TPR Seeks Submissions from MiWCA Presenters
October 22, 2016
Welcome Michigan Writing Centers Association Presenter!
Rebecca, Kelsey and I would like to invite you to submit to the International Writing Centers Association's newest publication, designed specifically with WC professionals like you in mind. Already this morning, I have been so impressed at the work my Michigan WC colleagues have been sharing during our annual Idea Exchange here at Macomb Community College in Warren, Michigan. Please examine Issue Zero for submission guidelines, and feel free to hunt me down for more information.
Sherry Wynn Perdue, Co-Editor
Director, Oakland University Writing Center
TPR Seeks Submissions from Presenters at IWCA 2016
The TPR Editors and Editorial Board have been thoroughly impressed with the breadth, depth, and overall quality of the many presentations we have attended here in Denver. We therefore encourage presenters to submit your theoretical, pedagogical, practitioner, and empirical scholarship. We promise to give your work the same thoughtful attention that you invested within it.
If you are new to publishing or simply unfamiliar with our publication, please take a look at Issue Zero below, particularly the Editors' Introduction. You will find that we have a supportive editorial process that includes two review cycles, each with ample opportunities for revision-focused feedback and support.
Special Issue Call For Papers: Writing Centers as Brave/r Spaces
Rebecca Hallman Martini, TPR Founding Editor
Travis Webster, Guest Editor
Intersections among writing center and social justice work reflect kairotic responses to our twenty-first century national landscape (Condon and Olson, 2016; Denny, 2010; Geller et al., 2006; Goins and Heard, 2012; Greenfield and Rowan, 2011; Grimm, 1999; Grutsch McKinney, 2014). Our sites, as Denny (2010) reminds us, represent intersectional microcosms that mirror the cultural zeitgeist. However, the interplay of writing center lore and social justice research may lead writing practitioners to promote writing centers as safe spaces. While such an impulse is understandable, institutional sites are never free from ideological and material consequences. As such, social justice researchers have coined the concept “brave space” to characterize institutional sites for learning, collaboration, and inquiry and for interfacing with diversity and intersectionality (Arao and Clemens, 2013; Singleton and Hays, 2008; Singleton and Linton, 2006; Sparks, 2002).
Despite multiple empirical inquiries into writing centers as social justice sites and valuable critical examinations of our spaces’ political implications (Connolly et al.,1998; Grutsch McKinney, 2014; Hadfield et al., 2003; Lunsford, 1991; Mauriello and Macauley 2011), we have yet to fully acknowledge that writing centers are not—and never have been—safe spaces. Administrators, faculty, consultants, and teachers, cannot—and never could—control the external metaphorical and material conditions under which people enter and interact within our spaces. Brave spaces, then, offer writing center practitioners an extension of our field’s vision for social justice, acknowledging a nuanced, complex landscape rife with risk and, perhaps, reward. In our spaces, bravery and courage—rather than safety—are viable possibilities for writers, consultants, faculty, administrators, and staff.
This interdisciplinary, semantic shift intersects with the western political landscape because our glocal spaces are far from safe: a 2016 presidential candidate is complicit in, if not directly responsible for, fostering national waves of sanctioned racism, sexism, classism, homophobia, and xenophobia that have direct impact on many Americans’ lived experiences. Further, universities in Texas, Utah, Colorado, Oregon, Wisconsin, Kansas, and Tennessee, allow or will soon allow students to carry concealed weapons. The number of unarmed people of color being policed, harassed, and murdered continues to grow. Transgender people—often, of color—face violence and exclusion with regularity. Support for veterans who experience homelessness, PTSD, and re-entry into college continues to waver. Many of us have already been forced to cope with local events resulting from these injustices, and those who haven’t must face the growing possibility that similar events may likely be coming their way.
In this special issue, we seek to highlight conversations about writing center spaces and writer identities as we explore writing centers as brave spaces. To that end, we invite submissions by writers whose research addresses some of these questions:
- What constitutes a brave/r writing center space? What might one look like? How can we extend our field’s notions of space?
- How might the idea of our spaces as brave/r challenge the writing center grand narrative (Grutsch McKinney, 2014) in meaningful ways?
- How can we prepare writing consultants, administrators, and staff to work in brave/r spaces? In what ways do practitioners feel prepared for such work already?
- What is the role of the writing center administrator in creating a brave/r writing center space?
- In relationship to braver/r spaces, how have writing center spaces been constructed outside of the US? Outside the university?
- How might western landscapes impact—or not—writing centers internationally and vice versa?
- How might writing center practitioners respond to social injustices that occur as part of campus culture?
- What might it mean to create a brave/r space for linguistic diversity in our centers, namely when teaching and challenging Standard American English?
- How might discourses surrounding dis/ability and universal design in the center support and/or inhibit brave/r spaces?
- How might practitioners’ and students’ intersectionalities of race, class, gender, sexuality, ability, veteran status, and/or nationality impact our theories of and approaches to writing center brave/r spaces?
Contribution possibilities include articles (empirical, theoretical, and/or pedagogical); multimodal work; consultant columns; article reviews and critiques (related to the theme); reviews of writing studies texts or external texts (with implications for writing center praxis); writing center pedagogy columns; and interviews/edited audio texts/conversations. In particular, we seek reviews of the following books with an eye toward implications for writing center praxis: Asao Inoue’s Antiracist Writing Assessment Ecologies: Teaching and Assessing Writing for a Socially Just Future, David Martins’ Transnational Writing Program Administration, and Ryan Skinnell’s Conceding Composition: A Crooked History of Composition’s Institutional Fortunes.
Please send inquiries and proposals of 350-500 words to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tentative 2017 Timeline
January 6: Proposal due
January 30: Acceptances distributed
April 7: Full drafts due
May 1: Feedback to authors
July 1: Final drafts due
August 15: Publication of issue
Arao, B., & Clemens, K. (2013). From safe spaces to brave spaces: A new way to frame dialogue around diversity and social justice. In L. Landreman (Ed.), The art of effective facilitation: Reflections from social justice educators (1st ed., pp. 135- 150). Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing.
Condon, F. and Olson, B. (2016). Building a house for linguistic diversity: Writing centers, English-language teaching and learning, and social justice. In S. Bruce and B. Rafoth (Eds.), Tutoring Second Language Writers (27-52). Boulder: University Press of Colorado.
Connolly C., DeJarlias C.A., Gillam A., and Micciche L. (1998). Erika and the fish lamps: Writing and reading and the local scene. In C. P. Haviland, M. Notarangelo, L. Whitley-Putz, T. Wolf (Eds.), Weaving knowledge together: Writing centers and collaboration (14-27). Emmitsburg: NWCA Press.
Denny, H. (2010). Facing the center: Toward an identity politics of one-to-one mentoring. Logan: Utah State University Press.
Geller, A. E., Eodice, M., Condon, F., Carroll, M. and Boquet, E. (2006). Everyday writing center: A community of practice. Logan: Utah State University Press.
Goins, E. and Heard, F. C. (2012). Diversity in the writing center. Praxis: A Writing Center Journal, 10.1. Retrieved from http://www.praxisuwc.com/back-issues-1/.
Greenfield, L. and Rowan, K. (2011). Writing centers and the new racism: A call for sustainable dialogue and change. Logan: Utah State University Press.
Grimm, N. (1999). Good intentions: Writing center work for postmodern times. Portsmouth: Heinemann.
Grutsch McKinney, K. (2013). Peripheral visions for writing centers. Logan: Utah State University Press.
Hadfield L., Kinkead J., Peterson T., Ray S.H., and Preston S.S. (2003). An ideal writing center: Re-imagining space and design. In M. Pemberton (Ed.), The center will hold: Critical perspectives on writing center scholarships (166-176). Logan: Utah State University Press.
Lunsford, A. (1991). Collaboration and the idea of a writing center. The Writing Center Journal 12.1, 3-10.
