university comprised of 13 schools and colleges. Students pursue studies in more than 120 areas leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. To date, Howard has awarded more than 120,000 degrees in the arts, the sciences, and the humanities. The historic main campus sits on a hilltop in Northwest Washington blocks from the storied U Street and Howard Theatre. We are two miles from the U.S. Capitol where many students intern, and scores of alumni shape national and foreign policy. To learn more, visit:

About the United Negro College Fund:

UNCF's mission is to build a robust and nationally-recognized pipeline of under-represented students who, because of UNCF support, become highly-qualified college graduates and to ensure that our network of member institutions is a respected model of best practice in moving students to and through college.

UNCF's North Star is to increase the total annual number of African American college graduates by focusing on activities that ensure more students are college-ready, enroll in college and persist to graduation. This is done through a three-pillar strategy: positioning member institutions as a viable college option for students and investing in institutional capacity to improve student outcomes; creating transformational support programs to ensure students are enrolling and persisting through college completion; and building awareness of educational attainment and cultivating college-going behaviors within the African American community. To learn more, visit:

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