The Peace of the Dancing Mind: Co-Creating the Writing Center as a Quiet, Slow Space 


Higher Education, Peer Tutoring, Writing Center Theory, Writing Centers

By Mary O’Shan Overton—In her acceptance speech at the 1996 National Book Foundation Medal ceremony, the novelist Toni Morrison said that “There is a certain kind of peace that is not merely an absence of war. It is larger than that. […] The peace I am thinking of is the dance of an open mind when it engages another equally open one—an activity that occurs most naturally, most often in the reading/writing world we live in.” I am interested in making space for that kind of peace. In fact, as a writing center director, I feel an ardent responsibility to do so. […]

March 22, 2022

Allyship & Co-Conspiracy in an Antiracist Writing Center


Diversity and Inclusion, Graduate Students, Peer Tutoring, Racial Justice, Social Justice, Tutor Training, Writing Center Theory, Writing Center Tutors, Writing Centers

By Gabrielle Isabel Kelenyi and Seth Umbaugh—This fall, the Writing Center offered an ongoing education group (OGE) about being an ally versus a co-conspirator in an antiracist writing center, which was co-facilitated by the TA Assistant Director of the Writing Center, Seth Umbaugh, and the TA Coordinator of Multicultural and Social Justice Initiatives, Gabrielle Kelenyi. We assembled […]

December 7, 2021

Developing a Multimodal Toolkit for Greater Writing Center Accessibility


Disability and Writing Centers, Diversity and Inclusion, Graduate Students, Peer Tutoring, Writing Center Research, Writing Center Theory, Writing Center Tutors, Writing Centers

By Ellen Cecil-Lemkin and Lisa Marvel Johnson—As several scholars have already pointed out (Dembsey; Hitt; Kiedaisch and Dinitz to name a few), historically, the scholarship on disability in the writing center is… not great (to put it lightly). It’s seeped in ableism by positioning disabled writers as “other” and problems that need to be solved. This framing leads to positioning disabled students “as so radically different from other students that they are beyond help—that they require too much time, resources, or special knowledge” (Hitt). This perspective, however, goes beyond ableism that occurs on an individual level. […]

April 20, 2021

Writing with Others: Renaissance Coteries, the Writing Center, and Community


Collaborative Learning, Writing Center Theory, Writing Groups

By Emily Loney—When Sir Philip Sidney sent the manuscript of his prose romance, the Arcadia, to his sister, Mary Sidney Herbert, Countess of Pembroke, sometime in the 1580s, he sent a letter along as well. Apologizing for the imperfections of his tale, Sidney tells Pembroke in his letter that the Arcadia was written for her, and he reminds her […]

February 17, 2020

Medieval Monks Wrote in Their Books and So Can You


Tutorial Talk and Methods, Uncategorized, Writing Center Theory, Writing Center Workshops

By Leah Pope Parker—We learn to write by imitating, by reading, and by thinking about the construction of texts we aim to emulate. It is commonly understood among teachers of writing that learning to write—at a more sophisticated level, in a different style, in a new genre—requires writers to read models for the kind of writing that they want to produce. This is why we […]

November 12, 2018

A Writer in Pain: Notes Toward a Writing Center Ethics of Care


Disability and Writing Centers, Tutorial Talk and Methods, Uncategorized, Writing Center Theory, Writing Center Tutors, Writing Centers

By Amy Gaeta – As a fourth-year Ph.D. candidate in English, writing center tutor and student, I love to write. Even if it was not part of my job, like many people reading this blog, the writing process is where I continue to find myself. During my past two years of working in the writing […]

October 1, 2018

Challenging Ableism and Institutional Barriers Through Writing Center Work


Disability and Writing Centers, Graduate Students, Higher Education, Peer Tutoring, Tutorial Talk and Methods, Uncategorized, Undergraduate Students, Writing Center Theory, Writing Center Tutors, Writing Centers

By Brenna Swift – Imagine for a moment that you’re trying to reach an educational goal, one you’ve had your sights on for as long as you can remember. As you move closer to the goal, you encounter barrier after barrier along the way. School culture at large, including some of your instructors, tells you […]

April 23, 2018

Showcasing Undergraduate Research


Big 10 Writing Centers, Collaborative Learning, Peer Tutoring, Student Voices, Tutorial Talk and Methods, Uncategorized, Undergraduate Students, Writing Across the Curriculum, Writing Center Research, Writing Center Theory, Writing Center Tutors, Writing Fellows

By Emily Hall At a large university we are regularly exposed to the original and sometimes groundbreaking research that takes place across campus. Mostly, this research comes from the work of professors and graduate students, many of whom have grants, research funds, and laboratories to support their endeavors. Less frequently do we have the opportunity to […]

April 20, 2015