51st Allerton English Articulation Conference explores metaphor in teaching

Allerton Park and Retreat Center
Allerton Park and Retreat Center

The Allerton English Articulation Conference is set to kick off another 50 years of conferences with the theme “Metaphors We Teach By.”

The conference, bringing together faculty from two- and four-year colleges and universities, takes place at the Allerton Park and Retreat Center in Monticello, Ill. It is made possible by a planning committee consisting of university and college faculty from across the state, including a core group of Northern Illinois University staff.

“We thank the NIU English Department and CLAS External Programming for their unwavering support,” said Michael Day, director of the NIU First Year Composition Program and conference chair.

The keynote speakers will be Philip Eubanks, professor of rhetoric and composition and professional writing at NIU, and Chris Blankenship, NIU English department alum and current director of composition at Emporia State University, Kansas. They will deliver a collaborative talk on “Metaphors That Refuse to Die: Contending with Persistent Frames for Composition.”

“The Allerton English Articulation Conference is unlike any other conference,” Day said. “It is deliberately designed as an intimate venue fostering intense exchange of ideas. Newcomers are welcomed and mentored.”

The conference is distinctive because it brings together high school teachers, community college instructors and university faculty to discuss common concerns in teaching writing, leading to greater cohesion in the writing curriculum at all levels in Illinois institutions.

Another unique element of Allerton’s appeal is its setting.

“Robert Allerton’s private estate reflects his entwined roles as artist, art collector and philanthropist,” said Ellen Franklin, NIU assistant to the director of the First Year Composition Porgram and conference organizer, “His Georgian manor house is nestled amid acres of woodland, prairie, formal gardens and sculpture gardens, and is a living testament to his commitment to nature as a source of physical, emotional and intellectual renewal.”

Those who wish to present at the conference must submit a proposal via email by Sunday, Feb. 1, and will be notified of their acceptance by March 1. Registration information is forthcoming, and accommodation is available on site.

For more information, email AllertonConference@niu.edu or like the conference on Facebook.

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