Similar authors to follow
See more recommendations
About Jackie Grutsch McKinney
Customers Also Bought Items By
McKinney argues that this grand narrative neglects the extent to which writing center work is theoretically and pedagogically complex, with ever-changing work and conditions, and results in a straitjacket for writing center scholars, practitioners, students, and outsiders alike. Peripheral Visions for Writing Centers makes the case for a broader narrative of writing center work that recognizes and theorizes the various spaces of writing center labor, allows for professionalization of administrators, and sees tutoring as just one way to perform writing center work.
McKinney explores possibilities that lie outside the grand narrative, allowing scholars and practitioners to open the field to a fuller, richer, and more realistic representation of their material labor and intellectual work.
The first book-length empirical investigation of writing center directors’ labor, The Working Lives of New Writing Center Directors presents a longitudinal qualitative study of the individual professional lives of nine new directors. Inspired by Kinkead and Harris’s Writing Centers in Context (1993), the authors adopt a case study approach to examine the labor these directors performed and the varied motivations for their labor, as well as the labor they ignored, deferred, or sidelined temporarily, whether or not they wanted to.
The study shows directors engaged in various types of labor—everyday, disciplinary, and emotional—and reveals that labor is never restricted to a list of job responsibilities, although those play a role. Instead, labor is motivated and shaped by complex and unique combinations of requirements, expectations, values, perceived strengths, interests and desires, identities, and knowledge. The cases collectively distill how different institutions define writing and appropriate resources to writing instruction and support, informing the ongoing wider cultural debates about skills (writing and otherwise), the preparation of educators, the renewal/tenuring of educators, and administrative “bloat” in academe.
The nine new directors discuss more than just their labor; they address their motivations, their sense of self, and their own thoughts about the work they do, facets of writing center director labor that other types of research or scholarship have up to now left invisible. The Working Lives of New Writing Center Directors strikes a new path in scholarship on writing center administration and is essential reading for present and future writing center administrators and those who mentor them.