Mauriello, N., Macauley, W. J., and Koch, R. T. (2011). Before and after the tutorial: writing centers and institutional relationships. New York: Hampton Press.
Singleton, G., & Hays, C. (2008). Beginning courageous conversations about race. In M. Pollock (Ed.), Everyday antiracism:Getting real bout race in school (pp. 18-23). New York, NY: The New Press.
Singleton, G., & Linton, C. (2006). Courageous conversations about race: A field guide for achieving equity in schools. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.
Sparks, D. (2002). Conversations about race need to be fearless. Journal of Staff Development, 23(4), 60-64.
ISSUE ZERO: Modeling TPR's Mission
As the founding coeditors of The Peer Review, we are privileged to launch a new venue for writing center scholarship: a peer reviewed, open access, fully online, and multimodal journal to showcase the best scholarship of our field. What are the characteristics of this scholarship? When we presented the editorial team with this question, it didn’t take us long to assemble the following descriptors:
- grounded in theory (or working toward one);
- framed by the extant literature (when appropriate);
- supported with data (collected and analyzed by any number of qualitative or quantitative means); and
- presented in a medium that best represents the work.
While we gave significant attention to what would fill the pages of TPR, the journal was conceived to engage, to prepare, and to promote the next generation of writing center scholars/researchers. We understand that rigorous scholarship must be intentionally sponsored, so TPR targets emergent scholars—new professionals, graduate students, undergraduate students, high school writing consultants—and their collaborators. With this publication, we are making a commitment to scaffolding in the form of a two-part review system—the first provided by members of the editorial team and the second conveyed via double blind review—regular works-in-progress sessions, and our inaugural volume, Issue Zero, which anticipates our contributors' questions and models the scholarship we seek.
Our review process, paired internal and external reviews, reflects another component of our mission: to facilitate collaboration. This collaboration is demonstrated in many forms:
- between novice and experienced scholars;
- between authors and designers; and/or
- between multilingual and multinational authors.
By placing collaboration at the center of this publication, by modeling it in the editorial structure, and by showcasing it in most contributions to Issue Zero, we seek to challenge the primacy of the single author study penned by a scholar who creates art/science in isolation.
Yes, we’ve committed to an ambitious undertaking and some (including both editors’ dissertation supervisors) have cautioned us to protect our time, but having studied the field and gotten to know our audience’s potential for knowledge making, we are confident that the pages of TPR will be filled with provocative, rigorous scholarship that will further center writing center studies at the heart of academic inquiry.
Before we introduce you to the nuts and bolts of Issue Zero, the editorial board’s attempt to make our expectations and values explicit to potential contributors, we felt readers might appreciate our individual backstories, the moments that gave birth to this publication and to our collaboration as editors.
During the 2014 IWCA Summer Institute in Lexington, Kentucky, I was thinking about my role as the Graduate Student Representative on the IWCA Board and what I could do to support graduate student researchers in writing centers. Initially, I had the idea of starting a blog that graduate students could post to regularly and use as a space for both scholarly conversation and for building connections across various institutional contexts. I envisioned a venue for active participation in dialogues about current writing center-specific research and administration in which many graduate students are involved. As the sole writing center researcher in my graduate program at the time, I was eager to build community with others doing similar kinds of work. I also knew that there was a wealth of writing center dissertators who were creating new knowledge but not necessarily sharing it via publication with the field at large. While my board position led to my particular focus on graduate students, I eventually broadened the scope of the project to target other writing center researchers whose projects and work we don’t hear from often enough: undergraduate and high school peer tutors, fellows, and consultants.
As I started talking about the idea of creating a graduate student blog with other SI participants and IWCA board members, it became clear that what I was really interested in here was building scholarly conversations. Eventually, this concept moved from a blog managed by the current IWCA Graduate Student Representative to a scholarly publication supported by an entire organization. IWCA President Kevin Dvorak’s mentorship, support, and enthusiasm provided me with the confidence I needed to pitch the idea to the IWCA Board at the pre-conference retreat in Orlando last October. I received overwhelming encouragement and excitement. When we shared the idea for The Peer Review publically a couple days later at the IWCA open meeting in Orlando, Sherry Wynn Perdue introduced herself to me and voiced her interest. I knew of Sherry’s commitment to writing center research and her dedication to collaboration and mentorship, all of which I wanted as central components of the journal. After a pep talk with Kevin, I built up the courage to invite her to collaborate with me as the first co-editing team for the journal, and at that point, we started conversations that would bring the idea of The Peer Review into existence. While most scholars promote collaboration and mentorship, I believe that few embody these practices with the utmost commitment in the way that Sherry does. Without her, the journal would not have come to fruition in the way that it has, and I will be forever grateful to her for the time and effort she has given TPR and myself as an emerging scholar and editor in the field of writing center studies.
I could not have imagined the way this journal would come together, or the amazing mentors and colleagues I would meet and have the privilege of working with now and for many years to come. We have an excellent team of Editorial Board Members and Graduate Student Reviewers in place and look forward to adding Undergraduate Student Reviewers in the future. I cannot wait to see what’s to come.
A quick note on the naming of this publication and our use of the term “practitioner” in our journal’s subtitle—
We chose “The Peer Review: A Journal for Writing Center Practitioners” in hopes of explicitly inviting those who are involved in the day-to-day work of meeting with student writers to participate in the field of writing center studies and its scholarly conversations. Despite ”practitioners” debatable reputation in the field of composition and writing center studies since North’s The Making of Knowledge in Composition (1987), we acknowledge, as do Liggett, Jordan, and Price (2011), that “reestablish[ing] the value of practitioner inquiry” is a worthwhile pursuit (118). While the work of writing center practitioners is at the heart of what writing centers do and also at the heart of our field’s scholarship, we don’t often hear directly from the voices and perspectives of these researchers themselves, but rather, we hear about them via the voices of their directors. By calling on writing center practitioners as valuable scholars and researchers who have much to offer writing center studies and composition writ large, we welcome collaborative, practitioner-based inquiry scholarship that puts practitioner-scholars (their voices and their visions) first.
At last year’s open meeting of the IWCA board, I found myself riveted as an articulate young scholar shared her vision for a new writing center publication. As Rebecca recounted the process that led to IWCA’s decision to charter its second peer-reviewed journal, I reflected on my evolving relationship to writing center scholarship and the important role that collaboration played in the publication of my first empirical article. Despite an overly cluttered plate, I could not ignore a growing hope that I could play some role in helping her bring this idea to fruition. After all, I’m not new to editing or reviewing. And, Dana Driscoll and I had previously collaborated with three undergraduate writing and rhetoric majors (one of whom is now a doctoral student at Miami University and a member of our editorial team), which yielded a publication in Perspectives in Undergraduate Research and Mentoring, “Negotiating the Sponsorship Continuum: Preparing Humanities Undergraduates to Conduct RAD Research.”
Thankfully, I did not fully comprehend the time and the beautiful aggravation of remotely compiling a new publication when Rebecca honored me with the request that I serve as her coeditor. Over the past year, we’ve witnessed several other overly-tasked seasoned and emergent scholars—now members of our editorial board and the graduate review team—make the same commitment. Collectively we have answered emails, proposed topics for Issue Zero, read each others drafts, contributed to an unwieldy Google document, logged in to ever changing web conferencing platforms during the summer, and copy-edited all night to make it happen.
Some of us managed life’s both/ands as we founded this journal and planned its Pittsburgh unveiling: Rebecca and Kelsey got married (not to each other), Enrique and his wife are preparing for their first child, Dana took at new position at IUP, and Alexis figured a way to attend the conference and to slip away to fulfill a commitment to her daughters. (Alexis, you are my hero!) Others missed deadlines or disappointed our collaborators. Despite Michael’s best efforts, our collaboration for this issue had to be put on hold because I sustained a head injury. (Thank you, Michael, for being so sensible and gracious. We will publish that heuristic for literature reviews in the next issue. I promise!) Still others are missing pivotal moments as we head to Pittsburgh: Trixie’s adorable toddler will probably have to settle for the comfort of her grandmother’s lap yet again, even when she would prefer that of her mom, and my daughter will prepare for and attend her first formal date-dance without me.
