Multimodal and Multimedia Projects in the Writing Center by Douglas Eyman

Douglas Eyman is Director of the PhD in Writing and Rhetoric, the MA concentration in Professional Writing and Rhetoric (PWR), and the undergraduate Professional Writing Minor at George Mason University.  He teaches courses in digital rhetoric, technical and scientific communication, editing, web authoring, advanced composition, and professional writing. His current research interests include investigations of digital literacy acquisition and development, new media scholarship, electronic publication, information design/information architecture, teaching in digital environments, and video games as sites of composition. Eyman is the senior editor and publisher of Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy, an online journal that has been publishing peer-reviewed scholarship on computers and writing since 1996. 

Anna S. Habib, Associate Editor, CWCAC

 

In this post, I hope to provide some concrete advice for working with multimedia and multimodal projects in the writing center, but I should start by noting that my advice (and even my definition of “writing”) comes from my work as editor of Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy and from my research interests in digital rhetoric – I’m not a scholar or practitioner of Writing Center pedagogies, but I am an ally and supporter of  the great work that Writing Centers accomplish. I’ll start with some history and some context; feel free to skip down to the “Advice and Preparation” section to get straight to the practical bits.

A Bit of Context: Histories and Scholarship

In some ways, I trace my career in writing studies to my experience as a peer-tutor in my undergraduate writing center. It was there that I first became interested in the teaching of writing specifically (a topic about which my school had no course offerings beyond the class that served as a pre-requisite for working in the writing center itself). At the risk of sounding just as old as I am, in those days (around 1989-90) computers were just starting to be used by students, and we didn’t see their effects in the writing center until many years later. Similarly, when I worked in the writing center as part of my teaching assistantship for my MA program, there were no classes teaching multimedia or multimodal composition (the closest was the FYC course I taught at the time, which included basic web page design the year that the first graphical web browser was available). Fast forward to 2003 when I started my PhD program at Michigan State, and the whole field had shifted from distrusting computers as depersonalizing machines that came between the writer and the text to nearly ubiquitous use for drafting, revising, and editing. And in this program, I did not work in the writing center, but I did use it as a patron – both for traditional, textual writing, and for multimedia work. Continue reading “Multimodal and Multimedia Projects in the Writing Center by Douglas Eyman”

Call for Submissions: Creative Writing/Center

Amy Hansen is the assistant director of the Appalachian State University Writing Center and a recent graduate of the MFA program in creative writing at Northern Michigan University. She’s joining the CWCAB blog team as a staff writer–and has a great first project!

For my first project at CWCAB, I’d like to solicit and share the creative writing of writing center tutors and administrators here on the blog. I’d love to read poetry and short non-fiction/fiction pieces about writing center work, but I’m just as interested in creative work that’s more abstractly inspired by the practice and pedagogy of tutoring writing. Maybe you have a poem inspired by an interaction with a student in the writing center. Maybe you wrote a reflective profile of yourself as a tutor. Maybe (fingers crossed!) you composed the first writing center rock opera. Whatever it is, however you got there from writing center studies, we want to read it.

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“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”