Sheena Gardner
Sheena Gardner

Professor, Applied Linguistics in the Research Centre for Arts, Memory and Communities, Coventry University, UK

Richard Andrews
Richard Andrews

Professor and Head, Moray House School of Education and Sport, University of Edinburgh, UK

Dr Sean Mcminn
Sean McMinn

Director and Adjunct Associate Professor, English Language Centre,

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, HK

Ms. Reena Bhojwani
Reena Bhojwani

Creative Writing Teacher

Elephant Community Press, HK

Sheena Gardner
Keynote Speaker (Flux in Academic Writing Strand)
Professor Sheena Gardner

Applied Linguistics in the Research Centre for Arts, Memory and Communities, Coventry University, UK

Title: Flux in Academic Writing

Abstract: It is now ten years since we (Nesi and Gardner) wrote Genres Across the Disciplines in which we analysed successful university student writing in terms of 13 genre families and grouped these into 5 social/educational purposes. Our frameworks have been widely used, and I am always pleased when students around the world – writing in Hong Kong or Australia or Qatar – turn out to be writing in line with the basic characteristics of one of the 13 genre families.

The focus of my paper for the Writing Roundtable 2022 is to review the genre families and social purposes in order to consider what has remained relatively constant and, in keeping with the conference theme, what is in flux. Both are important, and it is worth considering why some features have changed, and why others have not.

Our systemic functional view of language is that meanings are shaped by their social context. Changes observed over the past decade have been influenced by increased focus on employability and internationalisation, increased affordances in terms of digitality and multimodality, and the very particular covid related challenges of the past year. There has been movement in terms of disciplinary boundaries, in terms of assessment and in terms of the nature of feedback given. These have certainly influenced the nature of assessed student writing both in terms of the assignments set for students, the ways students respond, and our interpretation of changing ‘standards’ in new expressions of academic performance.

Bio: Sheena Gardner is Professor of Applied Linguistics in the Research Centre for Arts, Memory and Communities, Coventry University, UK. Informed by SFL principles, she developed, with H. Nesi, a genre classification of successful student academic writing, and her research activity centres on exploring the nature of academic genres and registers in the British Academic Written English (www.coventry.ac.uk/BAWE) corpus. She has published widely in journals such as JEAP and Applied Linguistics, including recently with Biber on a multidimensional analysis of registers in BAWE. Her books include Genres across the Disciplines authored with H. Nesi (Cambridge, 2012), Multilingualism, Discourse and Ethnography edited with M. Martin-Jones (Routledge, 2012) and Systemic Functional Linguistics in the Digital Age edited with Siân Alsop (Equinox, 2016).

Sheena has taught English (Scotland, Germany, Sudan), trained teachers (Canada, Malaysia, England) and supported research publication (China, Indonesia). She was consultant for two academic writing projects in Hong Kong: LID (PI Ms Shari Lughmani: Literacy In the Disciplines (polyu.edu.hk)) and OSAWEC (PI Dr Hebe Wong: Online Support for Academic Writing for the Engineering Curriculum (cityu.edu.hk)). In the past year she has focused more on genre based feedback, as consultant for LIDISELF (Development of disciplinary literacies in English as a lingua franca at university) at the University of Lleida and Polytechnic University of Catalonia, Spain (PI: Enric Llurda, CI: Guzmán Mancho Barés et al.) and CEAG (Effectiveness of Genre-Fit Written Comments in Academic Writing: in Three Disciplines) at UCSC and UBB, Concepción, Chile (PI Roxanna Correa, CI Monica Tapia et al.), while also researching written feedback information with Siân Alsop and PhD students at Coventry.

Key readings: (see also www.coventry.ac.uk/BAWE)

Gardner, S., H. Nesi, & D. Biber (2019). Discipline, level, genre: Integrating situational perspectives in a new MD analysis of university student writing. Applied Linguistics. 40(4), 646-674. https://academic.oup.com/applij/article/40/4/646/4937797
Nesi, H., & S. Gardner (2012). Genres across the disciplines: Student writing in Higher Education. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


Richard Andrews
Keynote Speaker (Flux in Creative Writing Strand)
Professor Richard Andrews

Head, Moray House School of Education and Sport, University of Edinburgh, UK

Title: Flux in poetry, in poetics and in society

Abstract: In the last few years I have been exploring aspects of poetry and poetics in my academic work. In this keynote I link these to the theme of ‘flux’ when understood as ‘flow’ and as ‘a state of perpetual change’.

The first part of the keynote will be concerned with how poems capture ‘flow’. I will use examples from two published books of poetry: A Sense of Place (2009) and the more recent Falling Uphill (2021).

From there, I’ll move into academic mode and reflect on how we think about rhythm, especially in free verse, drawing on two academic books: A Prosody of Free Verse (2016) and Polyrhythmicity (2021). For the ancient Greeks, rhythm was synonymous with ‘flow’, and although rhythm figures in much 20th and 21st century poetry and music, it is notoriously hard to capture in words. I’ll also refer to Multimodality, Poetry and Poetics (2018) and to a forthcoming book entitled Choreography of the Poem, which will explore the relationship between dance and poetry.

Finally, I’ll extrapolate from these reflections on poetry and poetics to consider wider issues of flux and flow in society and consciousness, especially the desire for different degrees of certainty in a state of seemingly constant change. The talk will end with return to poetic writing and what it can offer us.