Despite the long hours, brief setbacks, and missed moments, I am so proud to find myself in the company of this editorial team as we now introduce the contents of Issue Zero.
Laying Some Groundwork in Issue Zero
In this first issue, the full editorial team operationalized TPR’s vision and mission. Instead of offering a bulleted list of submission guidelines (some are forthcoming in addition), we elected to demonstrate our advice to potential contributors within our own scholarship, as follows:
First, we begin our issue with three articles focused on researching the writing center. In “Perspectives on Collaborative Scholarship,” Kelsey Hixson-Bowles and Enrique Paz argue for the value of collaboration in research and writing, despite its many challenges, and offer advice from experienced WC professionals who are dedicated to collaborative scholarship. Following this article are two pieces that focus on writing center research: “Conducting and Composing RAD Research in the Writing Center: A Guide for New Authors” by Dana Driscoll and Roger Powell and “Re(Focusing) Qualitative Methods for Writing Center Research” by Rebecca Hallman and Ezekiel Choffele with Trixie Smith. In the former, Driscoll and Powell provide guidelines for how to effectively conduct and write about RAD (replicable, aggregable, and data-supported) research. In the latter, Hallman and Choffele with Smith focus specifically on qualitative methods and integrate stories about their own positions as researchers, along with audio clips from interviews with WC scholars, in their presentation of oral history, narrative inquiry, and storytelling as method.
In the second half of Issue Zero, we move our focus toward composing WC research and strategies for transitioning projects into publishable works for academic audiences. In “Continuing the Conversation: From Presentation to Publication” Alexis Hart and Lindsay Sabatino narrate the evolution of their own research from conference papers to scholarly publications in academic journals as well as offer advice for new scholars who are learning how to make this move. With the same transitional process in mind, Blevins, Rice, and Carpenter offer a method for multimodal digital publication in their article, “Designing Scholarly Multimodal Texts: A Peer Review Process.” Then, moving beyond (multimodal) text creation and toward publication- in- process, Braude, Cerku, and Price seek to make explicit the academic peer review process while simultaneously offering advice for writers about how to respond effectively to editors’ and reviewers’ feedback in “Understanding Reviewer Feedback: Guidelines and Explanations.”
Our issue culminates with a “Scholar Spotlight” interview with Harry Denny, conducted and developed by Patricia Medved. In this interview, Medved and Denny discuss the value of academic research and support for student participation in research.
While we realize that research and writing in the writing center often happen at the same time and are constantly re-informing one another, we find it useful to organize our issue in this way so that practitioner-scholars can use the issue to help them depending on where they find themselves in the process.
Liggett, S., Jordan, K., & Price, S. (2011). Mapping knowledge-making in writing center research: A taxonomy of methodologies. The Writing Center Journal, 31(2), 50-88.
North, S. M. (1987). The making of knowledge in composition. New York: Heinemann.
Wynn Perdue, S., Driscoll, D. L., Matthews, J., Paz, E., & Tess, J. (2014). Negotiating the sponsorship continuum: Preparing humanities undergraduates to conduct RAD research. Perspectives on Undergraduate Research and Mentoring, 3(2). Retrieved from http://blogs.elon.edu/purm/negotiating-the-sponsorship-continuum-preparing-humanities-undergraduates-to-conduct-rad-research-purm-3-2/
Rebecca Hallman, University of Houston
Sherry Wynn Perdue, Oakland University
In this introduction, we share TPR's vision and mission as well as introduce the unique role of Issue Zero, the editorial team's gift to potential contributors.
Meet our Editors, Editorial Board, and Graduate Student Reviewers!
