One wonders if there is any academic field that doesn’t suffer from the way it is portrayed by the media, by politicians, by pundits and other publics. How well scholars in a discipline articulate their own definition can influence not only issues of image but the very success of the discipline in serving students and its other constituencies. The Activist WPA is an effort to address this range of issues for the field of English composition in the age of the Spellings Commission and the No Child Left Behind Act.
Drawing on recent developments in framing theory and the resurgent traditions of progressive organizers, Linda Adler-Kassner calls upon composition teachers and administrators to develop strategic programs of collective action that do justice to composition’s best principles. Adler-Kassner argues that the “story” of college composition can be changed only when writing scholars bring the wonders down, to articulate a theory framework that is pragmatic and intelligible to those outside the field--and then create messages that reference that framework. In The Activist WPA, she makes a case for developing a more integrated vision of outreach, English education, and writing program administration.
Around the Texts of Writing Center Work reveals the conceptual frameworks found in and created by ordinary writing center documents. The values and beliefs underlying course syllabi, policy statements, website copy and comments, assessment plans, promotional flyers, and annual reports critically inform writing center practices, including the vital undertaking of tutor education.
In each chapter, author R. Mark Hall focuses on a particular document. He examines its origins, its use by writing center instructors and tutors, and its engagement with enduring disciplinary challenges in the field of composition, such as tutoring and program assessment. He then analyzes each document in the contexts of the conceptual framework at the heart of its creation and everyday application: activity theory, communities of practice, discourse analysis, reflective practice, and inquiry-based learning.
Around the Texts of Writing Center Work approaches the analysis of writing center documents with an inquiry stance—a call for curiosity and skepticism toward existing and proposed conceptual frameworks—in the hope that the theoretically conscious evaluation and revision of commonplace documents will lead to greater efficacy and more abundant research by writing center administrators and students.
In Before Shaughnessy: Basic Writing at Yale and Harvard, 1920–1960, Kelly Ritter uses materials from the archives at Harvard and Yale and contemporary theories of writing instruction to reconsider the definition of basic writing and basic writers within a socio-historical context. Ritter challenges the association of basic writing with only poorly funded institutions and poorly prepared students.
Using Yale and Harvard as two sample case studies, Ritter shows that basic writing courses were alive and well, even in the Ivy League, in the early twentieth century. She argues not only that basic writers exist across institutional types and diverse student populations, but that the prevalence of these writers has existed far more historically than we generally acknowledge.
Uncovering this forgotten history of basic writing at elite institutions, Ritter contends that the politics and problems of the identification and the definition of basic writers and basic writing began long before the work of Mina Shaughnessy in Errors and Expectations and the rise of open admissions. Indeed, she illustrates how the problems and politics have been with us since the advent of English A at Harvard and the heightened consumer-based policies that resulted in the new admissions criteria of the early twentieth-century American university. In order to recognize this long-standing reality of basic writing, we must now reconsider whether the nearly standardized, nationalized definition of “basic” is any longer a beneficial one for the positive growth and democratic development of our first-year writing programs and students.
No less than other divisions of the college or university, contemporary writing centers find themselves within a galaxy of competing questions and demands that relate to assessment—questions and demands that usually embed priorities from outside the purview of the writing center itself. Writing centers are used to certain kinds of assessment, both quantitative and qualitative, but are often unprepared to address larger institutional or societal issues. In Building Writing Center Assessments that Matter, Schendel and Macauley start from the kinds of assessment strengths already in place in writing centers, and they build a framework that can help writing centers satisfy local needs and put them in useful dialogue with the larger needs of their institutions, while staying rooted in writing assessment theory.
The authors begin from the position that tutoring writers is already an assessment activity, and that good assessment practice (rooted in the work of Adler-Kassner, O'Neill, Moore, and Huot) already reflects the values of writing center theory and practice. They offer examples of assessments developed in local contexts, and of how assessment data built within those contexts can powerfully inform decisions and shape the futures of local writing centers. With additional contributions by Neal Lerner, Brian Huot and Nicole Caswell, and with a strong commitment to honoring on-site local needs, the volume does not advocate a one-size-fits-all answer. But, like the modeling often used in a writing consultation, examples here illustrate how important assessment principles have been applied in a range of local contexts. Ultimately, Building Writing Assessments that Matter describes a theory stance toward assessment for writing centers that honors the uniqueness of the writing center context, and examples of assessment in action that are concrete, manageable, portable, and adaptable.
Center Will Hold
edited by Michael A. Pemberton & Joyce Kinkead Utah State University Press, 2003 Library of Congress PE1404.C46 2003 | Dewey Decimal 808.0420711
In The Center Will Hold, Pemberton and Kinkead have compiled a major volume of essays on the signal issues of scholarship that have established the writing center field and that the field must successfully address in the coming decade. The new century opens with new institutional, demographic, and financial challenges, and writing centers, in order to hold and extend their contribution to research, teaching, and service, must continuously engage those challenges.