Bio: Following a degree in English Language and Literature at Oxford, Richard trained as an English and Drama teacher and worked in the UK and Hong Kong (at Island School). He moved into higher education in 1987 and since then has held professorships in English and Education at Middlesex, Hull, York, Anglia Ruskin, UCL Institute of Education and the University of East Anglia. He has also held the positions of Head of Department (York, UEA), Dean (IOE) and Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation (Anglia Ruskin).

On 1 October 2019 he joined the University of Edinburgh as Professor in Education and Head of the Moray House School of Education and Sport.

His teaching and research interests are in writing development, argumentation, poetics and research methodologies for the digital age.

He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and an elected fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences. In January 2016 he became a member of the All Souls Group, Oxford, on education policy. He is a network member of the Centre for Science and Policy, University of Cambridge; and a member of the Global Education Deans’ Forum and the Scottish Council of Deans of Education. In 2021, he joined the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at Edinburgh.

His most recently published books are Polyrhythmicity in Language, Music and Society: complex time relations in the arts, humanities and social sciences, (New York/Singapore: Springer, 2021) and Falling Uphill: forty-six Adirondack poems (York: Terpsichore Press, 2021). He is currently working on a new book for Springer: Choreography of the Poem.

Key readings: (see also www.richardandrews.net)

Andrews, R. and Smith, A. (2011) Developing Writers: teaching and learning in the digital age. New York: McGraw-Hill and Open University Press.
Andrews, R. (2017) A Prosody of Free Verse: explorations in rhythm. New York: Routledge.
Andrews, R. (2018) Multimodality, Poetry and Poetics. New York: Routledge.
Andrews, R. (2021) Polyrhythmicity in Language, Music and Society: complex time relations in the arts, humanities and social sciences. New York and Singapore: Springer.
Andrews, R. (2021) Falling Uphill: forty-six Adirondack poems. York: Terpsichore Press.


Dr Sean Mcminn
Keynote Speaker (Flux in the Scholarship of Teaching & Learning Writing Strand)
Dr Sean McMinn

Director and Adjunct Associate Professor
English Language Centre, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, HK

Title: Bridging research and practice in flux: Why a scholarly approach to teaching writing matters

Abstract: Digital practices have significantly changed the nature of written communication for academic and professional purposes. Because communication is expanding from using ‘traditional’ written texts to digital media, the required English competencies for collaborating, building and maintaining relationships, proposing arguments or disseminating knowledge, to name a few, are evolving and now include digital literacy skills. On top of this digital revolution, innovative pedagogies continue to evolve, partly as a result of technological advances and partly because our growing knowledge in areas related second language acquisition.

A flux in new literacies and our pedagogical knowledge for how writing can be taught places a new pressure on educators to be current on “what” and “how” they teach writing. While there is a wealth of available scholarly knowledge on the subject of teaching writing, plus a wealth of literature on new literacies and innovative pedagogies, this knowledge is sometimes unsuccessfully disseminated to classroom teachers or there is a gap between the researcher and the practitioner. This talk will present an argument for why there is a growing need to adopt a scholarly approach to teaching writing, bridging a gap between the researcher and the practitioner. Principles and characteristics of scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) will be shared, highlighting the key benefits and uses of a scholarly approach to develop and help prepare teachers. The session will also provide suggestions on how Language Centres might encourage teachers to participate in scholarly activities.

Bio: Dr Sean McMinn is the Director and Adjunct Associate Professor for the English Language Centre, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Having nearly 20 years’ experience in higher education, Sean has taught a range of subjects, such as EAP, Digital Literacies, and Social Complex Systems, and has research interests in SoTL, educational technology, digital literacies, and networked learning.

Barton, D., & Lee, C. (2013). Language Online: Investigating Digital Texts and Practices. Routledge.
Ding, A. (2018). Manifesto for the Scholarship of Language Teaching and Learning. The Language Scholar. https://languagescholar.leeds.ac.uk/manifesto-for-the-scholarship-of-language-teaching-and-learning/
Trigwell, K. (2013). Evidence of the Impact of Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Purposes. Teaching & Learning Inquiry: The ISSOTL Journal. 1(1), 95-105.


Ms. Reena Bhojwani
Pre-note Speaker (Writing with / in Social Media in the Age of Pandemonium)
Ms Reena Bhojwani

Creative Writing Teacher
Elephant Community Press, HK

Title: Welcome, fellow collaborator – take a seat, and fasten your factitious seatbelt!

Abstract: …but don’t get too comfortable because you are about to choose your own adventure and set foot into the arenas of virtual realities within social media. The unknown is never far away. One wrong move, a badly timed post or worse, the wrong hashtag, or God forbid, a typo, is all it takes for things to go from start, to game over. Are you ready?

In this interactive experience, I will take you through a series of choices in a virtual setting to see how conscious and unconscious choices manifest in real time. I will guide you through collaborative “continue the story” experience where everyone participates to bait and hook each other to continue their own stories.

Bio: Reena Bhojwani is first and foremost a writer. She has been teaching creative writing to children for a dozen years at Elephant Community Press. She has also served actively as a member of the Hong Kong Writers Circle, contributing over 10 short stories in their anthologies over the years and volunteering to host, facilitate and emcee a number of events and workshops for a variety of levels. In 2018 she won the Peel Street Poetry Slam and had her first poem published in the Asian Cha Magazine. In addition, Reena has self-published her own children’s picture book.

Bhojwani, R. (2019). Two. Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, 44, https://www.asiancha.com/wp/article/reena-bhojwani/
Bhojwani, R. Teacher profile, https://www.elephantcommunitypress.com/teacher/reena-bhojwani/
Inspired Muse, http://www.inspiredmusehk.com


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