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Transnational Writing Program Administration

Transnational Writing Program Administration

Copyright Date: 2015
Pages: 304
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  • Book Info
    Transnational Writing Program Administration
    Book Description:

    While local conditions remain at the forefront of writing program administration, transnational activities are slowly and thoroughly shifting the questions we ask about writing curricula, the space and place in which writing happens, and the cultural and linguistic issues at the heart of the relationships forged in literacy work.Transnational Writing Program Administrationchallenges taken-for-granted assumptions regarding program identity, curriculum and pedagogical effectiveness, logistics and quality assurance, faculty and student demographics, innovative partnerships and research, and the infrastructure needed to support writing instruction in higher education.

    Well-known scholars and new voices in the field extend the theoretical underpinnings of writing program administration to consider programs, activities, and institutions involving students and faculty from two or more countries working together and highlight the situated practices of such efforts. The collection brings translingual graduate students at the forefront of writing studies together with established administrators, teachers, and researchers and intends to enrich the efforts of WPAs by examining the practices and theories that impact our ability to conceive of writing program administration as transnational.

    This collection will enable writing program administrators to take the emerging locations of writing instruction seriously, to address the role of language difference in writing, and to engage critically with the key notions and approaches to writing program administration that reveal its transnationality.

    eISBN: 978-0-87421-962-3
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
    (pp. vii-xii)
    (pp. 1-18)
    David S. Martins

    A professor in the United States “outsources” the grading of student writing to Bangalore, India

    Globally networked learning environments (GNLEs) connect students located in multiple countries, speaking different languages, to collaborate on writing

    Multicultural and multilingual students increasingly enroll at US-based community colleges and universities

    Student learning outcomes focused on cultural and language difference aim to “internationalize” first-year composition (FYC) curricula

    US-based colleges and universities establish international branch campuses

    Writing Program Administrations (WPAs) from the United States travel to countries around the globe to consult with faculty and administrators on developing writing programs

    Institutional and writing program websites target global...


      (pp. 21-47)
      Chris M. Anson and Christiane Donahue

      The scene is familiar: you’re moving across a rural landscape in a train, car, bus, or even on a bicycle. If this landscape is arable, eventually you’ll pass by something you immediately recognize asfarmland. The crops will be specific to the region, of course: corn, cotton, soybeans, pineapple, tobacco, poppies. But if someone were to ask you what goes on in those fields, what activity the fields represent, without hesitation you’d sayfarming. Even when we travel to the most remote and culturally distinctive regions of the world, “farming” activates familiar schemas for us.

      In some ways, the concept...

    • 2 TECH TRAVELS: Connecting Writing Classes across Continents
      (pp. 48-71)
      Alyssa OʹBrien and Christine Alfano

      At Stanford University in California, three students sit around a large plasma screen, composing a storyboard on a digital whiteboard with students at the University of Örebro in Sweden. In Egypt, a student works late at night on a blog post, responding to a question from an American student about standards of living in Cairo and the recent revolution. In Khabarovsk, Russia, students prepare their speaking notes for a joint presentation on the oratory skills of world leaders, to be projected through Polycom video-conference technology. In each case, all of these students are participating in the Cross-Cultural Rhetoric (CCR) project,...

    • 3 THE FIRST-YEAR WRITING SEMINAR PROGRAM AT WEILL CORNELL MEDICAL COLLEGE – QATAR: Balancing Tradition, Culture, and Innovation in Transnational Writing Instruction
      (pp. 72-92)
      Alan S. Weber, Krystyna Golkowska, Ian Miller, Rodney Sharkey, Mary Ann Rishel and Autumn Watts

      The Gulf state of Qatar pioneered a major change in its educational system when the former Emir, His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, and his wife, Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, founded the Qatar Foundation in 1995, which asked six American universities to develop branch campuses in Qatar, a complex known as Education City in Doha. Inviting US schools to set up branch campuses within the country forms part of a larger strategy to shift Qatar’s reliance away from oil and gas revenue, which dominates the economy, toward a knowledge-based economy emphasizing education, research, and biotechnology. To achieve...

    • 4 ADAPTATION ACROSS SPACE AND TIME: Revealing Pedagogical Assumptions
      (pp. 93-116)
      Danielle Zawodny Wetzel and Dudley W. Reynolds

      In 2004, the Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) administration in Pittsburgh signed an agreement with the Qatar Foundation, promising they would build together a branch campus in Doha, Qatar for two specific undergraduate programs: business and computer science.¹ The Qatar Foundation’s goal was to build in one area, called “Education City,” a variety of programs from top universities in the United States. Education City was to be a hub of “American-style” education, comprised of programs from Virginia Commonwealth University, Texas AM University, Weill Cornell Medical College, Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, and Northwestern University. Students who graduated from programs at...

    • 5 SO CLOSE, YET SO FAR: Administering a Writing Program with a Bahamian Campus
      (pp. 117-137)
      Shanti Bruce

      As a part of my position as WPA at Nova Southeastern University (NSU), I send faculty to teach on the Caribbean island of New Providence, which is considered the crown jewel of The Bahamas. Five times during each ten-week term, these professors must make their way there, teach, and return within thirty to forty-eight hours. In order to truly understand this process, I took what leadership scholars Dotlich and Cairo (2002) call an “unnatural leadership” approach and put myself in their position. I assigned myself these courses in order to learn about the process firsthand. In this chapter, I share...