Appropriately, the editors offer the work of Muriel Harris as a key pivot point in the emergence of writing centers as sites of pedagogy and research. The volume develops themes that Harris first brought to the field, and contributors here offer explicit recognition of the role that Harris has played in the development of writing center theory and practice. But they also use her work as a springboard from which to provide reflective, descriptive, and predictive looks at the field.
Defining, Locating, and Addressing Bullying in the WPA Workplace is the first volume to take up the issue of bullying in writing programs. Contributors to this collection share their personal stories and analyze varieties of collegial malevolence they have experienced as WPAs with consequences in emotional, mental, and physical health and in personal and institutional economies.
Contributors of varying status in different types of programs across many kinds of institutions describe various forms of bullying, including microaggressions, incivility, mobbing, and emotional abuse. They define bullying as institutional racism, “academic systemic incivility,” a crisis of insularity, and faculty fundamentalism. They locate bullying in institutional contexts, including research institutions, small liberal arts colleges, community colleges, and writing programs and writing centers. These locations are used as points of departure to further theorize bullying and to provide clear advice about agentive responses.
A culture of silence discourages discussions of this behavior, making it difficult to address abuse. This silence also normalizes patterns and cultivates the perception that bullying arises naturally. Defining, Locating, and Addressing Bullying in the WPA Workplace helps the field to name these patterns of behaviors as bullying and resist ideologies of normalcy, encouraging and empowering readers to take an active role in defining, locating, and addressing bullying in their own workplaces.
Contributors: Sarah Allen, Andrea Dardello, Harry Denny, Dawn Fels, Bre Garrett, W. Gary Griswold, Amy C. Heckathorn, Aurora Matzke, Staci Perryman-Clark, Sherry Rankins-Robertson, Erec Smith
For undergraduates following any course of study, it is essential to develop the ability to write effectively. Yet the processes by which students become more capable and ready to meet the challenges of writing for employers, the wider public, and their own purposes remain largely invisible. Developing Writers in Higher Education shows how learning to write for various purposes in multiple disciplines leads college students to new levels of competence.
This volume draws on an in-depth study of the writing and experiences of 169 University of Michigan undergraduates, using statistical analysis of 322 surveys, qualitative analysis of 131 interviews, use of corpus linguistics on 94 electronic portfolios and 2,406 pieces of student writing, and case studies of individual students to trace the multiple paths taken by student writers. Topics include student writers’ interaction with feedback; perceptions of genre; the role of disciplinary writing; generality and certainty in student writing; students’ concepts of voice and style; students’ understanding of multimodal and digital writing; high school’s influence on college writers; and writing development after college. The digital edition offers samples of student writing, electronic portfolios produced by student writers, transcripts of interviews with students, and explanations of some of the analysis conducted by the contributors.
This is an important book for researchers and graduate students in multiple fields. Those in writing studies get an overview of other longitudinal studies as well as key questions currently circulating. For linguists, it demonstrates how corpus linguistics can inform writing studies. Scholars in higher education will gain a new perspective on college student development. The book also adds to current understandings of sociocultural theories of literacy and offers prospective teachers insights into how students learn to write. Finally, for high school teachers, this volume will answer questions about college writing.
The argument of this collection is that the cultural and intellectual legacies of postmodernism impinge, significantly and daily, on the practice of the Writing Program Administrator. WPAs work in spaces where they must assume responsibility for a multifaceted program, a diverse curriculum, instructors with varying pedagogies and technological expertise—and where they must position their program in relation to a university with its own conflicted mission, and a state with its unpredictable views of accountability and assessment.
The collection further argues that postmodernism offers a useful lens through which to understand the work of WPAs and to examine the discordant cultural and institutional issues that shape their work. Each chapter tackles a problem local to its author’s writing program or experience as a WPA, and each responds to existing discord in creative ways that move toward rebuilding and redirection.
It is a given that accepting the role of WPA will land you squarely in the bind between modernism and postmodernism: while composition studies as a field arguably still reflects a modernist ethos, the WPA must grapple daily with postmodern habits of thought and ways of being. The effort to live in this role may or may not mean that a WPA will adopt a postmodern stance; it does mean, however, that being a WPA requires dealing with the postmodern.
In a landmark collaboration, five co-authors develop a theme of ordinary disruptions ("the everyday") as a source of provocative learning moments that can liberate both student writers and writing center staff. At the same time, the authors parlay Etienne Wenger’s concept of "community of practice" into an ethos of a dynamic, learner-centered pedagogy that is especially well-suited to the peculiar teaching situation of the writing center. They push themselves and their field toward deeper, more significant research, more self-conscious teaching.
In the diversity of their clients as well as their professional and student staff, writing centers present a complicated set of relationships that inevitably affect the instruction they offer. In Facing the Center, Harry Denny unpacks the identity matrices that enrich teachable moments, and he explores the pedagogical dynamics and implications of identity within the writing center.
