Working Towards the Trifecta: A WLN Special Issue on Wellness and Self-Care

Genie Giaimo, Ph.D., is the current Director of The Ohio State University Writing Center. Before her arrival to OSU, she was Assistant Professor of English and Director of the Writing Centers at Bristol Community College. Her research applies RAD-based methodologies to large-scale and often systemic issues within writing center administration, such as perceptions of the writing center in open access institutions, or the impact of ordinary and extraordinary stress on writing center workers. She has published articles in peer reviewed journals such as Language and Literature, Literature and Medicine, European Journal of Life Writing and Praxis: A Writing Center Journal. She is also the special editor of the WLN issue on Wellness and Self-Care. In the time that she doesn’t manage a staff of 52+ graduate and undergraduate consultants, she practices yoga and volunteers at Colony Cats—a volunteer-run organization dedicated to trap and release, as well as the treatment and adoption of stray and surrendered cats, in Columbus, OH. 

WLN blog: Why is this an important issue?
Giaimo: Writing Centers are not just spaces where writing occurs, or where education occurs; they are also spaces where emotionally charged exchanges happen and where burnout can occur among workers.

WLN: A Journal of Writing Center Scholarship

WLN blog: Who are the writing centre people writing on wellness and self-care?
Giaimo: Right now there are very few published pieces on this very broad topic. Degner, Wojciehowski, and Giroux’s piece “Opening Closed Doors: A Rationale For Creating a Safe Space for Tutors Struggling with Mental Health Concerns or Illness” (Praxis 2015) is perhaps one of the most cited; however, Mack and Hupp’s recent article (2017) on mindfulness in a community college writing center—also published in Praxis—is another that is unique in its own right. In the larger field of composition, Paula Mathieu studies writing activism and mindfulness and contemplative practice to bring about social justice. Research on the emotional aspects of tutoring and writing center labor have also been studied. There’s a great MA thesis by Christina Rowell on this topic, as well as Alison Perry’s “Training for Triggers: Helping Writing Center Consultants Navigate Emotional Sessions.” So, while it is an emergent field, in writing centers studies, there are certainly a lot of folks interested in the topic and conducting research on it. Also, the 2018 East Central Writing Center Association’s conference—hosted by The Ohio State University—focused on wellness, self-care and labor in writing center work.

WLN blog: Do you see an increased need self-care and wellness in students?
Giaimo: It’s hard to say, I think, anecdotally, that the recent Presidential election and the attendant uncertainty surrounding DACA, and other policies set in-place to protect vulnerable populations among us (such as persons of color, LGBTQ+, graduate students, among many many others) certainly has had an effect on the experiences and emotions of a number of students on campus. However, statistically speaking, Degner et al.’s piece noted the increase of mental health concerns, self-diagnosed or professionally diagnosed, among student populations entering college. So, yes, I think self-care and wellness is something that a number of universities are interested in fostering for their students and that student populations (as well as those outside universities) could benefit from being supported in this work. Continue reading “Working Towards the Trifecta: A WLN Special Issue on Wellness and Self-Care”

CfP || WLN Special Issue: Wellness and Self-Care in Writing Center Work, with Dr. Genie N. Giaimo

Read Dr. Giaimo’s post on this special issue.

WLN: A Journal of Writing Center Scholarship

In coordination with the 2018 ECWCA conference theme on occupational hazards: writing center labor, self-care and reflection, we welcome submissions that explore the multi-faceted ways in which writing center labor demands, deserves and enacts wellness and self-care practices. To date, research on tutor well-being—a perennial concern for writing center administrators—is relatively under-explored in writing center scholarship. While mindfulness in the writing center has been the topic of a number of presentations at regional and national writing center conferences (and a popular discussion thread on a recent Wcenter listserv email), there is relatively little published material on this topic (Mack and Hupp; Dueck). Similarly, Degner et al.’s 2015 article “Opening Closed Doors: A Rationale For Creating a Safe Space for Tutors Struggling with Mental Health Concerns or Illness” calls for more explicit training on self-care and tutor mental health after uncovering that 65% of survey respondents identified the lack of discussion on these subjects in their writing centers’ trainings.

