November 8 - 11, 2018 in Louisville, Kentucky
Kentucky spirit defines the culture and compassion, the arts and parks, and the creative energy of Louisville. It’s this same spirit that built Louisville itself - a city steeped in heritage, reinvented by innovation, authenticity with originality, and quirkiness with friendliness in a way that’s completely unique to Kentucky. Louisville provides visitors an entirely different type of Southern. From boundary pushing twists on Southern cuisine that have made it one of the “10 Best New Food Cities” in America to one-of-a-kind attractions like the legendary Churchill Downs, Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory, and the Muhammad Ali Center.
Thursday Evening Author's Presentation
Brendan Kiely is the author of The Last True Love Story, The Gospel of Winter, and coauthor of All American Boys. Brendan's novels have been awarded the American Library Association’s Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults, Kirkus Reviews selection for best books of the year, The Walter Award, and the Coretta Scott King Author Honor Award. He has a new book that will be out soon.
Erica Abrams Locklear
Friday Keynote Address
Reading about Getting Above Your Raising: What Fictional Portrayals of Appalachian Literacies Tell Us about Identity Conflicts
Dr. Abrams Locklear will discuss both the benefits and the perils of acquiring new literacies for Appalachian learners and women in particular. Drawing from historical, contemporary, and fictional examples, Abrams Locklear asks what happens when pursuing new literacies has the potential to strain important familial and communal bonds. Using the New Opportunity School for Women as an example, she posits that reading and discussing fictional depictions of those same identity conflicts in the classroom opens a crucial space for addressing the pain sometimes associated with education.
Erica Abrams Locklear is an associate professor in the English department at UNC Asheville. Her first book, Negotiating a Perilous Empowerment: Appalachian Women's Literacies, was published by Ohio University Press in 2011 as part of their Series in Race, Ethnicity, and Gender in Appalachia. Her research interests include Appalachia, literacy, the South, foodways, and gendered issues within each of these categories. Her current project, Appalachia on the Table: Representing Mountain Food and People, explores depictions of Appalachian food in multiple outlets ranging from local color literature to missionary publications to contemporary fiction and poetry. University of Georgia Press will publish it as part of their Southern Foodways Alliance Studies in Culture, People, and Place series. She has also published in The Southern Literary Journal, Appalachian Heritage, North Carolina Folklore Journal, and various essay collections.
George Ella Lyon
Saturday Awards Breakfast Keynote
George Ella Lyon has written many books in almost every genre, but is known for her poetry. She and her husband are activists for Kentucky environmental issues. Lyon’s work has received many awards including the American Library Association’s Schneider Family Book Award, a Jane Addams Honor, a Golden Kite and the Kentucky Bluegrass Award. George Ella Lyon was named Kentucky Poet Laureate from 2015-2016. In her own words, she explains "In 1993 I wrote a poem called 'Where I’m From.' The process was so rich that I used it as a prompt in a teacher workshop. They liked it, too, and passed it on. Now, thanks to unnumbered teachers and the Internet, “Where I’m From” has gone around the world. There are more poem videos on youtube than I can watch, bilingual anthologies, culinary adaptations, collections from substance abuse facilities, refugee camps, prisons. It has shown up paired with photos in a Berkeley gallery, in theater pieces & obituaries, on memorial cards.
Why did this happen? What does it tell us about the deep need everyone feels to be asked who they are? To have their authentic voice welcomed? And how can we answer that need in ways that go beyond one assignment, one poem? How can we help people claim their voices and empower them to speak out in their own behalf? To find community? To make change?
Grace Paley said, “Every time you speak the truth, you’re making justice in this world.”
I want to look at some ways we can help each other give that truth a voice."
ALER invites members and non-members from the literacy community to submit presentation proposals aligned to our 2018 conference theme, Educating for a Just Society. Preparing students to engage in a global society goes beyond teaching the basics. Students need to be exposed to diverse people, texts, and ideas. Likewise, they need opportunities to critically engage in authentic literacy events, as well as instruction on how to do so. These experiences will help students learn to think critically and engage in discussions and problem-solving to be better able to promote equity for all peoples in an unjust world. Education can change the world.
Attendees will also discover many presentation strands aligned to common themes within literacy education. Whether you're a P-12 teacher/administrator or faculty and students in higher education, you'll have over 100 individual session choices spread across 2 1/2 days of vibrant and friendly conference dialogue.
The program listing all events and accepted sessions is provided in digital (pdf) format at our website approximately 2-3 weeks prior to the start of the conference. ALER no longer provides printed programs on site and we ask that you use the Program App (available in the app stores) or download/print the digital file to bring with you to the conference. The Program App provides real-time updates about program changes and is available for download 1-2 weeks prior to the start of the conference.
If you are a presenter and need confirmation of your session acceptance for travel, please reference your acceptance letter or request further documentation from the President-Elect/Program Chair.
The discounted reservation rate link is now available. The conference block of rooms typically fills quickly so it's recommended that you book using this link promptly.
The venue for the 2018 Conference is the historic Seelbach Hilton Hotel in downtown Louisville. Founded by Bavarian-born immigrant brothers Louis and Otto Seelbach, it opened in 1905 as the Seelbach Hotel, envisioned by the Seelbach Brothers to embody the old-world grandeur of European hotels in cities such as Vienna and Paris. To do so in early 20th century Louisville, they employed a French Renaissance design in constructing the hotel. Louis was already a restaurant owner in Louisville when his brother Otto joined him from Germany around 1890, forming the Seelbach Hotel Co.The company began construction on the hotel in 1903. The hotel was quickly regarded among the finest hotels in the United States and throughout its long history has been frequented by many notable Americans—for instance F. Scott Fitzgerald, who took inspiration from the Seelbach for a hotel in The Great Gatsby. The hotel is part of the Hilton Hotels & Resorts chain.
The Seelbach is a AAA 4 Diamond award-winning hotel.The hotel appears on the National Register of Historic Places and is considered "Louisville's Historic Hotel". The Seelbach offers its guests access to its AAA Five Diamond Award-winning restaurant The Oakroom, fitness center, and valet parking, among other standard features of a luxury hotel. It's location provides an easy walk to museums, shopping, and off-site dining.
Conference registration will open April 2, 2018. Look for the registration link in the Community Calendar on the homepage or at the bottom of this page.
Early bird discounting (20%) is available to registrants until October 1st. Members should make sure to log in at their member account before registering so that the correct discounts are applied for registration. Members may renew their memberships at the time of registration in a separate transaction online. Non-members are welcome to register at the early-bird rate or at the full rate after October 1. All presenters must register for the conference to avoid session cancellation.
- Churchill Downs
- Muhammad Ali Center
- Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory