Guest editors:Steven J. Corbett, George Mason University, and Betsy Cooper, University of Washington
Across the country, university programs in the performing and visual arts ask undergraduates to cultivate appreciation of—and graduate students to work toward mastery of—their disciplines. Students act, sing, play, dance, draw, paint, and carve in the performing and visual arts while learning about and engaging in the generative creative processes of choreography, composing, and visual design. Performing and visual arts programs also ask students at all levels to write about the artistic domains they inhabit. From undergraduates taking introductory arts courses, to MFA students writing theses and academic journal articles, thousands of students nationwide are creating and performing art—witnessing an array of creative processes, performances and exhibitions—and attempting to write about their experiences (e.g. Writing about Dance, 2010; Writing about Music, 2008; Writing about Art, 2008). But negotiating the nuances of writing about the performing and visual arts is no easy task. Learning to perceive and to write through the lens of the arts requires students to learn (and teachers to coach how) to balance the technical expertise of a composer or choreographer with the poetic facility of a creative writer.
Composition and Rhetoric scholars are doing their part to study and report on connections between creativity, performance, writing, and the visual (e.g. Kairos; ARTiculating: Teaching Writing in a Visual World,1998/2013; the 2012 inaugural issue of CCC Online). Childers, Hobson, and Mullin's collection ARTiculating Writing (1998/2013) as well as essays like Kathleen Blake Yancey's CCC "Made Not Only in Words" (2004) have made us consider questions like "What do our references to writing mean? Do they mean print only?" (Yancey, p. 298). Yet peruse any given writing studies collection—whether WAC, WID, CAC, writing center, or composition—for scholarship on writing in the visual and (especially) the performing arts and you will see a relative dearth.
The performing and visual arts have much to offer writing studies in terms of process, creativity, design, delivery, and habits of mind (and body). In this special issue of Across the Disciplines, we invite proposals for articles that explore connections between the teaching and learning of writing and the performing and visual arts in the classroom or studio, in writing centers and writing fellows programs, and elsewhere across the disciplines. Proposals for theoretical pieces, practical and experiential narrative essays, and case studies are all welcome. Possible lines of inquiry include:
These questions are meant as suggestions for possible topics. We welcome other ideas for related topics and issues.
Deadline for Proposals: June 1, 2014
Notification of Acceptance: August 2014
Manuscripts Due: December 15, 2014
Publication: Spring/Fall 2015
Proposal Format: Please submit a 500-word proposal explaining your topic, the theoretical and/or experiential base on which you will draw, and your plans for the structure of your article. Proposals and manuscripts should follow APA documentation style (with the single exception that ATD includes authors' first names). Send your proposal electronically (in MS Word format) to guest editors Steven J. Corbett at firstname.lastname@example.org and Betsy Cooper at email@example.com, and also to the editor of ATD, Michael Pemberton (firstname.lastname@example.org). Please be sure to include your full contact information.