CCTE and TCEA meet around the state, exploring the variety of Texas culture and academics. On March 3-5, 2011, we met at Tarleton State University. A century old, it’s famous for ag education and rodeo teams but also hosts Grammy-winning jazz musicians  and excels in Information Technology. After two days of good papers, book displays, and fellowship, over a hundred attendees went home tired but inspired, full of barbecue and fresh ideas for their own classrooms.

Presentations

Kanika Batra and Rich Rice (TTU)

Kanika Batra and Rich Rice (TTU)

The conference offered sessions on rhetoric and composition, literature and popular culture, and creative writing. Above, Dr. Kanika Batra, a postcolonialist, and spouse Dr. Rich Rice, a technical writing scholar, describe their team-taught course in “Life-Writing” that helps students understand cultures. Below, a panel of graduate students from across the state were “”Talkin’ ‘Bout My Generation: Revisiting the Narrative of the Generation NeXt Professoriate.” They called for an end to the slacker stereotype held by some established professors and for improved mentoring of beginning teachers.

l.-r. Brandon Barnes, Mark Azard, Rochelle Gregory, Christopher Andrews

l.-r. Brandon Barnes, Mark Azard, Rochelle Gregory, Christopher Andrews

Awards

CCTE and TCEA give over $2,000 in awards every year for conference presentations and professional achievement (see this year’s list). The most prestigious, the Frances Hernández Teacher-Scholar Award, was presented at the luncheon to Dr. Nancy Shankle of Abilene Christian University.

Nancy Shankle (l.) congratulated by Brenda Bradley (McLennan CC)

Nancy Shankle (l.) congratulated by Brenda Bradley (McLennan CC)

Speakers

Featured speakers and panelists opened a variety of topics. CCTE Luncheon speaker Rawlins Gilliland, a commentator on National Public Radio, explored “Alternate Realities” based on his own remarkable life (that he heard the shots that killed President Kennedy is only the start of the list). TCEA speaker Dr. Dale Priest (Lamar U) gave a comical and erudite survey of the Shakespeare authorship controversy. One panel explored the transformation of the textbook toward e-texts and iPads, and another the ways authors have transformed Texas material to “go beyond McMurtry.”

Dale Priest on Oxonians and Stratfordians

Dale Priest on Oxonians and Stratfordians

NPR commentator Rawlins Gilliland

NPR commentator Rawlins Gilliland

Special thanks

Local arrangements chair Dr. Moumin Quazi did a superb job, putting all sessions into smart classrooms, directing us to the good restaurants and Texas music venues after hours, and keeping it all affordable in a time of tight travel funding. We thank the officers, Area Chairs and their colleagues for assembling a great program and the presenters for the ingenuity and passion that came through their readings. We thank Norton, Pearson, McGraw-Hill, Cengage, and Tarleton State University for the hospitality and caffeine that kept us comfortable in chilly weather.