Wellness and self-care, then, while popular topics both in writing center academic conversations, as well as in popular culture, are poised to become a mainstay of tutor preparation and training. Similarly, this topic is becoming monetized through for-pay productivity workshops and trainings. What, then, does the academic writing center community have to say on these subjects? How do we currently integrate wellness and self-care into our practices? How might we want to incorporate these practices into our centers? And what does our desire to do so say about the labor that we preform? We encourage contributors to consider, as starting points, current and local iterations of wellness and self-care trainings in writing centers, as well as potential best practices for developing these kinds of programming for our tutors, our administrators, and our clients. Continue reading “CfP || WLN Special Issue: Wellness and Self-Care in Writing Center Work, with Dr. Genie N. Giaimo”

加入写作中心在中国起步的浪潮 (宋凌珊) (Part 2 of 5, Writing Centers in China)

宋凌珊是密西西比学院写作中心的副主任。她也教授写作课与学生辅导的训练课程。凌珊的研究领域包括写作中心理论与实践、ESL辅导、文化研究与国际合作。她目前的研究项目致力于写作中心在中国的推广与建立。凌珊还同时兼任美国东南部写作中心协会的外事协调员、写作中心基督徒协会的TESOL代表、密西西比写作中心协会秘书、以及2018中国高校英文写作中心国际学术研讨会策划委员会成员。

[Joining the Momentum of Writing Center Establishment in China]

写作中心在美国的学术界已经有长远的历史并具有规模,然而在中国情况却有所不同。在中国的高校中,“写作中心”是过去十余年才开始引进的概念。在过去12年,从2006-2017年,有一小撮中国高校走在了建立写作中心的前沿,开始提供针对于英文写作的辅导。2017年6月9-11日,位于中国苏州的一所中英合办大学­­—西安交通利物浦大学举办了有史以来第一次的中国写作中心会议,这对于在中国的写作中心具有里程碑意义。

宋凌珊

写作中心在中国的建立进程是令人振奋的,可是迄今为止还没有学术研究专门针对中国现有的写作中心,也未开始探讨这些写作中心能够建立起来的关键促成因素。换言之,这些写作中心是如何开始的?关键因素有哪些?2017年9月-11月我开始了一项初始研究,致力于研究在中国内地现有的写作中心:这些写作中心存在哪些共性?考虑了哪些国情和本土因素?这些共性是否可以为将来其他写作中心的建立提供可参照的模型?

尽管每个写作中心有自己的特色,但我发现过去十年中美高校之间合作的蓬勃开展给写作中心在中国的建立提供了历史性的契机。“全球化”、“使中国高等教育与世界接轨”的概念深入人心,敦促中国高校与海外的大学开展两种形式的合作:1)与海外的大学合作成立交换学生项目;2)鼓励教师出国到合作院校访学。

例如,中国第一个写作中心(成立于2006年)就是得益于西安外国语大学与位于美国俄亥俄州的鲍林格林州立大学之间一个长期合作的交换项目。在西安外国语大学教授吴丹的一篇文章中,她介绍了中国第一所写作中心的建立并且强调说“西安外国语大学写作中心是借鉴了鲍林格林州立大学写作中心的模型,但是拥有自身的特色”(139)。另外,根据吴丹教授的研究,“这种模型【借鉴美国写作中心但是针对中国国情和地方特色作出调整】已经开始在全国的范围内被采纳。”北京师范大学珠海分校写作中心也借鉴了同样的模型。这个于2016年9月建立的写作中心就借鉴了几所海外大学的经验,包括波斯顿学院。 Continue reading “加入写作中心在中国起步的浪潮 (宋凌珊) (Part 2 of 5, Writing Centers in China)”

Joining the Momentum of Writing Center Establishment in China (Part 2 of 5, Writing Centers in China)

Lingshan Song is the Assistant Director of the Writing Center at Mississippi College (MC). She also teaches freshmen composition courses and the tutor training course at MC. Her research interests include writing center theory and practice, ESL tutoring, cultural studies, and international collaboration. Her ongoing research projects involve advocating for writing centers in China and supporting writing center establishment there. Lingshan also serves as Outreach Coordinator on the Southeastern Writing Center Association (SWCA) board, TESOL Representative for the Association of Christians in Writing Centers (ACWC), Secretary of Mississippi Writing Centers Association, and Member for the International Symposium of English Writing Center in Chinese Universities planning committee.

[加入写作中心在中国起步的浪潮]

While writing centers have a long history in American academia and are well established in the U.S., in the past decade, writing centers have just started revealing their values to higher education institutions in China. In the past twelve years, from 2006-2017, a batch of Chinese higher institutions have started writing centers to provide tutoring for English writing. Another important step in writing center development was the inaugural conference of Writing Center Association of China, held from June 9-11, 2017 in the Sino-British university, Xi’an Jiaotong Liverpool University, located in Suzhou, China.

