CFP: Going Public: The WPA as Advocate for Engagement (edited collection)

Going Public: The WPA as Advocate for Engagement 

In the last decade or so, as the discussion of community engagement and public scholarship in higher education has expanded its reach and deepened the articulation of its philosophical foundations, conceptions of college and university faculty work have begun to change. Though the traditional divisions of faculty work into research, teaching, and service constitute a still familiar triad, many universities and colleges are strategically revising the rhetoric that sharply distinguished among the three elements and contributed to a division of labor among faculty.  In addition to that familiar rhetoric, higher education faculty and administrators are developing descriptions of their work that emphasize integration of these elements and articulating rationales that argue for the contributions their work makes to the public good.   


Many administrators of post-secondary writing programs are already developing curricula that involve students in writing and literacy engagement activities that take their work public, both within their institution and outside its boundaries. In this collection, we seek to present discussions of the reasons and ways that writing program administrators serve as advocates for engagement by promoting activities that extend student writing beyond the individual classroom, making student writing a public rhetorical act. We hope that the essays in this collection will begin to answer these two questions: Where are writing programs located—and where might they be—in a college or university curriculum focused on increasing students’ community engagement and developing students’ public scholarship? How does writing program administrators’ work in these writing programs contribute to the public good? 

We invite proposals for essays that do one or more of the following:

  1. provide descriptions of program activities that extend student writing beyond the classroom, with an emphasis on the rationales for these programs and projects;
  2. reflect on issues raised by administrative and pedagogical practices in an engagement-focused writing program and offer WPAs and others who are considering “going public” guidance grounded in the experiences of planning and implementation;
  3. discuss how such engagement activities meet, extend, or revise the goals of the writing program;
  4. discuss the issues raised in assessment of public writing projects for individual students and instructors, as well as for writing programs and communities;
  5. discuss issues in documenting and representing a WPA’s engagement work for the purposes of evaluation.

 We are specifically interested in discussions of engagement projects that are connected to post-secondary writing programs (including FYC, PW, Writing Centers), and that involve undergraduate and or graduate students as writers. 

Please send 500-word abstracts for essays and brief descriptions of authors’ work in writing program administration by November 1, 2007 (note revised deadline) to Shirley K Rose and Irwin Weiser, Department of English, Purdue University, 500 Oval Drive, West Lafayette, IN 47907 or via e-mail to one of the addresses below.  Drafts of selected papers will be due May 1, 2008. 

We encourage your inquiries or questions.  Contact either Shirley K Rose (765 494-3756; or Irwin Weiser (765 494-3736;


Note: proposals for Going Public: the WPA as Advocate for Engagement are due in two weeks.

Shirley K Rose Purdue University, Immediate Past President, Council of Writing Program Administrators