The Peer Review Call For Proposals
Issue Published: Spring 2021
Deadline for Submissions: Dec. 15, 2020
2020 has caused an upheaval in the everyday lives of writing center administrators and tutors. Centers quickly pivoted online to adapt to the impacts of COVID-19. Administrators found themselves working from home attempting to balance home life with work life. Administrators and tutors alike found themselves preserving their mental health as COVID-19 isolated them from their communities and support networks. As protests for racial justice took center stage throughout the country, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) continued to fight for their lives. Meanwhile, systemic racism continues to impact every facet of BIPOC’s lives. The future of international students loomed as the US Administration issued travel bans and regulations. Moments to pause and breathe have been limited.
Now, our attention is turned to the financial impact higher education institutions are facing from moving online. State and federal funds are being slashed further. Writing Center budgets are being cut. Positions eliminated. And upper administration, often feeling pressure from state governments, are requiring Writing Center Administrators and tutors to work on campus. Executive orders from the federal government have threatened the work of antiracism, social justice, diversity, and accessibility. As we approach the winter season, these conditions not only seem to continue, but the fear of them getting worse looms. Justification comes to mind as a term to describe writing center work in 2020: justifying the funding of writing centers, justifying tutors’ labor in online environments, justifying commitments to social justice, inclusion, and racial inequities … we are constantly being asked to engage in justifying as a rhetorical task.
Running parallel to the justification demands on writing center work, we’ve seen a decline in scholarship from women and BIPOC as they place their mental and emotional energies elsewhere. Tutors find themselves navigating online courses from home: some worrying about home lives, some grieving the loss of the fall semester, and all doing the best they can at the moment. The demands on writing center professionals’ labor extend well beyond the daily administrative work of running a writing center: scholarship becomes an afterthought. The TPR editorial board feels this energy shift along with our readers, and with that energy in mind, our call for papers for the Spring 2021 issue seeks to further disrupt the traditional academic essay in favor of submissions that fit the times we are living in.
We are seeking proposals for our Spring 2021 issue that reflects the lived experiences of our readership. We welcome:
- Interviews with tutors, past TPR authors, and other writing center professionals.
- Short reflections from tutors and writing center professionals on how they and their centers are adjusting to the ever-changing environment. What is your center doing to respond to racial injustice? What is your center doing to adapt to virtual learning? What do you spend your energies justifying?
- Training or pedagogical materials that your center has created as you’ve adapted to new approaches to writing center work. Please include a contextualization statement with your materials — what is your institutional context? Who and what makes up your writing center? What was the goal(s) of these materials? Where did they succeed and fail in reaching that goal? How might your center or other centers build on this work?
- Podcasts and audio or video essays/interviews that address any topic in writing center research and practice.
- Any of your ideas beyond this list of possible submission types.
Finally, we use this CFP to introduce a new publication type that we plan to continue across future issues: Conversation Shapers. Conversation Shapers are projects that work to shape future writing center research. Conversation Shapers include a curated bibliography on a single, focused writing center topic such as but not limited to: Linguistic Justice in the Writing Center, Social Justice in Online Centers, Anti-Racist Tutoring Training, Accessibility in the Center, Tutor Labor Conditions, and Director Labor Conditions. Conversation Shapers should have an overarching equity and inclusive theme to them and amplify scholarship authored by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC). A Conversation Shaper submission should include a 500-word framing statement that introduces the topic, its connection to equity and inclusion, and summarizes the bibliography. Following the framing statement, the bibliography should be formatted in APA and include 20-25 sources. While sources can be from related fields of study, at least half of the sources should be writing center scholarship. Following the bibliography should be a “where we’d like the field to go” section. In this field shaping section, authors should offer research questions or scholarship that they’d like to read. Preference will be given to undergraduate and graduate tutors to author reading lists. If professionals are interested in submitting a Conversation Shaper, we encourage you to collaborate with a tutor.
For inclusion in the Spring 2021 issue, please submit your materials by December 15, 2020.
Contact the editorial team at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or ideas.