Lingshan Song

With the exciting progress of building writing centers in China, there is yet to be a study about existing writing centers in China and their contributing elements commonly observed. In other words, how did these writing centers get started? What elements are essential to their establishment? I conducted preliminary research from September to November 2017, aiming to investigate existing writing centers in mainland China and discover commonalities among them and explore possible models for future writing center establishments in China, considering local adaptations.

Despite local adaptations, I found that as international partnerships prosper between U.S. universities and Chinese universities in the past decade, it has created a historical timing for writing center establishment in China. The “globalization” concept, bringing China’s education more in line with international practice, urges Chinese higher institutions to form international partnerships with oversea universities in two forms: 1) by developing exchange student programs with partner universities; 2) sending faculty to partner universities as visiting scholars. Continue reading “Joining the Momentum of Writing Center Establishment in China (Part 2 of 5, Writing Centers in China)”

Call for proposals || 2018 Canadian Writing Centres Association Call for Proposals >> due Monday, January 15, 2018

The CWCA/ACCR conference committee invites you to submit proposals for our 2018 conference.

 

Submit your proposals by 11:59pm (EST), Monday, January 15, 2018.
Please note that this is a firm deadline, and will not be extended.

All submissions are to be made online.


Conference details:

Where: University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon

When: May 24-25, 2018

Keynote: Dr. Sheelah McLean

Plenary: Jack Saddleback

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

In Canada, a recent focus on reconciliation and Indigenization are revitalizing conversations around anti-oppression pedagogy (Kumashiro, 2000), a series of approaches which focus on how traditional educational systems and practices reinforce existing hierarchies and contribute to the disenfranchisement of marginalized students. Nationally and internationally, post-secondary institutions are seeing students affected by the rising tide of extremist right-wing politics and dubious news sources, calling for renewed attention to social justice and literacy-building.

An International Writing Centres Association (IWCA) position statement states that writing centres are particularly well positioned to “uphold students’ rights, as we work in the everyday-ness of literacy” (as cited in Godbee & Olson, 2014). As Nancy Grimm (2009) said in her IWCA keynote, “Although some might claim that the work of a writing center is ‘just’ to teach writing, the teaching of writing is never a neutral endeavor; it is never devoid of political motivations or outcomes.”

At the 2018 CWCA conference, we invite you to join us to exchange knowledge, share challenges, and ask questions about the ways our teaching and tutoring can and should engage in anti-oppressive educational practices.

Keynote speaker Dr. Sheelah McLean — a founder of the Idle No More movement and recipient of the Carol Gellar Human Rights Award (2013) — will discuss anti-racist, anti-oppressive educational practices. Closing plenary speaker Jack Saddleback will discuss the topic of resilience, drawing on his personal experiences with mental health activism, student politics, and gender and sexual diversity. Continue reading “Call for proposals || 2018 Canadian Writing Centres Association Call for Proposals >> due Monday, January 15, 2018”

Call for Proposals: Special Issue of WLN  

Submitted by Susan DeRosa and Stephen Ferruci, Associate Professors of English Eastern CT State University

Susan DeRosa and Stephen Ferruci are Associate Professors of English at Eastern Connecticut State University. They co-authored the textbook, Choices Writers Make: A Guide (Pearson, 2011), and they have collaborated lately on scholarly articles and conference papers on multimodal writing in the writing center and writing classroom. Their research laid the groundwork for the creation of Eastern’s Writing Center in 2008.

Title: Multimodal Writing in the Writing Center: Relationships, Roles, and Responsibilities

Students are increasingly composing and designing multimodal texts that combine sound, visual, performative, and textual components. Takayoshi and Selfe (2007) argue that students need to be versed in both critically reading and producing multimodal texts “if they hope to communicate successfully within the digital communication networks that characterize workplaces, schools, civic life, and span traditional cultural, national, and geopolitical borders” (3). As writers produce multimodal texts to respond to different rhetorical situations and assignments, writing centers need to find ways to work with students and the texts they design. While writing centers may have experience helping writers who include visual elements in their texts, (photos, graphs, charts, etc.), they may be less familiar with other modes with which writers choose to compose. Recent scholarship suggests a focus on these changing roles and the relationships between writing centers and writing classrooms as we engage with multimodal composers and their choices.

