Across the Disciplines, a refereed journal devoted to language, learning, and academic writing, publishes articles relevant to writing and writing pedagogy in all their intellectual, political, social, and technological complexity. Across the Disciplines shares the mission of the WAC Clearinghouse in making information about writing and writing instruction freely available to members of the CAC, WAC, and ECAC communities. 

ATD provides CAC researchers, program designers, and teachers interested in using communication assignments and activities in their courses with a venue for scholarly debate about issues of disciplinarity and writing across the curriculum. The journal embraces a broad commitment to cross-disciplinary emphases in writing studies and invites relevant submissions from individuals in all fields of inquiry. ATD is a quarterly publication.

Call for Proposals: Special Issue on STEM and WAC/WID: Co-Navigating Our Shifting Currents

Guest Editors: Erin Beaver, Brian Hendrickson, & Justin Nicholes
Proposals Due: October 1, 2020 deadline extended to October 11, 2020

Current Issue: Volume 17, Issue 1/2

Published July 16, 2020

We are excited to publish this issue of Across the Disciplines and are confident you will find the four articles significant, both for the conceptual work they undertake and for the practical applications they make available to those of us involved in WAC/WID work. Three articles involve explicit theorization: Cameron Bushnell (2020) theorizes an anti-racist project for WAC; Christopher Basgier and Amber Simpson (2020) explore possible threshold concepts for the teaching of writing; and Crystal Fodrey and Meg Mikovits (2020) articulate a theory of multimodal WAC faculty development. Two contributions invite readers to think about the challenges of writing transfer from composition to writing in the disciplines, a significant area of interest in our field: Erin Zimmerman (2020) examines differences in the ways composition textbooks and science textbooks treat visual communication; Fodrey and Mikovits invite thinking about transfer between First Year Writing Seminars and writing enriched courses in the disciplines, with a focus on multimodal compositions. Given that so much of WAC/WID work involves faculty development, it comes as no surprise that all four articles in this issue offer insights that might be productively applied in workshops.

Introduction to Volume 17, Issue 1/2
Michael J. Cripps
DOI: 10.37514/ATD-J.2020.17.1-2.01

Featured Articles:

Reflecting on the Past, Reconstructing the Future: Faculty Members’ Threshold Concepts for Teaching Writing in the Disciplines
Christopher Basgier and Amber Simpson
DOI: 10.37514/ATD-J.2020.17.1-2.02

This study uses narrative analysis of faculty survey and focus groups responses to identify three threshold concepts for the teaching of writing in the disciplines, complimenting the existing work on threshold concepts in writing itself: 1) effective writing pedagogy involves iterative, multifaceted change; 2) students’ development as writers can be supported through scaffolded interventions; and 3) genres can be taught as actions, not (just) as forms.The authors also suggest additional candidates for threshold concepts for the teaching of writing in the disciplines, and comment on the value of narrative for promoting faculty reflection and assessing WAC faculty development.

Designing a Racial Project for WAC: International Teaching Assistants and Translational Consciousness
Cameron Bushnell
DOI: 10.37514/ATD-J.2020.17.1-2.03

This essay argues that international teaching assistants (ITAs) occupy intercultural spaces that make them acutely sensitive to complexities of language, and by extension, to the struggle to write well. It suggests that WAC practitioners activate this between-language experience toward producing writing instruction that is culturally and racially aware by considering ITAs models of translational consciousnesses—mindsets habituated to the process of working between languages and cultures and increasingly valuable to universities where the ability to understand and discuss cultural and racial difference is central to the collegiality of the institution. As WAC practitioners, we must help our ITAs recognize the significance and value of their conditions of translation in order to begin to unpack the layers of complexity that cultural and racial difference brings to writing practices across campus.

Theorizing WAC Faculty Development in Multimodal Project Design
Crystal Fodrey and Meg Mikovits
DOI: 10.37514/ATD-J.2020.17.1-2.04

This article argues that faculty need support in the design, implementation, and assessment of multimodal projects so that students are better positioned to transfer writing knowledge and (multimodal) composing practices throughout and beyond their undergraduate careers. Building upon scholarship on transfer, multimodality, and WAC/WID, the article presents a framework for theory-driven WAC faculty development in multimodal assignment design. The authors conclude by summarizing faculty responses to the workshop, describe multimodal assignments created by faculty, and share a framework for guiding faculty across the disciplines through the process of multimodal assignment design.

Locating Visual Communication across Disciplines: How Visual Instruction in Composition Textbooks differs from that in Science-writing Textbooks
Erin Zimmerman
DOI: 10.37514/ATD-J.2020.17.1-2.05

This article compares how a corpus of 60 science writing textbooks and composition textbooks address visual communication topics including: purposes visuals serve; visuals and written text work together; visuals stand alone; visual design and creation; writers might start with visuals; ethical use of visuals; analysis of visuals; and reading visuals. The study highlights transfer supports as well as issues suggested by the textbooks' similarities and differences, and suggests ways FYC and WAC/WID instructors can work better together to vertically scaffold students' visual communication learning.

Publishing in Across the Disciplines

The mission of Across the Disciplines is to provide information for— and an opportunity for interaction among—scholars interested in writing, speaking, reading, and communication across the curriculum (CAC). We welcome contributions of the following kinds:

  • articles (both linear and hypertext) on CAC theory, practice, and research
  • reviews of publications addressing CAC theory, practice, and research
  • papers formerly presented at scholarly conferences but not published elsewhere

Authors are encouraged to ground the texts they review within ongoing conversations of interest to ATD readers, WAC/WID researchers, and writing studies scholars, drawing on published literature to establish the scope and nature of that ongoing conversation. ATD does not publish articles that focus solely on describing a program, an assignment, or a sequence of assignments; such descriptions, when included, must be a central component of an empirical study or theoretical discussion.

For more information about submitting to this and other journals and book series available through the WAC Clearinghouse, please see the Clearinghouse's Invitation to Contribute.

ATD Special Issues

Across the Disciplines regularly publishes special issues that focus the community on a specific topic area and offer readers a range of perspectives by scholars working in that specific area.

If you would like to serve as guest editor for a special issue, or if you would like to suggest a topic for a special issue, please contact Michael J. Cripps, editor, at or (207) 602-2908.