The face of the writing center, be it mainstream or marginal, majority or miority, orthodox or subversive, always has implications for teaching and learning. Facing the Center will extend current research in writing center theory to bring it in touch with theories now common in cultural studies curricula. Denny takes up issues of power, agency, language, and meaning, and pushes his readers to ask how they themselves, or the centers in which they work, might be perpetuating cultures that undermine inclusive, progressive education.
The Idea of a Writing Laboratory is a book about possibilities, about teaching and learning to write in ways that can transform both teachers and students.
Author Neal Lerner explores higher education’s rich history of writing instruction in classrooms, writing centers and science laboratories. By tracing the roots of writing and science educators’ recognition that the method of the lab––hands-on student activity—is essential to learning, Lerner offers the hope that the idea of a writing laboratory will be fully realized more than a century after both fields began the experiment.
Beginning in the late nineteenth century, writing instructors and science teachers recognized that mass instruction was inadequate for a burgeoning, “non-traditional” student population, and that experimental or laboratory methods could prove to be more effective. Lerner traces the history of writing instruction via laboratory methods and examines its successes and failures through case studies of individual programs and larger reform initatives. Contrasting the University of Minnesota General College Writing Laboratory with the Dartmouth College Writing Clinic, for example, Lerner offers a cautionary tale of the fine line between experimenting with teaching students to write and “curing” the students of the disease of bad writing.
The history of writing within science education also wends its way through Lerner’s engaging work, presenting the pedagogical origins of laboratory methods to offer educators in science in addition to those in writing studies possibilities for long-sought after reform. The Idea of a Writing Laboratory compels readers and writers to “don those white coats and safety glasses and discover what works” and asserts that “teaching writing as an experiment in what is possible, as a way of offering meaning-making opportunities for students no matter the subject matter, is an endeavor worth the struggle.”
A form of critical ethnography introduced to the social sciences in the late 1990s, institutional ethnography uncovers how things happen within institutional sites, providing a new and flexible tool for the study of how “work” is co-constituted within sites of writing and writing instruction. The study of work and work processes reveals how institutional discourse, social relations, and norms of professional practice coordinate what people do across time and sites of writing. Adoption of IE offers finely grained understandings of how our participation in the work of writing, writing instruction, and sites of writing gives material face to the institutions that govern the social world.
In this book, Michelle LaFrance introduces the theories, rhetorical frames, and methods that ground and animate institutional ethnography. Three case studies illustrate key aspects of the methodology in action, tracing the work of writing assignment design in a linked gateway course, the ways annual reviews coordinate the work of faculty and writing center administrators and staff, and how the key term “information literacy” socially organizes teaching in a first-year English program. Through these explorations of the practice of ethnography within sites of writing and writing instruction, LaFrance shows that IE is a methodology keenly attuned to the material relations and conditions of work in twenty-first-century writing studies contexts, ideal for both practiced and novice ethnographers who seek to understand the actualities of social organization and lived experience in the sites they study.
Institutional Ethnography expands the field’s repertoire of research methodologies and offers the grounding necessary for work with the IE framework. It will be invaluable to writing researchers and students and scholars of writing studies across the spectrum—composition and rhetoric, literacy studies, and education—as well as those working in fields such as sociology and cultural studies.
In this pointed appraisal of composition studies, Donna Strickland contends the rise of writing program administration is crucial to understanding the history of the field. Noting existing histories of composition studies that offer little to no exploration of administration, Strickland argues the field suffers from a “managerial unconscious” that ignores or denies the dependence of the teaching of writing on administrative structures.
The Managerial Unconscious in the History of Composition Studies is the first book to address the history of composition studies as a profession rather than focusing on its pedagogical theories and systems. Strickland questions why writing and the teaching of writing have been the major areas of scholarly inquiry in the field when specialists often work primarily as writing program administrators, not teachers.
Strickland traces the emergence of writing programs in the early twentieth century, the founding of two professional organizations by and for writing program administrators, and the managerial overtones of the “social turn” of the field during the 1990s. She illustrates how these managerial imperatives not only have provided much of the impetus for the growth of composition studies over the past three decades but also have contributed to the stratified workplaces and managed writing practices the field’s pedagogical research often decries.
The Managerial Unconscious in the History of Composition Studies makes the case that administrative work should not be separated from intellectual work, calling attention to the interplay between these two kinds of work in academia at large and to the pronounced hierarchies of contingent faculty and tenure-track administrators endemic to college writing programs. The result is a reasoned plea for an alternative understanding of the very mission of the field itself.