Continue reading “Call for Proposals: Special Issue of WLN  “

CFP: Special Issue of WLN–What We Believe and Why: Educating Writing Tutors

Guest editors Karen Johnson and Ted Roggenbuck share their call for proposals, below.

Key to our success in the important work of writing centers is our effectiveness in providing tutor education. Our field has over three decades of scholarship on how to educate writing tutors in a multitude of settings, but the wealth and variety of resources can create challenges for those seeking guidance. However, that we also have a number of excellent and popular (though not universally used) resources such as The Bedford Guide for Writing Tutors, The Longman Guide to Peer Tutoring, and The Oxford Guide for Writing Tutors does suggest at least some consistency in how we educate tutors. But to what degree do we share core beliefs about tutor education, how do we know what aspects of our programs to prepare writing tutors are most effective, and to what areas are we not paying adequate attention? Moreover, what are effective contexts for educating tutors? Although credit-bearing courses appear to be ideal contexts for tutor education, what particular aspects of a course make it effective? And for directors who are unable to offer a course or even paid time for educating tutors, how can they effectively prepare tutors for the different rhetorical situations and writers they will encounter?

Continue reading “CFP: Special Issue of WLN–What We Believe and Why: Educating Writing Tutors”

“Transfer of Learning in the Writing Center” CFP: Special Issue of WLN

Guest Editors: Dana Lynn Driscoll (Indiana University of Pennsylvania) and Bonnie Devet (College of Charleston)

A vital topic in higher education is transfer of learning, or what is generally known as students’ ability to adapt, apply, or remix prior knowledge and skills in new contexts, including educational, civic, personal, and professional.  As recent writing center scholarship attests, transfer of learning is of key importance to the work we do in writing centers, both with our work with clients but also with our tutors themselves.

Screen Shot 2016-07-26 at 10.39.05 AM

For this special issue of the WLN, we encourage contributors to consider, as starting points, some of the following questions related to transfer and centers:

  • How might transfer be defined and considered in a writing center context?
  • How does transfer help characterize the development of consultants, both novice and expert?
  • How do consultants transfer knowledge between settings?
  • What strategies can consultants use to support and encourage clients’ transfer of prior knowledge and skills during sessions?
  • How do clients use the writing center to transfer writing knowledge between courses?
  • What role do dispositions play in transfer in a writing center context?
  • What can writing center directors do to help prepare tutors to better support transfer?
  • How can transfer of learning be a primary mission for writing centers?

Continue reading ““Transfer of Learning in the Writing Center” CFP: Special Issue of WLN”

“Reading in the Writing Center” CFP: Special Issue of WLN

carillo_e-150x150Guest editor Ellen C. Carillo is an Associate Professor of English at the University of Connecticut and the Writing Program Coordinator at its Waterbury Campus. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in composition and literature, and is the author of Securing a Place for Reading in Composition: The Importance of Teaching for Transfer (Utah State UP, 2015). Her scholarship has been published in WLN; Rhetoric Review; Pedagogy: Critical Approaches to Teaching Literature, Language, Composition, and Culture; Reader: Essays in Reader-Oriented Theory, Criticism, and Pedagogy; Feminist Teacher; Currents in Teaching and Learning; and in several edited collections. Ellen is co-founder of the Role of Reading in Composition Studies Special Interest Group of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC) and has presented her scholarship at many conferences including IWCA, CCCC, and MLA. She was recently awarded a research grant from CWPA for a project on transfer in writing centers.

Prior to a 2012 change in the Conference on College Composition and Communication’s (CCCC) call for proposals, Mariolina Salvatori and Patricia Donahue found that it had been almost two decades since composition’s professional organization encouraged panels and presentations on reading at their annual convention. Despite the long silence surrounding reading in composition, in the last five years or so many compositionists have returned to crucial questions related to reading, writing’s counterpart in the construction of meaning. For example, compositionists have been conducting studies that explore how instructors attend to reading in first-year writing courses (Bunn) and how focusing on reading early in students’ academic careers can affect their success in their majors (Lockhart and Soliday). Others seek to expose the false print-digital binary that overemphasizes the differences between print-based and digital reading (Horning; Morris).

Because writing centers are rich interdisciplinary sites that challenge both physical and conceptual boundaries among disciplines and between novices and experts, writing center studies is positioned to expand current discussions about reading. Writing center professionals’ perspectives have the potential to enrich these theoretical discussions, and their work on the ground has the potential to support more comprehensive literacy tutoring. Still, writing center studies has yet to join the conversation.

