This year's Computers and Writing Conference followed the standard format of a traditional academic conference with the presentation of papers followed by general discussion and questions. Many of the presenters took less than ten or fifteen minutes to read (or more often, casually talk through) their work to be sure the rest of their allotted time could be devoted to discussion. I have never witnessed so many people from the same field so eager to talk with each other, so eager to openly exchange ideas. All the normal academic egos were checked at the door. Some of the "big hitters" in this field were there -- Jay David Bolter, Cindy Selfe, and Gail Hawisher -- but they, like everyone else, were eager to talk with everyone they met: graduate students, new faculty members (like myself), and anyone else who had an interesting idea or question were all welcome to talk with the true leaders of our area of interest.
©David Gillette, 1996