The Memoir of Ednah Shepard Thomas offers an in-depth look at what it was to be a Writing Program Administrator during the period from after World War II up to the time of the early 1970s, a time for which we have little in the way of documentation for the work of early WPAs. Written at a time when the civil rights movement and the women's movement were just beginning to influence the way one thought and wrote about issues of race, class, and gender, this memoir offers insights into a period of time when the field was only beginning to come into focus. A foreword by Susan McLeod, an introduction and extensive footnotes by David Stock, and an afterword by David Fleming contextualize the memoir and highlight its relevance to scholars, teachers, and program administrators in composition-rhetoric. As a local history of writing program administration in its pre-professional era, the memoir offers a vital counternarrative to David Fleming's (2011) award-winning account of the abolition of UW-Madison's Freshman English program in 1969-70.
In A Minefield of Dreams: Triumphs and Travails of Independent Writing Programs, Justin Everett and Cristina Hanganu-Bresch highlight both cautionary tales and stories of resounding success that can inspire and provide paths toward addressing the challenges faced by faculty who lead independent writing programs (IWPs). More than a decade after O'Neill, Crow, and Burton's survey of IWPs—and with attention to some of the same programs addressed in that collection—the contributors to this collection assess the state of IWPs at a variety of American and Canadian institutions. The four sections in the book address key issues faced by IWPs: the quest for independence; disciplinarity, labor, and professionalization; curricular reforms, program design, and faculty training and empowerment; and rhetorics of transformation and justice.
Multilingual writers—often graduate students with more content knowledge and broader cultural experience than a monolingual tutor—unbalance the typical tutor/client relationship and pose a unique challenge for the writing center. Multilingual Writers and Writing Centers explores how directors and tutors can better prepare for the growing number of one-to-one conferences with these multilingual writers they will increasingly encounter in the future.
This much-needed addition of second language acquisition (SLA) research and teaching to the literature of writing center pedagogy draws from SLA literature; a body of interviews Rafoth conducted with writing center directors, students, and tutors; and his own decades of experience. Well-grounded in daily writing center practice, the author identifies which concepts and practices directors can borrow from the field of SLA to help tutors respond to the needs of multilingual writers, what directors need to know about these concepts and practices, and how tutoring might change in response to changes in student populations.
Multilingual Writers and Writing Centers is a call to invigorate the preparation of tutors and directors for the negotiation of the complexities of multilingual and multicultural communication.
Scientists who specialize in the study of Mississippi Valley earthquakes say that the region is overdue for a powerful tremor that will cause major damage and undoubtedly some casualties.
The inevitability of a future quake and the lack of preparation by both individuals and communities provided the impetus for this book. Atkinson brings together applicable information from many disciplines: history, geology and seismology, engineering, zoology, politics and community planning, economics, environmental science, sociology, and psychology and mental health to provide the most comprehensive perspective to date of the myriad impacts of a major earthquake on the Mississippi Valley.
Atkinson addresses such basic questions as "What, actually, are earthquakes? How do they occur? Where are they likely to occur? Can they be predicted, perhaps even prevented?" He also addresses those steps that individuals can take to improve their chances for survival both during and after an earthquake.
Noise From The Writing Center
Elizabeth H. Boquet Utah State University Press, 2002 Library of Congress PE1404.B66 2002 | Dewey Decimal 808.0420711
In Noise from the Writing Center, Boquet develops a theory of "noise" and excess as an important element of difference between the pedagogy of writing centers and the academy in general. Addressing administrative issues, Boquet strains against the bean-counting anxiety that seems to drive so much of writing center administration. Pedagogically, she urges a more courageous practice, developed via metaphors of music and improvisation, and argues for "noise," excess, and performance as uniquely appropriate to the education of writers and tutors in the center.
Personal, even irreverent in style, Boquet is also theoretically sophisticated, and she draws from an eclectic range of work in academic and popular culture-from Foucault to Attali to Jimi Hendrix. She includes, as well, the voices of writing center tutors with whom she conducted research, and she finds some of her most inspiring moments in the words and work of those tutors.
Classroom-based writing tutoring is a distinct form of writing support, a hybrid instructional method that engages multiple voices and texts within the college classroom. Tutors work on location in the thick of writing instruction and writing activity.
On Location is the first volume to discuss this emerging practice in a methodical way. The essays in this collection integrate theory and practice to highlight the alliances and connections on-location tutoring offers while suggesting strategies for resolving its conflicts. Contributors examine classroom-based tutoring programs located in composition courses as well as in writing intensive courses across the disciplines.
Out in the Center explores the personal struggles of tutors, faculty, and administrators in writing center communities as they negotiate the interplay between public controversies and features of their own intersectional identities. These essays address how race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class, faith, multilingualism, and learning differences, along with their intersections, challenge those who inhabit writing centers and engage in their conversations.
A diverse group of contributors interweaves personal experience with writing center theory and critical race theory, as well as theories on the politics and performance of identity. In doing so, Out in the Center extends upon the writing center corpus to disrupt and reimagine conventional approaches to writing center theory and practice. Out in the Center proposes that practitioners benefit from engaging in dialogue about identity to better navigate writing center work—work that informs the local and carries forth a social and cultural impact that stretches well beyond academic institutions.