Continue reading ““Reading in the Writing Center” CFP: Special Issue of WLN”

CFP: Special Issue of WLN- The Affective Dimension of Writing Center Work

Guest editors: Kathy Evertz and Renata Fitzgerald for The WLN Journal

During any given conference, writing center consultants and writers may experience feelings that range from joy and satisfaction to anger and frustration, any of which can foster or impede a writer’s development or performance.  Yet in a literature rich with examinations of the cognitive, pedagogical, political, and ethical dimensions of interacting with writers, the affective dimension of writing centers often goes unaddressed or is deemed secondary to other concerns.  We invite writing center workers to help spark a conversation that foregrounds how emotions, motivations, values, and attitudes can influence what does or does not happen in writing conferences, both for those who visit and those who staff our centers.

WLNResearch shows that positive mood enhances feelings of self-efficacy, while negativity can be corrosive (Tillema, et al.).  One way the affective dimension can overwhelm the cognitive in writing centers is when a writer is uncomfortable with the demands of academic discourse. Ivanic explains, “Students often face a crisis of identity, feeling that they have to become a different sort of person in order to participate in these context-specific and culture-specific knowledge-making practices of academic institutions” (344). Challenges to writers’ and/or consultants’ identities can lead to feelings of anxiety and vulnerability.

We encourage contributors to consider, as starting points, moments when the emotional can overwhelm the cognitive in a writing conference; whether disregarding a writer’s and/or one’s values, motivations, and attitudes impedes or enhances a writer’s growth; whether consultants should strive to balance the affective and cognitive; and what is gained or lost by addressing the affective dimension in writing conferences.

Continue reading “CFP: Special Issue of WLN- The Affective Dimension of Writing Center Work”

CFP: Second Conference on Latin American Writing Centers and Programs

October 28th and 29th of 2015-Universidad de los Andes-Bogotá, Colombia

A student ́s admission to a university represents an immersion into a context filled with new objectives, goals, rules, and methods. As part of this process, it is fundamental to be able to understand the ideas of others as well as be able to transmit one ́s own. This allows students to actively engage in an academic community through an intellectual discussion that is based on specific criteria. In this scenario, writing becomes a privileged tool in order to learn and evidence the central comprehensions in every academic discipline. Thus, the role of writing centers and programs is focused on assisting the communicative processes of the university community, so that its members can effectively participate in academic life. Within this purpose, the support that can be provided in order to aid student retention at the college level is essential.

With the intention of generating a space that fosters sharing and discussion with respect to the role of writing in the academic development of university students, the Latin American Network of Writing Centers and Programs (Red Latinoamericana de Centros y Programas de Escritura) invites all involved in this type of initiatives at the college level to participate in its second conference, which will take place October 28th and 29th at Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia. In particular, we are interested in discussing retention strategies that arise from writing centers and programs. Thus, we seek proposals directly related to this issue or to the following topics:

Continue reading “CFP: Second Conference on Latin American Writing Centers and Programs”

“Religion in the Writing Center”–CFP

May/June 2016 Special Issue of WLN: A Journal of Writing Center Scholarship: “Religion in the Writing Center”

Proposals will be accepted though May 30, 2015.
Invitations to submit full articles will be issued by July 1, 2015.
Manuscripts will be due on December 31, 2015.

Guest editor: Lisa Zimmerelli, Assistant Professor of Writing and Writing Center Director, Loyola University Maryland

Religion in the Writing Center, May/June 2016 Special Issue

2789691676_39bb997f54_oAlthough a robust conversation around race, class, gender, and sexual identity has emerged within writing center studies, religion as a category of identity remains under-theorized in our field, perhaps because of its characterization as intimate, personal, and almost irreproachably private. Harry Denny’s consideration of the “politics attendant” to sex and gender in Facing the Center draws attention to the way in which “private” aspects of identity are performed in social contexts and how they shape and are shaped by political discourse.

