(The following report will appear in the March 2017 issue of Teaching English in the Two-Year College.)
For the first time in 23 years, TYCA-Northeast held its annual conference in Connecticut. “Making Connections: Creative Collaboration for Critical Literacy” took place in Hartford, CT on October 13-15, 2016. Attendees experienced a full three days of invigorating sessions. Keynote speakers included Susan Miller-Cochran and novelist Amy Bloom, as well as National TYCA Chair Eva Payne, who delivered a powerful talk on the state of two-year colleges in our present moment and its impact on faculty and students. In addition to the usual breakout sessions, and for the first time at TYCA-NE, organizers also offered two poster sessions as a way to accommodate as many proposals as possible.
In addition to showcasing over 160 presenters, the local offerings for the conference were rich and varied. Musician and writer Patti Smith spoke at the nearby Mark Twain House and Museum on Thursday night, and a pedagogically-focused walking tour of downtown Hartford was offered as a pre-conference option. Attendees could also select from the other events planned by the Local Arrangements Committee: from the ghost tours that departed the Mark Twain house on Friday, to the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, to the Wadsworth Atheneum. Local productions of The Piano Lesson and Relativity starring Richard Dreyfus were also options for attendees.
With over 220 registrants, the conference was undoubtedly a success. Many thanks to conference organizers Liz Keefe (Program Chair), Daniela Ragusa (Local Arrangements Chair), and Susan Monroe (Registration Chair), all of whom will now continue to serve in elected or appointed positions on the Regional Executive Committee of TYCA-Northeast.
TYCA-Northeast’s next conference will be held in Delaware for the first time in its 51-year history. TYCA-NE 2017, aptly named “In the Middle of it all: Moving English from the Margins of Higher Education,” will take place October 26-28 in WIlmington. Proposals will be due June 1.