Allia Abdullah-Matta, Nancy Alvarez, Hadi Banat, Tammy S. Conard-Salvo, Michele Eodice, Rochell Isaac, Sami Korgan, Ella Leviyeva, Alexandria Lockett, Talisha Haltiwanger Morrison, Anna Rita Napoleone, Beth A. Towle, Elizabeth Weaver, Tim Zmudka
Peripheral Visions for Writing Centers aims to inspire a re-conception and re-envisioning of the boundaries of writing center work. Moving beyond the grand narrative of the writing center—that it is solely a comfortable, yet iconoclastic place where all students go to get one-to-one tutoring on their writing—McKinney shines light on other representations of writing center work.
McKinney argues that this grand narrative neglects the extent to which writing center work is theoretically and pedagogically complex, with ever-changing work and conditions, and results in a straitjacket for writing center scholars, practitioners, students, and outsiders alike. Peripheral Visions for Writing Centers makes the case for a broader narrative of writing center work that recognizes and theorizes the various spaces of writing center labor, allows for professionalization of administrators, and sees tutoring as just one way to perform writing center work.
McKinney explores possibilities that lie outside the grand narrative, allowing scholars and practitioners to open the field to a fuller, richer, and more realistic representation of their material labor and intellectual work.
In Radical Writing Center Praxis Laura Greenfield calls for a paradigm change in writing centers, imagining a field whose very reason for being is to facilitate justice and peace. The book calls on readers to more critically examine power and agency in writing centers and to imagine new possibilities for the field’s theories and practices.
Large, intersecting systems of oppression manifest in the everyday practices of institutions, classrooms, and writing centers. Local practices in turn influence the surrounding world. Radical Writing Center Praxis therefore challenges the writing center field to resist assumptions of political neutrality and instead to redefine itself in terms of more explicit ethical commitments. In this paradigm it is clear that to engage in anti-oppression work is not merely a special interest but rather a vital interest to all.
Introducing the concepts and vocabulary of radical politics, Radical Writing Center Praxis examines the tensions between the field’s professed beliefs and everyday practices and offers a process by which the writing center discipline as a whole might rebuild itself anew. It will be invaluable to writing center directors, tutors, scholars, and students as well as to administrators and compositionists.
In Reformers, Teachers, Writers, Neal Lerner explores the distinction between curriculum and pedagogy in writing studies—and the ways in which failing to attend to that distinction results in the failure of educational reform.
Lerner’s mixed-methods approach—quantitative, qualitative, textual, historical, narrative, and theoretical—reflects the importance and effects of curriculum in a wide variety of settings, whether in writing centers, writing classrooms, or students’ out-of-school lives, as well as the many methodological approaches available to understand curriculum in writing studies. The richness of this approach allows for multiple considerations of the distinction and relationship between pedagogy and curriculum. Chapters are grouped into three parts: disciplinary inquiries, experiential inquiries, and empirical inquiries, exploring the presence and effect of curriculum and its relationship to pedagogy in multiple sites, both historical and contemporary, and for multiple stakeholders.
Reformers, Teachers, Writers calls out writing studies’ inattention to curriculum, which hampers efforts to enact meaningful reform and to have an impact on larger conversations about education and writing. The book will be invaluable to scholars, teachers, and administrators interested in rhetoric and composition, writing studies, and education.
Re/Writing the Center illuminates how core writing center pedagogies and institutional arrangements are complicated by the need to create intentional, targeted support for advanced graduate writers. Most writing center tutors are undergraduates, whose lack of familiarity with the genres, preparatory knowledge, and research processes integral to graduate-level writing can leave them underprepared to assist graduate students. Complicating the issue is that many of the graduate students who take advantage of writing center support are international students.
The essays in this volume show how to navigate the divide between traditional writing center theory and practices, developed to support undergraduate writers, and the growing demand for writing centers to meet the needs of advanced graduate writers. Contributors address core assumptions of writing center pedagogy, such as the concept of peers and peer tutoring, the emphasis on one-to-one tutorials, the positioning of tutors as generalists rather than specialists, and even the notion of the writing center as the primary location or center of the tutoring process. Re/Writing the Center offers an imaginative perspective on the benefits writing centers can offer to graduate students and on the new possibilities for inquiry and practice graduate students can inspire in the writing center.
Contributors: Laura Brady, Michelle Cox, Thomas Deans, Paula Gillespie, Mary Glavan, Marilyn Gray, James Holsinger, Elena Kallestinova, Tika Lamsal, Patrick S. Lawrence, Elizabeth Lenaghan, Michael A. Pemberton, Sherry Wynn Perdue, Doug Phillips, Juliann Reineke, Adam Robinson, Steve Simpson, Nathalie Singh-Corcoran, Ashly Bender Smith, Sarah Summers, Molly Tetreault, Joan Turner, Bronwyn T. Williams, Joanna Wolfe
Deaf students are attending mainstream postsecondary institutions in increasing numbers, raising the stakes for the complicated and multifaceted task of tutoring deaf students at these schools. Common tutoring practices used with hearing students do not necessarily work for deaf people. Rebecca Day Babcock researched and wrote Tell Me How It Reads: Tutoring Deaf and Hearing Students in the Writing Center to supply writing instructors an effective set of methods for teaching Deaf and other students how to be better writers.
