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Call for Papers
September 2016 Special Issue of
Computers and Composition: An International Journal

Guest Edited By:
Russell Carpenter, Eastern Kentucky University
Sohui Lee, Stanford University

Theme: Pedagogies of Multimodality and the Future of Multiliteracy Centers

While multimodal composition is not new, writing centers have only recently begun to institutionally embrace the “new” idea of the multiliteracy center. Since 2000, a growing number of writing center scholars have addressed the need for as well as the development of multiliteracy centers from concept to theory and practice. Evoking the New London Group’s (1996) term “multiliteracies,” Trimbur (2000) predicted that future writing centers would incorporate digital literacies and that this shift in practice required writing centers to pay special attention to how design impacts written and visual communication. Ten years later, Sheridan and Inman (2010) revisited Trimbur’s argument by further articulating that multiliteracy centers should consider the range of “semiotic options” available to composers in the 21st century. In other words, writing centers should not only recognize the “semiotic” diversity of composition in the digital age, but also support the production of multimodal practices of writing and communicating. More recently in “The Idea of a Multiliteracy Center: Six Responses” (2012), Balester, Grimm, McKinney, Lee, Sheridan, and Silver explore practical and “local contexts” related to new writing centers as they change their identities and connectivity, reassess missions and scopes, and transform staff training and faculty outreach. The transformation of a writing center to a multiliteracy center can be messy, awkward, and complicated, but the authors agree that multiliteracies and multimodal composition are the future of writing center work. The question, then, is no longer whether writing centers will become multiliteracy centers but rather how writing centers will become multiliteracy centers. Building on Sheridan and Inman’s collection Multiliteracy Centers (2010), which investigates these pedagogical challenges, this special issue situates multimodal pedagogies and practices as they are employed now and as they might be developed in the future.

Our understanding of multimodal pedagogies has been enriched by composition scholarship that deepens our view of multiliteracy center work. Selber (2004), for instance, introduced a centralizing theory of multiliteracies through three literacy categories: functional, critical, and rhetorical. Since then, these literacy areas are evident in pedagogical discussions of how multimodal projects support rhetorical knowledge (Ridolfo & DeVoss, 2009; Shipka, 2011; Palmeri, 2012; Reiss & Young, 2013). These scholars apply multimodal composition pedagogies with an interest in the rhetorical impact on student projects, opening the discussion to the reciprocal relationship between these classroom experiences and multiliteracy center practices.

For this special issue, we invite scholars from rhetoric and composition, digital media, visual communication, writing program administration, and writing centers/multiliteracy centers/studios to explore, theorize, and assess pedagogies and practices of multiliteracy centers supporting multimodal composition in digital and non-digital forms. In other words, how have multiliteracy centers supported the work of multimodal composition in the classroom, and how has the writing center’s shift toward multiliteracies impacted composition programs? In addition, we are interested in how multiliteracy centers theoretically and practically engage with pedagogies of multimodality in light of training, space allocation, technology and tools, and programmatic outreach.

Framing questions can include but are not limited to:

● What are the next steps for multiliteracy centers? In five years? Ten years? What will multiliteracy center pedagogy look like in five or ten years?
● What is the relationship between composition programs and multiliteracy centers, and how might those relationships develop, change, or expand in the future?
● How are pedagogical approaches to staff development in multiliteracy centers different from traditional writing centers? That is, do multiliteracy centers require different pedagogical resources? What is the range of challenges multiliteracy centers encounter when consulting students in multiple composition modes such as written, visual, and oral?
● What is the relationship between multiliteracy centers and rhetorical development when students are asked to compose multimodal projects?
● What are the current and future spatial, material, and technological considerations and challenges for multiliteracy centers?
● What are the best practices for programmatic outreach in multiliteracy centers within different institutional contexts?


500-word proposals due: May 16, 2014
Notification of proposal acceptance: June 18, 2014.
Initial manuscript submission due: December 19, 2014
Final revised manuscript due: Sept 25, 2015

Please send proposals and questions to Russell Carpenter at russell.carpenter@eku.edu and/or Sohui Lee at sohui@stanford.edu.

Computers and Composition: An International Journal is a peer-reviewed academic journal devoted to exploring the use of computers in composition classes, writing programs, and scholarly projects. It provides teachers and scholars of writing and rhetoric a forum for discussing issues connected to computer use. The journal also offers information about integrating digital composing environments into writing programs and writing centers on the basis of sound theoretical and pedagogical decisions and empirical evidence.

About the Guest Editors:

Russell Carpenter directs the Noel Studio for Academic Creativity at Eastern Kentucky University, where he is also Assistant Professor of English. With Sohui Lee, he co-edited The Routledge Reader on Writing Centers and New Media (2013).

Sohui Lee is the former Associate Director of the Hume Center for Writing and Speaking at Stanford University and is the founder of its Digital Media Center. She is also Lecturer in the Program in Writing and Rhetoric where she teaches visual design and multimodal composition. She is the co-editor (with Russell Carpenter) of The Routledge Reader on Writing Centers and New Media (2013).

New Computers and Composition Online Issue is Live!

The Winter 2013 issue of C&C Online is now available. There are five articles on theory into practice, two articles on the virtual classroom, one piece on professional development, and three book reviews.

Also, Computers and Composition and Computers and Composition Online would like to announce an exciting call for papers.

