For this issue of Praxis, we asked authors to meditate on the theme of connections and connectivity. In writing centers across the country, students and tutors connect across languages, technological mediums, and identity backgrounds. Moreover, we hoped to foster a dialogue about the ways in which different writing centers connect with each other.
To commemorate the 10th anniversary of Praxis, Sue Mendelson and Eliana Schonberg contribute a column to connect the current issue of Praxis back to its origins. We also feature a column by Mary Hedengren in which she explores how writing centers can increase connections between undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty in an ideal vision of a writing center future.
Three authors explore the cultural and identitarian connections they identify in everyday writing center practice. Elisabeth Ursell advocates for establishing conversation partner programs in writing centers, explaining that such programs could establish “intentional cultural exchange” between writing center practitioners and international students. Centering her discussion of diversity in the topic of faith, Courtney Bailey Parker explores how writing centers can enable students to speak more clearly to those outside their faith tradition. William Burns’ discussion of the impact of a postmodern writing center investigates how writing tutor evaluations enable fruitful discussions of intersecting identity positions to take place within groups of students and writing center staff.
Two authors tackle the idea of connectivity as it manifests in debates over whether writing center staff ought to be “generalists” or “specialists” in a particular field. Bonnie Devet mobilizes the theory of ecocomposition to suggest how writing centers can help students see themselves situated in a web of institutional, cultural, and ideological locations, as well as reveal connections between seemingly disparate academic fields. Layne Gordon, urging for incorporating genre theory into writing center practice, envisions a type of writing center pedagogy that looks beyond the generalist/specialist dichotomy.
This issue also marks the first occasion Praxis has had the capacity to send submitted articles to two reviewers. We would like to extend special thanks to our National Review Board for the time and expertise they devote to Praxis.
Looking forward, Sarah Orem is entering her second term as Managing Editor at Praxis. As Jacob Pietsch completes his term, he would like to share his thanks and extend a fond farewell to the authors, reviewers, editorial team, and readers. We welcome Thomas Spitzer-Hanks as Managing Editor in the coming year, and we are excited to guide Praxis through its first guest-edited edition this Fall in collaboration with Dr. Russell Carpenter at the Noel Studio for Academic Creativity of Eastern Kentucky University, Dr. Scott Whiddon at Transylvania University, and Dr. Kevin Dvorak at Nova Southeastern University.