Likewise, within composition studies, the obfuscation of religious belief in the academy has been noted. According to Anne Gere “because discussions of religion have been essentially off-limits in higher education, we have failed to develop sophisticated and nuanced theoretical discourses to articulate spirituality” (Brandt et al. 46). Elizabeth Vander Lei and bonnie kyburz’s Negotiating Religious Faith in the Composition Classroom represents an important move towards developing such a language around religion and writing. However, as Vander Lei and Lauren Fitzgerald observe in “What in God’s Name? Administering the Conflicts of Religious Belief in Writing Programs,” this scholarship has a rather limited focus on the role of religious belief on the composing practices of students. Vander Lei and Fitzgerald challenge “WPAs, as campus leaders with a vested interest in writing and public discourse…to work with students, instructors, and administrators to develop practices that address religious belief ethically and effectively” (185).

Continue reading ““Religion in the Writing Center”–CFP”

CFP: CCCC Workshop on Research About Writing in Higher Education Outside the US

We are inviting brief proposals for up to twenty-four researcher-participant roles in a U.S. College Conference on Composition and Communication (CCCC) workshop focused on research about writing in higher education outside of the U.S.

We know that researchers around the world are interested in finding sites, physical and figurative, for serious cross-national conversation that includes multiple research traditions.

For the eighth year, we are planning to propose a workshop that (if accepted) will take place at the annual CCCC conference. The conference next year is in Tampa, Florida, US, from March 18-21, 2015.

The workshop is tentatively titled Deep Rewards and Serious Risks in International Higher Education Writing Research: Comfort Zones and Contact Zones.

This workshop, along with the exchanges we have before meeting at the conference, is designed to make space available at the CCCC conference for extended time to read, process, think through, and discuss in detail each other’s work. We have learned, through seven previous workshops and other international exchanges, that we all need this kind of time for real exchange, given that we come from different linguistic, institutional, political, geographic, theoretical and pedagogical places.

We want to engage researcher-participants from many countries and research traditions in an equal exchange dialogue, learning from each other: the primary focus is on the writing research itself.

The research can be focused on teaching or studying writing in any language. We are willing to help with translation of a text into English as needed, if the paper is accepted for the workshop.

The brief proposal should describe a research project you would be interested in sharing with other facilitators and participants. It can be completed or in process. By research, we mean a project with a focused research question, an identified methodology (qualitative, quantitative, ethnographic, historical, discourse analysis, etc), and the collection of data in some form.

The project should be “international” for a U.S. audience, by which we mean (*only* for the purposes of this U.S. call!!) carried out by either scholars in countries other than the U.S. or scholars collaborating deeply across borders, including U.S. borders, in any language. Your role in the workshop would be to provide a draft text about the research by the end of December 2014, to read the other facilitators’ texts before attending the CCCC conference, and to participate in the day-long workshop by leading a discussion about your project and participating in discussions of a subset of others’ projects.

View the 2014 Workshop Proposal to get an idea of what the overall proposal will look like. We’ve included the titles from last year’s workshop to give you an idea of the kinds of work we’ve exchanged in past sessions. We will send out a draft of the 2015 overall proposal when you send in your project description. You will be welcome to suggest changes to the overall proposal at that point. You may notice that the proposal is written with a U.S. readership in mind–this is because the proposal review committee is comprised primarily of U.S. scholars. We seek to convince this audience that many CCCC attendees have much to learn from writing research in traditions other than the ones they find most familiar–that writing research needs multiple perspectives from multiple contexts and traditions. We also know how critical it is for all scholars to be directly engaged with projects and research models from multiple research traditions.

Please submit your proposal by April 25th. The International Workshop Proposal Template includes the questions you will need to answer as you prepare your proposal. This proposal can be quite informal (it serves to help us determine appropriate projects, and only the title will appear in the program), so please feel free to send something along.

We strongly encourage you to submit a proposal to the CCCC as individual presenters, as well. The CCCC format does allow individuals to present at both a workshop and a concurrent session (it does not allow individuals to present at more than one concurrent session).

Thank you! Please write with any questions at all.

Cinthia Gannett and Tiane (Christiane) Donahue

Call for Participation – Global Writing Centers Course

Colleagues,

I am teaching a graduate/advanced undergraduate course at DePaul University (Chicago) beginning in late March that will focus on writing centers and writing programs WORLDWIDE.  As one of our projects, I’d like my students, who are themselves writing tutors in our writing center here at DePaul, to forge connections with others doing similar work (working with students and their writing, working within WID programs of any variety—in English and in the home languages) to exchange ideas about approaches, practices, challenges, and issues.   This communication/collaboration/participation would be done on an informal basis, using asynchronous or synchronous conferencing (email, Skype, etc.).

Right now, course planning is a work-in-progress.  If any of you are interested, I would love to hear from you.