Kelsey Hixson-Bowles, Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Enrique Paz, Miami University of Ohio
We address some of the most pressing issues facing new and experienced scholars interested in embarking on collaborative publications. Collaboration can be a daunting task. We recognize that it is not always easy to determine when you should collaborate, with whom you should collaborate, or how to collaborate. On top of all these challenges is the formidable tradition of single-authored texts that many of our departments continue to uphold, especially in the humanities. In spite of the challenges collaboration presents, we and many other scholars find collaboration to be productive and rewarding. This article shares what we learned by interviewing six writing center professionals who actively have engaged in collaborative scholarship throughout their careers.
Dana Lynn Driscoll, Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Roger Powell, Indiana University of Pennsylvania
The field of writing center studies has expressed a growing interest in RAD research (replicable, aggregable, and data-supported research) as a tool for developing evidence-supported best practices. In addition to shaping how we serve writers within individual centers, RAD provides a common language to reach external audiences, thereby legitimizing our work. Despite its benefits, many writing center practitioners lack access to knowledge and education about RAD research. Further, few publications provide novice researchers with guidelines to effectively conduct and write about RAD research. In this article, we not only address this gap but also present RAD as more than a research concept: it is a process that shapes our inquiry, facilitates our scholarly identity, strengthens our credibility, and positions us to speak with authority.
Rebecca Hallman, University of Houston
Ezekiel Choffele, Syracuse University
with Trixie Smith, Michigan State University
In this essay, we seek to make explicit qualitative approaches to writing center research and their value to the writing center community using qualitative methods to model our argument. In particular, we use oral history methodologies through interview-based approaches to discover how three writing center scholars approach their own qualitative research project(s) and to argue for a definition of qualitative research that extends beyond anecdote. In fact, we turn to cultural rhetorical approaches because we value stories and the communities they represent (see Powell et al. for more this approach). Thus, we seek to constellate oral history, narrative inquiry, and storytelling methods to demonstrate how stories can be used in WC research.
Alexis Hart, Allegheny College
Lindsay A. Sabatino, University of North Carolina Greensboro
Because we recognize that many students in graduate and undergraduate courses focused on writing center theory and practice are offered advice and encouragement on how to repurpose class assignments into conference presentations or to represent the results of research conducted during writing center sessions into posters but are likely to find few articles that “offer practical wisdom on how to achieve this essential goal” (Murphy 5), we offer our narratives in an attempt to fill that void. Our narratives describe two common approaches to moving research from a conference presentation to a published article: Alexis began with a brief conference paper, whereas Lindsay had an article in progress prior to presenting her argument and analysis at a conference. By offering readers a glimpse into our motivations for presenting conference papers and sharing how we went about revising our arguments after the conferences, we hope to provide insight into processes for transitioning a conference presentation into a published article and to offer strategies about how to extend scholarly conversations that begin at a conference into scholarly publications in academic journals.
S. Brenta Blevins, University of North Carolina-Greensboro
Stacy W. Rice, University of North Carolina-Greensboro
Russell G. Carpenter, Eastern Kentucky University
Multimodal digital publication offers avenues for continued discussion that extend the capabilities of academic genres. When content is remediated into digital publication, it encourages sustained conversation, showing, not telling, how the scholarship functions. This article offers suggestions and remediates posters into compelling, scholarly multimodal submissions for The Peer Review (TPR). This addition to writing center scholarship provides a valuable resource for aspiring TPR authors.
Mirabeth Braude, Michigan State University
Ashley Cerku, Oakland University
Steve Price, Associate Professor of English, Mississipi College
All writers have experienced the excitement of having someone read our work. Naturally, we also have felt our nerves rattle as we read criticism of the text that we had poured so much thought into. In this article, we offer a definition of constructive feedback and discuss the types of editorial suggestions contributors commonly encounter. By doing so, we seek to help first time contributors better understand the review process and outcomes as well as to respond effectively to editors both within the text and through their submission correspondence.
Patricia Medved, St. John's University
In this Scholar Spotlight, Patricia interviews Harry Denny about his experiences as an academic researcher and his support for student research.
Sherry Wynn Perdue, Oakland University
Michael Reich, St. John's University
In the next installment of Issue Zero, we will share the first part of our literature review about the literature review. Please read the beginning of this story below.