Rewriting Across the Curriculum: Writing Fellows as Agents of Change in WAC

Guest editors: Brad Hughes and Emily B. Hall, Department of English, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Well-designed Writing Fellows programs—curriculum-based peer tutoring programs, in which undergraduate peer mentors are assigned to work collaboratively with students and faculty in specific writing-intensive courses across the curriculum—can become integral parts of WAC programs in ways that benefit student-writers, faculty, and fellows themselves. Because they embed collaborative learning and contemporary composition pedagogy within courses across the curriculum, Writing Fellows programs also, however, pose various theoretical, pedagogical, and administrative challenges, and they reveal complex intersections of writing, peer collaboration, disciplinary knowledge, and institutional and curricular politics. This special issue of ATD will explore new ways to understand Writing Fellows programs and the connections between them and WAC.

We invite proposals for articles that explore questions such as the following, as well as others related to the topic of Writing Fellows and WAC/WID.

  • How does the experience of Writing Fellows, actually working across the curriculum, complicate theories about specialized discourses? And how do specialized discourses challenge theories and practices of Writing Fellows programs?
  • Writing centers are sometimes viewed as conservative forces leading student writers to conform to discourse norms. How do writing fellows programs challenge or reinforce such critiques?
  • Collaborative learning has always been central to WAC, WID, WTL, and writing centers. Yet Writing Fellows programs, as some have suggested, can be seen as distancing fellows/tutors from students. What responses should writing fellows programs offer to these critiques? Is the Writing Fellows model compatible with the principles of collaborative learning and peer education?
  • Much of the interaction between writing fellows and student writers takes place outside of formal institutional spaces. How might Fellows be prepared to take into consideration how race, class, gender might influence such interactions?

  • How do curricular-based tutors challenge the generalist tutoring model familiar to most writing centers?
  • How do (or might) Writing Fellows use or help students with multimodal forms of communication increasing in WAC?
  • In what ways are Writing Fellows a particularly effective way to bring WAC to faculty?

  • How do writing fellows influence the cultures and practices of writing on a campus-perhaps ways in which writing centers do not?
  • What are some of the politics (institutional, disciplinary, curricular, resource) of Writing Fellows programs?
  • What is the history and current state of Writing Fellows programs? Why are there so many different models? Why is the number of Writing Fellows programs continuing to grow?
  • How should we train Writing Fellows for the varied challenges they will face? Are there particular tensions within training for Fellows?
  • What does research about Writing Fellows have to tell us about the influence of Fellows on student writing?
  • How could new WAC research and assessment be broadened to include the influence of Writing Fellows?

We're eager to read innovative work that critically explores the foundations, implications and influence of Writing Fellows across the disciplines - work that is theoretically informed, that offers original research data, and that builds on the conversation of recent WAC, writing center, and Writing Fellows literature. We welcome inquiries about this issue and about ideas for proposals.

Deadline for Proposals: September 1, 2006

Notification of Acceptance: by November 2006

Manuscripts Due: June 1, 2007

Publication: Fall 2007

Proposal Format: Please submit a one-page proposal explaining your topic, the research and theoretical base on which you will draw, and your plans for the structure of your article. Proposals and manuscripts should follow APA documentation style, which is the standard for Across the Disciplines. Send your proposal electronically (in MS Word format) to both guest editors ( and and Michael Pemberton (, the editor of ATD.