Darsie Bowden
dbowden@depaul.edu

 

CFP: Sixth Symposium on Writing Centers in Asia

The Sixth Symposium on Writing Centers in Asia will be held on Saturday,
March 8, 2014, in Tokyo, Japan. It will be hosted this year by J.F.
Oberlin University in conjunction with the Writing Centers Association
of Japan.

Proposals are sought in all areas of research and practice related to
writing centers as well as the teaching and learning of writing. Both
research- and practice-based presentations are welcome. The submission
deadline is February 3, 2014.

For more information, visit the conference site.

CFP: Symposium Supporting English Writing Competencies, March 27-28, 2014 (Lueneburg, Germany)

The one and a half day symposium “Supporting English Writing Competencies: The Role of Writing Centers in Second Language Learning” at Leuphana University, Lüneburg, March 27-28, 2014, focuses on different organizational structures for L2 writing support within European universities and provides the opportunity for professionals to exchange L2, and particularly English composition teaching practices.
 
We will provide a forum for writing center personnel (professional staff and students tutors/consultants), lecturers and faculty in foreign language departments, lecturers and faculty who teach in English or other languages in an L2 context, non-university affiliated second language specialists, university administrators and staff, and those interested starting a writing center. We particularly invite colleagues who address writing competencies in L2 contexts other than English.
There are two ways to present your work at the symposium:
 
1. Poster Session
We welcome 250-300-word poster proposals for an interactive poster and networking session on Friday afternoon. Possible topics include:
·      Program development at your ESL/L2 writing center
·      The role of ESL/L2 writing competencies within your institution and department
·      Research projects on writing competencies in an ESL/L2 context
·      Teaching strategies/techniques that emphasize academic writing in ESL/L2 contexts
·      Composition support for discipline-specific genres
·      Interdisciplinary academic writing
2. Presentations
We invite proposals (500 words maximum) for 15 minute presentations with 10 minute questions and answer sessions on best practices for L2 composition support. Possible topics include:
·      Writing Center pedagogies
·      Writing Across the Curriculum Initiatives
·   Navigating discipline-specific writing conventions such as those found in the natural sciences, social sciences, business, etc.
·   Integrating writing in foreign language classrooms/centers Using online tools for in-class peer feedback and opportunities for teaching ESL/L2 writing online
·   Writing skills in English for Academic Purposes
Deadline for Submission: January 24, 2014, midnight (CET), to writingcompetencies@leuphana.de

CFP: New collection on writing research & pedagogy in the MENA region

As Composition Studies and related disciplines make a “global turn,” there is an increasing need for research into post-secondary writing practices and pedagogy in the Middle East-North Africa (MENA) region. Scholarship emerging from this region needs to be shared globally, as it will shape how writing centers, writing programs, and WID/WAC initiatives – in the region and outside of it – will respond to the increasing globalization of higher education, as well as to international discussions about World Englishes and other language varieties and translingual approaches to writing and writing pedagogy.

In order to address these needs, the editors seek 300-word chapter proposals for a multi-authored volume, tentatively titled Writing Research and Pedagogy in the MENA Region, for anticipated publication in the Parlor Press/WAC Clearinghouse’s book series, International Exchanges on the Study of Writing.

The editors welcome proposals in English revolving around institutional policies and practices, writing pedagogies, and/or actual writing practice(s) in the MENA region. Proposed chapters should take evidence-based, theoretically grounded approaches with research methods sufficiently articulated and adequate for the research questions. All proposals will be considered; however, the editors are particularly interested in proposals that address any of the following questions:

  • How is writing – in English or in other languages – defined and/or valued in the MENA context? How might these definitions or values be attached to the diverse historical, linguistic, social, political, and/or religious contexts of the MENA region?
  • In the MENA context, where there are often three or more languages or varieties of language to consider, how are conventional notions of L1/L2 complicated in relation to writing practices and pedagogy?
  • What are the unique challenges and benefits faced by writing program and/or writing center administrators in the MENA context?
  • What can be learned about writing pedagogy and/or practice from the student and/or faculty populations at various institutions of higher education in the MENA region?
  • In what ways is the interdisciplinary nature of writing being addressed in the MENA region? How have Writing in the Disciplines (WID) and/or Writing across the Curriculum (WAC) initiatives been implemented and/or received in the MENA region, and what can be learned from the successes and/or failures of these efforts?
  • What can literacy scholars learn about writing practices and pedagogies from research in the MENA region? What new questions about writing arise when considering this regional context, and how might these questions be best addressed/approached by scholars in and outside of the region?
  • What do our answers to the questions above, and our experiences on the ground, suggest about course design, curriculum planning, and/or program development in both international and U.S. contexts?

