From the Editors.
This is an exciting moment: Writers in many contexts are rethinking what it means to live in an interconnected world; to recognize, accept, and highlight myriad differences; and to enact change. As editors, we encourage submissions from writers working in varied institutions, locations, and methodologies. We seek more contributions from scholars whose voices have not been heard enough in the literature, such as those at writing centers at historically Black colleges and universities, Hispanic-serving institutions, small colleges, two-year colleges, primary and secondary schools, online campuses, and community writing centers. To expand the global reach of the journal, we welcome submissions from those connected to International Writing Centers Association affiliates in Latin America, Canada, Europe, and the Middle East and North Africa; we also hope to cultivate more authors and readers worldwide. We will continue to advance empirical research, without losing sight of practitioner-based, theoretical scholarship. Finally, of course, the journal always invites contributions that grapple with the field's enduring questions: how writing centers define and assess their impact, what philosophies underpin centers' day-to-day contacts with writers and institutions, and how centers incorporate scholarship from neighboring and more distant fields.
Our first issue showcases this vision through essays that engage theoretically and empirically with emerging and enduring features in writing center work. We begin, as is traditional, with the IWCA conference keynote, given in 2017 by Neisha-Anne Green, whose moving address was enthusiastically received. In the version printed here, she contextualizes her talk with pre- and postreflections. Her ideas are long overdue, and we are delighted to have the opportunity to present her piece in a written forum we are sure will spark ongoing discussions. The WCJ website now houses a link to a video, courtesy of the Fashion Institute of Technology, of another, similar version of Greens address.
Writing center practitioners know the importance of naming their practices to encourage metacognitive awareness in writers and consultants. In this issue, Melody Denny does just this for the field by providing a name and a methodological approach for something that has been present in our practice all along. Her piece, "The Oral Writing-Revision Space: Identifying a New and Common Discourse Feature of Writing Center Consultations," uses linguistic methodology to discover the many moments in which writers and consultants write aloud by talking and revising simultaneously. Harry Denny, John Nordlof, and Lori Salem, familiar names to many WCJ readers, share their multi-institution investigation into the educational needs of working-class students and the role the writing center plays, or fails to play. In '"Tell me exactly what it was that I was doing that was so bad': Understanding the Needs and Expectations of Working-Class Students in Writing Centers," the authors contribute an important empirical study that sheds light on an often-overlooked issue. Workshops are also an understudied writing center practice, frequently offered without much reflection on their impact. In "Sparking a Transition, Unmasking Confusion: An Empirical Study of the Benefits of a Writing Center Workshop about Patchwriting," Jessa Wood, Ted Roggenbuck, Peter Doerschler, and Megan Hicks investigate the surprising outcomes of their writing center's workshops on students' effective use of sources.
There is, naturally, terrific scholarship in our field being published outside of journals, and it was challenging for us to select just a handful of books for review in our first issue. With our suite of book reviews, we hope readers will enjoy learning about writing centers globally as well as find appeal in insights from the broader discipline of writing studies--while still recognizing the strong work happening within our immediate field. Reflecting on the expansion of writing programs and writing centers in the Middle East, Erin Zimmerman draws attention to two books coming from this region: Writing Centers in the Higher Education Landscape of the Arabian Gulf, edited by Osman Z. Barnawi, and Emerging Writing Research from the Middle East-North Africa Region, edited by Lisa R. Arnold, Anne Nebel, and Lynne Ronesi. Jill Gladstein reviews R. Mark Hall's Around the Texts of Writing Center Work: An Inquiry-Based Approach to Tutor Education, which engages with the seldom-noticed texts used in our writing centers and what this means for training, research, and administration. Examining new developments in writing studies more generally, Mary Lou Odom considers The Meaningful Writing Project: Learning, Teaching, and Writing in Higher Education, by Michele Eodice, Anne Ellen Geller, and Neal Lerner, a book that contains key lessons for writing center practitioners on advancing meaningfulness for student writers.
As editors, we look forward to engaging with readers and writers on a wide range of innovative topics, as reflected by the pieces included in this first issue. During our time with WCJ, we encourage contributions from diverse locations and perspectives that highlight new and overlooked areas of writing center work, broadly understood.
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|Publication:||Writing Center Journal|
|Date:||Mar 22, 2018|
|Previous Article:||Review: The Working Lives of New Writing Center Directors by Nicole I. Caswell, Jackie Grutsch McKinney, & Rebecca Jackson.|
|Next Article:||Moving beyond Alright: And the Emotional Toll of This, My Life Matters Too, in the Writing Center Work.|