Babcock’s book is based on the resulting study of tutoring writing in the college context with both deaf and hearing students and their tutors. She describes in detail sessions between deaf students, hearing tutors, and the interpreters that help them communicate, using a variety of English or contact signing rather than ASL in the tutorials. These experiences illustrate the key differences between deaf-hearing and hearing-hearing tutorials and suggest ways to modify tutoring and tutor-training practices accordingly. Although this study describes methods for tutoring deaf students, its focus on students who learn differently can apply to teaching writing to Learning Disabled students, ESL students, and other students with different learning styles. Ultimately, the well-grounded theory analysis within Tell Me How It Reads provides a complete paradigm for tutoring in all writing centers.
While local conditions remain at the forefront of writing program administration, transnational activities are slowly and thoroughly shifting the questions we ask about writing curricula, the space and place in which writing happens, and the cultural and linguistic issues at the heart of the relationships forged in literacy work. Transnational Writing Program Administration challenges taken-for-granted assumptions regarding program identity, curriculum and pedagogical effectiveness, logistics and quality assurance, faculty and student demographics, innovative partnerships and research, and the infrastructure needed to support writing instruction in higher education.
Well-known scholars and new voices in the field extend the theoretical underpinnings of writing program administration to consider programs, activities, and institutions involving students and faculty from two or more countries working together and highlight the situated practices of such efforts. The collection brings translingual graduate students at the forefront of writing studies together with established administrators, teachers, and researchers and intends to enrich the efforts of WPAs by examining the practices and theories that impact our ability to conceive of writing program administration as transnational.
This collection will enable writing program administrators to take the emerging locations of writing instruction seriously, to address the role of language difference in writing, and to engage critically with the key notions and approaches to writing program administration that reveal its transnationality.
Tutoring Second Language Writers, a complete update of Bruce and Rafoth’s 2009 ESL Writers, is a guide for writing center tutors that addresses the growing need for tutors who are better prepared to work with the increasingly international population of students seeking guidance at the writing center.
Drawing upon philosopher John Dewey’s belief in reflective thinking as a way to help build new knowledge, the book is divided into four parts. Part 1: Actions and Identities is about creating a proactive stance toward language difference, thinking critically about labels, and the mixed feelings students may have about learning English. Part 2: Research Opportunities demonstrates writing center research projects and illustrates methods tutors can use to investigate their questions about writing center work. Part 3: Words and Passages offers four personal stories of inquiry and discovery, and Part 4: Academic Expectations describes some of the challenges tutors face when they try to help writers meet readers’ specific expectations.
Advancing the conversations tutors have with one another and their directors about tutoring second language writers and writing, Tutoring Second Language Writers engages readers with current ideas and issues that highlight the excitement and challenge of working with those who speak English as a second or additional language.
Contributors include Jocelyn Amevuvor, Rebecca Day Babcock, Valerie M. Balester, Shanti Bruce, Frankie Condon, Michelle Cox, Jennifer Craig, Kevin Dvorak, Paula Gillespie, Glenn Hutchinson, Pei-Hsun Emma Liu, Bobbi Olson, Pimyupa W. Praphan, Ben Rafoth, Jose L. Reyes Medina, Guiboke Seong, and Elizabeth (Adelay) Witherite.
Weathering the Storm assesses the socioeconomic and political conditions that have surrounded the rise of independent writing programs (IWPs) and departments. Chapter contributors look at the institutional conditions and challenges that IWPs have faced since the 1980s with a focus on enduring the financial collapse of 2008.
Leading writing specialists at the University of Texas at Austin, Syracuse University, the University of Minnesota, and many other institutions document and think carefully about the on-the-ground obstacles that have made the creation of IWPs unique. From institutional naysayers in English departments to skeptical administrators, IWPs and the faculty within them have surmounted not only negative economics but also negative rhetorics. This collection charts the story of this journey as writing faculty continually make the case for the importance of writing in the university curriculum.
Independence has, for the most part, allowed IWPs to better respond to the Great Recession, but to do so they have had to define writing studies in relation to other disciplines and departments. Weathering the Storm will be of great interest to faculty and graduate students in rhetoric and composition, writing program administrators, and writing studies and English department faculty.
