CFP and announcement for the upcoming special issue 'Access and Equity in Graduate Writing Support'

Alan Levine, 'Unlock the Access' 2015

Alan Levine, 'Unlock the Access' 2015

 

Today the Praxis editorial team is pleased to announce the theme for a Guest-Edited Fall 2016 issue! The topic on which Praxis 14.1 will focus is one close to the hearts of the Praxis editorial team, and one we feel the journal is particularly well-suited to showcasing. The theme for the issue is ‘Access and Equity in Graduate Writing Support,’ and, in addition to its appositeness, we are very pleased to welcome Shannon Madden (University of Rhode Island) and Michele Eodice (University of Oklahoma) as Guest Editors for the Fall 2016 issue.

Praxis 14.1 will be the 27th issue of what began as, and still is, a consultant-run Writing Center Studies journal staffed primarily by graduate students. Over the years the efforts of numerous graduate students have contributed to the success of Praxis and, both as members of our Editorial Review Board and as contributors, many continue to do so after graduation. This is why the Praxis editorial team finds the core concern of ‘Access and Equity in Graduate Writing Support’ so very apposite: Praxis has always been dependent on graduate student labor, and like all graduate students the Praxis editorial team works very hard to find a balance between our coursework, our personal lives, families, other jobs, and the writing projects that will help us advance towards a postgraduate career. Since solving the problems inherent to managing life as a graduate student in the humanities would be too wide a subject for a single special issue, Praxis 14.1 focuses our attention on what role writing support (or the lack of writing support) plays in graduate students’ lives.

This may strike some as a surprising concern. As Madden and Eodice note,

For graduate students, the successful writing of a dissertation or thesis is crucial to degree completion. However, writers at the graduate level are often considered to be fully socialized into their academic communities and no longer in need of training and support for their writing.

This supposition of universal writing competence has concrete institutional effects on many graduate students during the dissertation- or thesis-writing phase of their graduate student career, including prolonged time to degree and attrition. Research suggests that lack of appropriate writing support particularly increases the challenges graduate students from underserved populations face, and Praxis 14.1 is currently seeking submissions that make concrete suggestions on how we in writing centers and across the disciplines can increase access to graduate writing support and thus level the playing field for all graduate students in need of it.

Questions the editors suggest submissions focus on include where and how graduate students from underserved populations access writing support, and what kind of writing support these graduate students want; the editors also want potential authors to envision writing support in terms of networks of support, asking how graduate students build community as writers and what kinds of community they build. The editors wish to reach every potential contributor and have asked us to circulate the CFP embedded below for that reason; if you’re hearing about this CFP for the first time, submissions should be formatted as Word documents and sent to the special issue editors at shannonmadden@uri.edu & meodice@ou.edu. Please feel free to use this link to download the CFP for distribution through your own personal and professional networks.

As the editors continue to accept submissions for the special issue until May 15th, we here at AXIS will be seeking blog posts on the same theme throughout the year; if you have thoughts on graduate students access to writing support please email the blog editor, Thomas Spitzer-Hanks, at praxisuwc@gmail.com.