FROM THE EDITORS—DIVERSE PEOPLE, DIVERSE APPROACHES
Elizabeth Goins and Frederick Coye Heard
Managing Editors, Praxis
We are proud to announce Praxis’ second volume as a peer-reviewed journal. Our call for articles addressing diversity in the writing center fielded a record number of submissions. We thank all of the authors who submitted careful, insightful, creative and challenging work. We also want to thank our external review board and our editorial team as well as the administrative staff at the Undergraduate Writing Center. Andrea Saathoff, who led Praxis into peer-review status last year and continues to work behind the scenes, deserves a special “Thank you.” This journal, like the writing-center scholarship and pedagogy it supports, exists because of the committed, collaborative work of a broad community of writers and educators. To our authors, reviewers, editors, readers and supporters—Thank you.
This issue of Praxis, “Diversity in the Writing Center,” reflects the broad range of individual and institutional experiences that shape writing-center practice across the country. The articles are rooted in the institutional realities of large and small universities, in racial, cultural and linguistic multiplicity, in the needs and opportunities of established and emergent centers, in the perspectives of student writers, tutors and administrators. While the authors included in this issue address topics as varied as racial justice, fat studies, multilingual centers and assessment strategies, several common interests run as threads through their arguments. The centrality of embodied experience to the work of writers and writing centers appears in two remarkably different lenses in “A Multi-Dimensional Pedagogy for Racial Justice in Writing Centers” and in “Making Room for Fat Studies in Writing Center Theory & Practice,” but Rasha Diab, Thomas Ferrel, Beth Godbee and Neil Simpkins agree with Eric Steven Smith in arguing that writing centers bear the burden of and opportunity for direct action on the behalf of writers with marginalized bodies. Nancy Effinger Wilson’s “Stocking the Bodega: Towards a New Writing Center Paradigm” and Noreen Lape’s “The Worth of a Writing Center: Numbers, Value, Culture and the Rhetoric of Budget Proposals” each address the possibilities entailed in taking writing center practice beyond English-centered language instruction. Lape uses her experience with the founding of Dickinson College’s Multilingual Writing Center to illustrate a taxonomy of rhetorical approaches to institutional opportunities, a topic that Kristen Welch and Susan Revels-Parker also take up in “Writing Center Assessment: An Argument for Change.” Tallin Phillips’ “Graduate Writing Groups: Shaping Writing and Writers from Student to Scholar” uses a “communities of practice” framework to indicate how graduate-student writers negotiate growth in their professional and scholarly identities. Sam Van Horne also addresses the role of writing centers in facilitating various writers’ movement towards maturity in “Characterizing Successful ‘Intervention’ in the Writing Center Conference.” Our two columns, Brooke Fiesthumel’s “Black Fingernails and the White Page: The High School Writing Center” and J. Michael Rifenburg’s “Fleshing Out the Uniqueness of Student-Athlete Writing Centers: A Response to Alana Bitzel,” also draw our attention to the needs of writing populations that differ from the image of the “standard” undergraduate.
We hope you find this issue of Praxis challenging, enlightening and enjoyable. As Rifenburg’s column indicates, we are always interested in continuing the conversations that take place in and around our pages, and we are happy to consider responses to any of the excellent articles published in this issue. You can also follow the conversations taking place on our blog, WritePraxis.wordpress.com, and through our Twitter account, @WritePraxis. We owe one final round of thanks to Jacob Pietsch, our blog coordinator, and to the writers who have made our weekly postings on that site possible.