Submission details:

Deadline for proposals is March 1, 2014 (300 words). Full chapter submissions will be due September 1, 2014 (5,000-6,000 words). Only original work not previously published and not currently under review elsewhere will be considered. Please send your submission to all three of the editors: Lisa Arnold, la66@aub.edu.lb; Anne Nebel, aln27@georgetown.edu; and Lynne Ronesi, lronesi@aus.edu.

PDF version of the CFP

CFP for MENAWCA 2014 Conference

The conference theme is “Sustaining Writing and Writing Centers in the Middle East-North Africa Region.”

As writing centers grow in the MENA region, questions emerge not only about how to sustain and develop them but also about how they can serve as model centers. What strategies can and should regional writing centers adopt in order to establish a solid presence within institutional frameworks? How can peer tutors, international collaborations, local/regional research initiatives drive the momentum? What alliances within or across academic institutions strengthen writing center continuity and support? What technological initiatives, including use of mobile devices, influence our effectiveness with student writers and as we network with other centers? What theories and practices that grow out of local contexts can promote writing center work both within the MENA region and with other local, regional, and international writing forums? This conference aims to identify multi-faceted variables that promote the sustainability of writing programs, writing centers, and most importantly the dialogue between writers.

The MENAWCA invites students, teachers and other professionals who support student writers to its biennial conference, November 7-8, 2014 at the Canadian University in Dubai.

Deadline for Submissions: April 15th, 2014

Continue reading “CFP for MENAWCA 2014 Conference”

Make All Your Research Count on the Research Exchange

The Research Exchange Index (REx) speaks to and expands on Rich Haswell’s call for replicable, aggregable, data-driven research and to our field’s need for more readily available research models and mentors. In addition, REx is a site for both well known and otherwise unpublishedlocal studies conducted over the last ten years: all those studies of tutors and writers for your training; those reports on users and the progress they make that you haven’t published; that study someone else did that you replicated. We want these and published studies entered into our simple check-the-box/short answer form in order to help researchers, teachers, and other writing stakeholders address a wide range of concerns:

  • We have a standing need for access to research and researchers working on issues of shared concern.
  • Many important, even exemplary projects go unpublished, especially projects conducted for local audiences by writing centers, writing programs, or workplace and community groups; these valuable projects can and should be “counted” and aggregated with other studies.
  • Many useful studies by graduate and undergraduate students performed as part of internships, coursework, and thesis projects, are not collected as part of the data that informs our field.
  • Research in schools (K-12) as well as research in different communities and workplaces is often neglected across communities, difficult to find.
  • All research is “international”; we need to collect and connect our studies across borders.

In addressing these and other needs, REx is designed to be more comprehensive than a bibliography of previously published work. And data from studies that led to published work can be entered because REx only asks for quick summaries that will be searchable: you can even highlight your publication by providing a link to it.  REx will serve as a combination roster of active researchers and treasure trove of information about what researchers are studying and why.

We are now soliciting research reports during an initial 18 month collection period, from November 2011 through May 1, 2013. After the collection period closes, REx editors will review contributors’ materials, check facts, and copyedit the database contents to ensure its content searchability. Ultimately, the database along with scholarly essays about its contents will be submitted to an online publisher for review and open access publication. And the next collection period will begin again.

Visit REx now <http://researchexchange.colostate.edu/> and enter at least one past, current, or on-going project!

Call for Chapters: Identity and Leadership in Virtual Communities

I’m very excited to announce this forthcoming anthology from IGI Global, for which I’ll be a co-editor with Dona J. Hickey, the founder of our Writing-Across-the-Curriculum Program at Richmond.

Our full title is “Call for Chapters: Identity and Leadership in Virtual Communities: Establishing Credibility and Influence,” and that could describe much of the networking among writing-center professionals around the world. The book will cover non-academic uses of networked communities as well, and we welcome international submissions.

Read the full call for chapters and description of the book here.

Those interested in submitting a proposal should do so by 31 January; Dona and I will  review proposals in February with an eye toward notifying everyone by the end of the month. Our contact information is at the call for chapters, if you have a proposal ready or any questions.