Reflections after 4C19

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The title on this post is a little bit of a misnomer. Traditionally, after one of us has been to a conference, we here at Praxis write a reflection on the panels we observed, workshops we participated in, and general themes that emerged for us during the conference. But this time, after this year’s 4Cs, we’d like to take a moment to reflect on some of the cumulative conferencing experiences we’ve had, and where Praxis is headed as we close out this semester.

This year, the editors of Praxis have had the privilege of participating in several conferences, and meeting many of our wonderful readers, contributors, reviewers, and colleagues in person. Twice this year (at IWCA, and then at the IWCA Collaborative @4Cs, we were even able to appear in round-tables with our editor-colleagues from The Writing Center Journal, Writing Lab Newsletter, and The Peer Review. During both round-tables, we were able to talk about how the review process works at our journals, what kind of research we’re seeking, potential publishing pitfalls, and what makes our journals unique.

I hope it was enlightening for the audience, because these roundtables were certainly enlightening for me. One of my favorite parts of editing Praxis is seeing the breadth and depth of scholarship we receive from our authors, and helping the important conversations that take place in our discipline come to life through our (virtual) pages. Across the board, during those round-tables, it was clear to me that this was a shared sentiment. I have always found the Writing Center to be a welcoming place where ideas can grow, in practice. It’s been a joy to find that the world of writing center scholarship shares much of that quality, while still pushing for and maintaining rigorous standards for scholarship. In both sessions, we were asked, “What are you looking for in a submission?” and in both sessions, we were all able to give versions of the same answer: the best method for approaching and addressing the questions you want to ask.

In our upcoming issue, Praxis will be joining--and hopefully amplifying--conversations around Race in the Writing Center. With our colleagues and guest editors, Mick Howard and Karen Keaton-Jackson, we will be particularly spotlighting HBCUs and other minority-serving institutions. Particularly following the theme of this year’s 4Cs conference, as well as the on-going conversations (and controversies) that have followed in the wake of that conference, we hope to affirm our position as a venue where scholarly conversations about difficult, underserved issues can open and continue.

Writing center work is tough, personal, and rewarding. Thank you for the opportunity to engage in it thoughtfully with you. Keep the conversations going.