      (pp. 138-160)
      Beth Brunk-Chavez, Kate Mangelsdorf, Patricia Wojahn, Alfredo Urzua-Beltran, Omar Montoya, Barry Thatcher and Kathryn Valentine

      The US–Mexico border region is a dynamic rhetorical space with multiple language varieties and complexly related cultural and rhetorical traditions. Not surprisingly, this dynamic complexity presents a variety of challenges and opportunities to writing program administrators situated on the border. According to the Conference on College Composition and Communication (2009) Statement on Second Language Writing and Writers, writing teachers and WPAs should work to “recognize and take responsibility for the regular presence of second language writers in writing classes, to understand their characteristics, and to develop instructional and administrative practices that are sensitive to their linguistic and cultural needs.”...


      (pp. 163-201)
      Barry Thatcher, Omar Montoya and Kelly Medina-López

      Globalization and transnationalism generally mean the growing interdependence of people and cultures (Grewal 2008), with globalization focusing generally on economic independence and transnationalism focusing more broadly on interdependence.¹ Both examine the conditions, connections, and factors that facilitate and structure interdependence among people, due in large part to global finance, economy, energy, law, immigration, health, and so on. Because of the evident global connection related to oil prices, for example, most people acknowledge the de facto existence of globalization. In other words, what happens in the Middle East has a direct impact on what I pay for gasoline; we are now...

      (pp. 202-225)
      Hem Paudel

      Writing programs are facing tremendous pressure to address the issue of language difference, not only in the US but also across the whole world (as Bou Ayash’s chapter also shows). Our classrooms are becoming more and more multilingual and multidiscoursal (Canagarajah 2006b; Matsuda 1999; 2006) with the constantly expanding trend of globalization—facilitated by the advancement in digital technologies—the rapidly increasing movement of immigration, and the rise in global commerce and trade. In the United States, as Paul K. Matsuda (1999) and Preto-Bay and Hansen (2006) have said, the number of multilingual students has grown exponentially in recent times....

      (pp. 226-242)
      Nancy Bou Ayash

      In an increasingly multilingual and multicultural society, where the intermingling and interpenetration of languages, language varieties, and emergent Englishes are expected, the critical question of language difference and its implications for language policy, composition pedagogy, curriculum design, and teacher preparation programs is becoming of utmost concern to US writing program administrators (WPAs). As they come to terms with the linguistic heterogeneity that is growing in number and intensity in writing programs and courses, WPAs are constantly striving to accommodate the academic needs of growing multilingual student populations and better understand and respond to the complexity of their identities, language practices,...

      (pp. 243-262)
      Christine M. Tardy

      Internationalization in higher education generally refers to the process of incorporating international or intercultural dimensions through, for instance, study abroad programs, international students and scholars, “off-shore” programs or international branch campuses, and/or programs and institutes that take an explicitly global focus. Data on the internationalization of higher education in the United States consistently point to growth in these areas. With regard to student mobility, David Graddol estimates that two to three million students worldwide study outside the borders of their home countries each year. The greatest number study in the United States and the United Kingdom, but Germany, France, Australia,...


    • 11 DISPOSABLE DRUDGERY: Outsourcing Goes to College
      (pp. 265-288)
      Rebecca Dingo, Rachel Riedner and Jennifer Wingard

      In the fall semester of 2009, Lori Whisenant, director of business law and ethics at the University of Houston’s Bauer School of Business, made news (at least academic news) by outsourcing the grading for her writing in the disciplines (WID) course. She contracted with EduMetry Inc., a company whose US base is in the suburbs of Washington DC, but whose labor pool is drawn heavily from Bangladesh, Malaysia, and India (June 2010). EduMetry promises those who use its services that their employees possess at least a master’s-level degree, and that they will provide “robust feedback” (RichFeedback LLC 2012b) on student...

    • 12 ECONOMIES OF COMPOSITION: Mapping Transnational Writing Programs in US Community Colleges
      (pp. 289-306)
      Wendy Olson

      Community colleges are expanding their work in the teaching of English literacy skills, and they do so for a growing culturally and linguistically varied English language learning student population. As JoAnne Crandall and Ken Sheppard note in a report they developed for the Council for Advancement of Adult Literacy, “ESL is now the largest department at Miami-Dada Community College, and the largest ESL program in the world is located at Santa Monica Community College” (Crandall and Sheppard 2004, 6). Not coincidently, approximately one-fourth of the students enrolled in community colleges are immigrants. Furthermore, given the institutional emphasis on access, resident...

    • 13 FROM ʺEDUCATING THE OTHERʺ TO CROSS-BOUNDARY KNOWLEDGE-MAKING: Globally Networked Learning Environments as Critical Sites of Writing Program Administration
      (pp. 307-331)
      Doreen Starke-Meyerring

      From its beginnings as scholarly work, writing program administration has been understood—in Bruffee’s (1978) prescient words—as “not managerial, but directly educational,” as deeply concerned with, in a Deweyan (1961) sense, designing environments and conditions that allow for and facilitate student learning. From the beginning, writing program administrators have understood that this educational mission is highly political—that it involves daily struggle and activism to bring about the institutional change that allows for new learning environments to emerge and take hold. Indeed, early on in his editorial explaining the need for a Council for Writing Program Administrators, Bruffee urged...

    (pp. 332-342)
    Bruce Horner

    Transnational writing program administration by definition engages encounters with difference. Transnational writing programs offer different sets of coordinates by which to (re)locate writing and its teaching—in space, culture, geopolitical relations, language—thereby posing alternative notions of writing and its teaching and enabling us to rethink our practices and beliefs that all too often have been understood as simply “the norm.” In presenting such programs, this collection contributes to ongoing challenges to longstanding ideological blinders that render as universals what are in fact local (US) cultural presuppositions and practices with postsecondary writing and writing instruction.¹

    In bringing to light significant...

  9. About the Contributors
    (pp. 343-344)
  10. INDEX
    (pp. 345-348)