Contributors: Linda Adler-Kassner, Lois Agnew, Alice Batt, David Beard, Davida Charney, Amy Clements, Diane Davis, Frank Gaughan, Heidi Skurat Harris, George H. Jensen, Rodger LeGrand, Drew M. Loewe, Mark Garrett Longaker, Cindy Moore, Peggy O’Neill, Chongwon Park, Louise Wetherbee Phelps, Mary Rist, Valerie Ross, John J Ruszkiewicz, Eileen E. Schell, Madeleine Sorapure, Chris Thaiss, Patrick Wehner, Jamie White-Farnham, Carl Whithaus, Traci A. Zimmerman
Greg Giberson and Tom Moriarty have collected a rich volume that offers a state-of-the-field look at the question of the undergraduate writing major, a vital issue for compositionists as the discipline continues to evolve. What We Are Becoming provides an indispensable resource for departments and WPAs who are building undergraduate majors.
Contributors to the volume address a range of vital questions for undergraduate programs, including such issues as the competition for majors within departments, the job market for undergraduates, varying focuses and curricula of such majors, and the formation of them in departments separate from English. Other chapters discuss the importance of flexibility, consider arguments for a rhetorical or civic discourse core for the writing major, address the relationship between rhetoric and composition majors, and review the role of multiliteracies in the major.
The field of composition has not come to a consensus on the shape, content, or focus of the undergradutate major. But as individual programs develop and refine their curricula, one thing has become clear: we must think about them in ways that go beyond our particular circumstances, theorize them in ways that secure their place on our campuses and in our discipline for years to come. What We Are Becoming is an effort to do just that.
Wiring The Writing Center
Eric Hobson Utah State University Press, 1998 Library of Congress PE1404.W56 1998 | Dewey Decimal 808.0420285
Published in 1998, Wiring the Writing Center was one of the first few books to address the theory and application of electronics in the college writing center. Many of the contributors explore particular features of their own "wired" centers, discussing theoretical foundations, pragmatic choices, and practical strengths. Others review a range of centers for the approaches they represent. A strong annotated bibliography of signal work in the area is also included.
The first book-length empirical investigation of writing center directors’ labor, The Working Lives of New Writing Center Directors presents a longitudinal qualitative study of the individual professional lives of nine new directors. Inspired by Kinkead and Harris’s Writing Centers in Context (1993), the authors adopt a case study approach to examine the labor these directors performed and the varied motivations for their labor, as well as the labor they ignored, deferred, or sidelined temporarily, whether or not they wanted to.
The study shows directors engaged in various types of labor—everyday, disciplinary, and emotional—and reveals that labor is never restricted to a list of job responsibilities, although those play a role. Instead, labor is motivated and shaped by complex and unique combinations of requirements, expectations, values, perceived strengths, interests and desires, identities, and knowledge. The cases collectively distill how different institutions define writing and appropriate resources to writing instruction and support, informing the ongoing wider cultural debates about skills (writing and otherwise), the preparation of educators, the renewal/tenuring of educators, and administrative “bloat” in academe.
The nine new directors discuss more than just their labor; they address their motivations, their sense of self, and their own thoughts about the work they do, facets of writing center director labor that other types of research or scholarship have up to now left invisible. The Working Lives of New Writing Center Directors strikes a new path in scholarship on writing center administration and is essential reading for present and future writing center administrators and those who mentor them.
Working with Faculty Writers
Anne Ellen Geller and Michele Eodice Utah State University Press, 2013 Library of Congress P301.5.A27W67 2013 | Dewey Decimal 808.04720711
The imperative to write and to publish is a relatively new development in the history of academia, yet it is now a significant factor in the culture of higher education. Working with Faculty Writers takes a broad view of faculty writing support, advocating its value for tenure-track professors, adjuncts, senior scholars, and graduate students. The authors in this volume imagine productive campus writing support for faculty and future faculty that allows for new insights about their own disciplinary writing and writing processes, as well as the development of fresh ideas about student writing.
Contributors from a variety of institution types and perspectives consider who faculty writers are and who they may be in the future, reveal the range of locations and models of support for faculty writers, explore the ways these might be delivered and assessed, and consider the theoretical, philosophical, political, and pedagogical approaches to faculty writing support, as well as its relationship to student writing support.
With the pressure on faculty to be productive researchers and writers greater than ever, this is a must-read volume for administrators, faculty, and others involved in developing and assessing models of faculty writing support.
WPAs in Transition shares a wide variety of professional and personal perspectives about the costs, benefits, struggles, and triumphs experienced by writing program administrators making transitions into and out of leadership positions. Contributors to the volume come from various positions, as writing center directors, assistant writing program administrators, and WPAs; mixed settings, including community colleges, small liberal arts colleges, and research institutions; and a range of career stages, from early to retiring. They recount insightful anecdotes and provide a scholarly context in which WPAs can share experiences related to this long-ignored aspect of their work.
During such transitions, WPAs and other leaders who function as both administrators and faculty face the professional and personal challenges of redefining who they are, the work they do, and with whom they collaborate. WPAs in Transition creates a grounded and nuanced experiential understanding of what it means to navigate changing roles, advancing the dialogue around WPAs’ and other administrators’ identities, career paths, work-life balance, and location, and is a meaningful addition to the broader literature on administration and leadership.
