Guest editors: Stefanie Frigo, North Carolina Central University, and Collie Fulford, North Carolina Central University
Over the last two decades, both international experience and international competence in terms of communication and cultural understanding have become extraordinarily important to the newest generations of undergraduate students. An enhanced level of global literacy provides myriad benefits for new graduates, giving them the ability to communicate across international and local cultural borders, to see connections between their worlds, and to develop an international sensitivity that will allow them to succeed professionally and socially in a globally competitive job market. This emphasis on taking U.S. students to the world and bringing the world to U.S. students has led to internationalization efforts across university curricula that have extended through institutional layers to departmental and course levels.
In English and writing departments, these efforts have been translated into initiatives that bring a global flavor to many courses, first year writing in particular. While on the surface, this seems like a reasonable goal, achievable, as Schaub (2003) puts it, by "expanding writing assignments to encompass international interests and themes and revising syllabi to reflect a more global perspective," in reality, it entails no inconsiderable amount of work and reflection. Matsuda and Silva (1999) argue that: "writing teachers and writing program administrators are facing, among many others, two important challenges. The first is to provide an appropriate environment for all types of students, as the student population at many university campuses is becoming increasingly diverse and international … the second challenge is to provide educational opportunities in which students can prepare themselves for an increasingly internationalized world." Matsuda and Silva articulate an important point: the difficulties inherent in internationalizing the composition classroom lie both in the internal dynamics of the class and in bringing with world into that classroom in a way that is meaningful and educational to every student in the course.
Within English and Writing Studies, internationalizing the writing classroom has been studied from several perspectives, including Composition and Rhetoric, ESL/EFL, and Technical and Professional Writing. Christiane Donahue (2009), Stephen Guerin (2009), Santosh Khadka (2012), Mark Schaub (2003), and the collaborative partnerships of Paul Kei Matsuda, Tony Silva, and Ava Matsuda have done much to further our thinking vis à vis internationalization, both from practical and philosophical viewpoints, but there remains a relative paucity of resources for the WAC/WID instructor, WPAs, and in particular, faculty in writing-based courses in disciplines other than English.
"Internationalization" is happening in college campuses across the country, and WAC programs are uniquely positioned to be at the forefront of this movement; because of their broad, cross-campus influence and connections, internationalized curricula across all departments in WAC programs would have significant impact on students and their writing. In this special issue of Across the Disciplines, we invite proposals for articles that expand our understanding of the links between the teaching and learning of writing within the disciplines, inter-disciplinary discourses, and the increasingly interconnected world in which we live. Proposals for theoretical studies, analyses of internationalization efforts within the sciences and social sciences in addition to the humanities, and programmatic case studies are all welcome. Potential articles might include:
Deadline for Proposals: July 1, 2015
Notification of Acceptance: August 15, 2015
Manuscripts Due: December 15, 2015
Publication: Fall 2016
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, following the general guidelines for submissions to Across the Disciplines. Send your proposal electronically (in MS Word format) to guest editors Stefanie Frigo (email@example.com) and Collie Fulford (firstname.lastname@example.org), and also to ATD editor Michael Pemberton at email@example.com. Please provide full contact information with your submission.