John J. Haggerty Articulation Conference
Begun in 1975 as an outreach program between the Department of English and the Birmingham Board of Education, the John J. Haggerty Articulation Conference was renamed at its 24th
annual meeting in 1998 to honor its founder, Dr. John J. Haggerty, Emeritus and former Chair of UAB’s English Department. Dr. Haggerty recalled the Conference’s history in a 1984 letter to Dr. Ted Benditt, then Dean of the School of Arts and Humanities:
The High School Articulation Conference is a joint venture of the UAB Department of English and the Birmingham Board of Education. As the name itself suggests, the conference is intended to give teachers of English, both at the high school and university level, an opportunity to discuss ways of improving our students’ ability to communicate clearly and effectively, especially in composition. Beyond this fundamental objective, the conference enables the participating teachers to exchange views on common problems and expectations. It has, I think, enormously improved relations between our English department and the high school English departments across the city. For example, one important result of this annual meeting has been numerous visitations to high school classes and faculty meetings by UAB English faculty. Clearly it is one of the best things we do. In every instance both the high school teachers and our own faculty have benefited from the ideas generated by the individual speaker as well as from the other activities of the conference. We have learned something about our future students and their teachers, they have learned something about us, and we have all learned about communicating with each other. At a university among whose primary functions is service to the larger urban community, I can think of no more valuable activity.
The Haggerty Conference, approaching its 40th anniversary, anticipates a continued dialogue between UAB’s Department of English and the Birmingham Board of Education. Keynote speakers for the Conference have included Dr. David Jolliffe, Professor John Butler, Dr. John Monroe, Dr. Peagram Johnson, Dr. Alica Kawazoe, Dr. Hephzihah Roskelly, Dr. John Trimbur, Dr. Richard Marback, and Dr. Akua Duku Anokye. Faculty member Christopher Minnix directs the Conference.