Contributors: Mark Blaauw-Hara, Christopher Blankenship, Jennifer Riley Campbell, Nicole I. Caswell, Richard Colby, Steven J. Corbett, Beth Daniell, Laura J. Davies, Jaquelyn Davis, Holland Enke, Letizia Guglielmo, Beth Huber, Karen Keaton Jackson, Rebecca Jackson, Tereza Joy Kramer, Jackie Grutsch McKinney, Kerri K. Morris, Liliana M. Naydan, Reyna Olegario, Kate Pantelides, Talinn Phillips, Andrea Scott, Paul Shovlin, Bradley Smith, Cheri Lemieux Spiegel, Sarah Stanley, Amy Rupiper Taggart, Molly Tetreault, Megan L. Titus, Chris Warnick
Noting a lack of sustained and productive dialogue about race in university writing center scholarship, the editors of this volume have created a rich resource for writing center tutors, administrators, and scholars. Motivated by a scholarly interest in race and whiteness studies, and by an ethical commitment to anti-racism work, contributors address a series of related questions: How does institutionalized racism in American education shape the culture of literacy and language education in the writing center? How does racism operate in the discourses of writing center scholarship/lore, and how may writing centers be unwittingly complicit in racist practices? How can they meaningfully operationalize anti-racist work? How do they persevere through the difficulty and messiness of negotiating race and racism in their daily practice? The conscientious, nuanced attention to race in this volume is meant to model what it means to be bold in engagement with these hard questions and to spur the kind of sustained, productive, multi-vocal, and challenging dialogue that, with a few significant exceptions, has been absent from the field.
The writing major is among the most exciting scenes in the evolving American university. Writing Majors is a collection of firsthand descriptions of the origins, growth, and transformations of eighteen different programs. The chapters provide useful administrative insight, benchmark information, and even inspiration for new curricular configurations from a range of institutions.
A practical sourcebook for those who are building, revising, or administering their own writing majors , this volume also serves as a historical archive of a particular instance of growth and transformation in American higher education. Revealing bureaucratic, practical, and institutional matters as well as academic ideals and ideologies, each profile includes sections providing a detailed program review and rationale, an implementation narrative, and reflection and prospection about the program.
Documenting eighteen stories of writing major programs in various stages of formation, preservation, and reform and exposing the contingencies of their local and material constitution, Writing Majors speaks as much to the “how to” of building writing major programs as to the larger “what,” “why,” and “how” of institutional growth and change.
Writing Program Architecture offers an unprecedented abundance of information concerning the significant material, logistical, and rhetorical features of writing programs. Presenting the realities of thirty diverse and award-winning programs, contributors to the volume describe reporting lines, funding sources, jurisdictions, curricula, and other critical programmatic matters and provide insight into their program histories, politics, and philosophies.
Each chapter opens with a program snapshot that includes summary demographic and historical information and then addresses the profile of the WPA, program conception, population served, funding, assessment, technology, curriculum, and more. The architecture of the book itself makes comparison across programs and contexts easy, not only among the programs described in each chapter but also between the program in any given chapter and the reader’s own program. An online web companion to the book includes access to the primary documents that have been of major importance to the development or sustainability of the program, described in a “Primary Document” section of each chapter.
The metaphor of architecture allows us to imagine the constituent parts of a writing program as its foundation, beams, posts, scaffolding—the institutional structures that, alongside its people, anchor a program to the ground and keep it standing. The most extensive resource on program structure available to the field, Writing Program Architecture illuminates structural choices made by leaders of exemplary programs around the United States and provides an authoritative source of standard practice that a WPA might use to articulate programmatic choices to higher administration.
Contributors: Susan Naomi Bernstein, Remica Bingham-Risher, Brent Chappelow, Malkiel Choseed, Angela Clark-Oates, Patrick Clauss, Emily W. Cosgrove, Thomas Deans, Bridget Draxler, Leigh Ann Dunning, Greg A. Giberson, Maggie Griffin Taylor, Paula Harrington, Sandra Jamieson, Marshall Kitchens, Michael Knievel, Amy Lannin, Christopher LeCluyse, Sarah Liggett, Deborah Marrott, Mark McBeth, Tim McCormack, John McCormick, Heather McGrew, Heather McKay, Heidi A. McKee, Julianne Newmark, Lori Ostergaard, Joannah Portman-Daley, Jacqueline Preston, James P. Purdy, Ben Rafoth, Dara Regaignon, Nedra Reynolds, Shirley Rose, Bonnie Selting, Stacey Sheriff, Steve Simpson, Patricia Sullivan, Kathleen Tonry, Sanford Tweedie, Meg Van Baalen-Wood, Shevaun Watson, Christy I. Wenger, Lisa Wilkinson, Candace Zepeda