CIWIC, DMAC, and technology professional development in rhetoric and composition

2015 will mark the 30th anniversary of perhaps the most significant, national professional technological development offering in computers and writing: the Digital Media and Composition (DMAC) institute, offered annually at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio from 2006 onward; and its predecessor, the Computers in Writing-Intensive Classrooms (CIWIC) institute offered annually between 1985 and 2005.

The anniversary of DMAC/CIWIC is one impetus for a paired set of special issues of Computers and Composition and Computers and Composition Online. The larger impetus is on best practices in technological professional development. Although a limited number of resources have emerged on the topic (see, for instance Cook, 2007; Hauge, 2006; Hewett & Ehmann, 1994; Lancashire, 2009; McGrath, 2010; Palloff & Pratt, 1999; Scott & Mouza, 2007; Warnock, 2009), the continued importance of professional development and rapid changes in digital environments for instruction suggest the need for an updated and extended examination.

We invite past attendees of DMAC/CIWIC to identify, discuss, and anchor a series of “best practices” in technological professional development, share their experiences, identify funding and support for technological professional development, and more. We also invite others who have perhaps not attended the workshop, but who have significant technological professional development expertise, stories, and experiences to share.

DMAC/CIWIC-related questions we invite proposal authors to consider and respond to include, but are not limited to:

  •  What makes DMAC/CIWIC unique? Why are DMAC/CIWIC exemplar models of technological professional development?
  • What are some of the best practices you learned at/adopted from DMAC/CIWIC?
  • What did you produce at DMAC/CIWIC? Why was this work significant for you and an example of a milestone in your technological professional development?
  • How did DMAC/CIWIC impact your teaching? Your scholarship? Your administrative work?
  • What might a, for instance, historiography or bibliographic essay of DMAC/CIWIC-produced projects and scholarship say about the growth of the field from this professional development experience?

More general questions related to technological professional development we invite proposal authors to consider and
respond to include, but are not limited to:

  • What are some of the ways different institutions have situated, conceptualized, and delivered technological professional development?
  • How does technological professional development need to be situated for composition studies?
  • What are some issues that technological professional development typically doesn’t take into consideration?
  • What are some of the theoretical lenses that shape or can shape best practices in technological professional development (e.g., critical theories of technology a la Feenberg; feminist stances and practices)?
  • What are some methods for the evaluation and/or assessment of technological professional development?

The deadline for 500-word proposals is February 15, 2014 (with notification to authors by March 15, 2014 and draft chapters due by July 1, 2014; the special issues will be published in Spring/Summer 2015). Please be sure to explain in your proposal if you are proposing a piece for Computers and Composition or a webtext for Computers and Composition Online. If the latter, include a brief description of your webtext design and media elements. Queries are welcome. Direct proposals and any queries to Cheryl Ball (s2ceball@gmail.com) or Dànielle Nicole DeVoss (devossda@msu.edu).

New Computers and Composition Online Issue is Live!

The Winter 2013 issue of C&C Online is now available. There are three articles on theory into practice, two articles on the digital classroom, three pieces on professional development, and four book reviews.

New Computers and Composition Online Issue is Live!

The Fall 2012 issue of C&C Online is now available. The issue is titled “New Media Composition in Community Colleges.” There are five articles on theory into practice, two articles on the digital classroom, one article on professional development, and two book reviews. It’s a dynamic issue, guest edited by Shelly Roderigo and Matthew Kim.

Valley school district makes a digital leap in technology

Most students stay as far from school as possible during Spring Break. So when McAllen Memorial High School Principal Rosie Larson saw a group of them huddled against the school building, tented in blankets against the unseasonable cold, she did a double take.

With a sense of triumph, Larson realized they were seeking Wi-Fi for their new school-provided iPads. The tablets, distributed across grade levels to students and teachers, give access to technology that does not exist for most homes in a district with a 67-percent poverty rate.

“At the end of the day, we can’t get them out of the building,” she said. “It’s amazing, and as an adult it’s really been transforming for me, to see that happening.”


Higher Ed Open Textbook Provider Sued by Publishers. K-12 Implications? Higher Education Implications?

Boundless Learning, a young but fast-growing company in Boston that curates open education content for college students, so they don’t have to pay hundreds (thousands, even) on textbooks, has been sued for copyright infringement. Textbook giant Pearson, along with Cengage Learning, and MacMillan Higher Education filed the complaint, alleging that Boundless is essentially trying to replicate three of their textbooks with “shadow versions” using free digital content. Using Creative Commons licenses, the company bases the content it recommends on the titles of the textbooks students are assigned.


Digital Culture Before Digital Textbooks

It’s not just about putting technology in schools. It’s about creating a culture that allows technology initiatives to thrive and not become stagnant and fail.


New Issue of C&C Online is LIVE!

We’re just updating our blog visitors that the Fall 2011 issue of C&C Online is available. The issue is titled “Ethics in a Digital Age.” There are three articles on theory into practice, three articles on the digital classroom, two articles on professional development, and two book reviews.

Pranav Mistry: The thrilling potential of SixthSense technology

Remediating the physical and digital world. “I think that integrating information into everyday objects will not only help us to get rid of the digital divide–the gap between these two worlds–but it will also help us in some way to stay human, to be more connected to our physical world. And it will help us end up not being machines sitting in front of other machines.”


Should Graduate Students Create E-Portfolios?

“A year ago, I noticed that more and more fellowship applications asked whether I had a Web site for my dissertation project. I doubt that my negative response to that question explained the regretful letters of rejection I received last spring. But the question and the thin envelopes did get me wondering about how we, as graduate students, craft our online presence.”