Submit a Proposal to Participate & Celebrate

To submit a proposal to participate, visit our proposal website and submit your proposal by May 16, 2022.

The Pacific Northwest Writing Centers Association, and its precursor the Pacific Coast Writing Centers Association, benefited from Lisa’s leadership for much of her career and after her retirement. And thus we honor Lisa and her ideas in the summer following her passing. Some of us, especially the peer tutors participating in our conversations, will be new to Lisa’s scholarship, and others will have encountered Lisa’s work early in our careers. Either way, our goal is to celebrate Lisa’s life of work and service to the writing center and composition communities, in particular those communities in the Pacific Northwest region. To that end, we invite a wide range of participation that celebrates Lisa directly, or celebrates her influence, or celebrates programs and practices that align with Lisa’s values.

Collaborative Learning and Co-Authorship

First, we recognize Lisa’s contributions to the theorizing and practice of co-authorship and collaborative writing. Often, but not always, with her lifelong writing partner Andrea Lunsford, Lisa was co-author on more than 30 books, book chapters, and article-length works over her career in addition to the dozens of single-authored works. And unsurprisingly, Lisa approached co-authorship as feminist rhetorical activism (Day and Eodice 2001, p. 71). Ede and Lunsford (1990) found in their study of collaborative writing that writers worked either hierarchically or dialogically (p. 76). In that spirit, we encourage participants at this year’s event to share their own approaches to collaborative writing, in particular in the context of student collaboration. We invite participants to think about their writing centers’ practices, pedagogies, and policies around collaboration, prompted by the following:

  • How is collaboration framed in your writing center’s training? 
  • What approaches in your centers fall into a hierarchical collaborative mode, and where do your centers seek more dialogic collaborative modes? 
  • What challenges does collaboration and collaborative writing pose to consultants’ everyday practice? Where does collaboration and collaborative writing get tricky in a writing center context?
  • What questions do writing center administrators hear from faculty about collaboration among student writers and consultants, and how do administrators’ responses fall into the categories of coaching up/out, or political activism, or mentoring?
  • What’s missing from the decades-long conversation about collaboration and collaborative writing in a writing center context?
  • How do these questions land in a writing classroom context for writing faculty?

Additionally, in the spirit of collaboration and co-authorship, we plan to create an opportunity for participants to share research and writing ideas during a session designed specifically to facilitate collaborative writing partnerships and a collaborative writing group that, we hope, will take on lives of their own.

Mentorship

Additionally, those who knew Lisa knew well her generosity and mentorship, so we honor that mentorship during our celebration this year. In terms of formal scholarly mentoring, well over 100 graduate students sought out Lisa for their thesis and dissertation committees, with around a quarter of them naming Lisa as their major advisor. But Lisa’s mentorship went far beyond membership on graduate student committees, and based on what Lisa shared in various interviews and articles, the generosity of Lisa’s mentors throughout her career shaped her into the mentor that so many of us had the benefit of knowing. In that spirit, we invite discussions of what mentorship looks like within our writing center and composition communities, prompted, perhaps, by the following questions:

  • How have you approached mentorship of writing consultants? Of colleagues? Of others in the writing center or composition communities?
  • Do your veteran writing consultants see themselves as formal mentors, informal mentors, or something else with regard to their peers/colleagues, and how do those relationships complicate the peer relationship?
  • How does mentorship change with each mentoring relationship, and what are the conditions of a successful mentoring relationship within academia? Outside academia?
  • How is mentorship distinct from supervision? How do feedback and support look different in mentor relationships compared to supervisory relationships?
  • What happens after mentorship? What does mentorship become when it’s no longer mentorship?

History

From her time directing the Oregon State University Communication Skills Center, to the OSU Center for Writing and Learning’s development of an Online Writing Lab, Lisa was witness to a series of paradigm shifts within the writing center field, initiated from within and influenced by trends and developments in composition and rhetoric. Lisa saw writing labs or, as the program at OSU was called, skills centers, fighting to get out of the basements of higher education, to writing centers as sites of literacy and social justice activism more recently. So we invite participants to put on their historians’ hats and consider investigating a trend or development in writing centers as a discipline, perhaps one that Lisa also set her mind to. Or to look at their own writing center’s history and share something interesting, surprising, or innovative about their writing center’s development.

Personal Remembrances

Finally, participants will have the opportunity to learn about Lisa and the Writing Center she directed for 30 years and/or share personal remembrances of Lisa’s mentorship and friendship.

Opportunities to Participate

Present an Individual Talk. Present an individual talk about writing center research, history, theory, or practice.

Roundtable or Panel. Same as above, except groups of participants presenting together.

Facilitated Discussion of Scholarship. Individual, pair, or small group leads a discussion of a foundational article-length work by Lisa or Lisa and co-authors. See selected scholarly works authored by Lisa or Lisa and others. Some are available for download here.

Collaboration and Co-Authorship Networking. Participants who are interested in co-authoring or collaborative writing have the opportunity to workshop their ideas and identify potential co-authors or form a writing group.

Share a Memory or Remembrance. Share briefly about Lisa’s personal friendship and mentoring.

Submission Process

To submit a proposal to participate, visit our proposal website and submit your proposal by May 16, 2022.

References

Day, K, & Eodice, M. (2001). (First person)2: A study of co-authoring in the academy. All USU Press Publications. https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/usupress_pubs/136 .Submission Process

Ede, L. S., & Lunsford, A. A. (1992). Singular texts/plural authors: Perspectives on collaborative writing. SIU Press.