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From the Editor

On New Directions for Across the Disciplines

Sharon Quiroz, Illinois Institute of Technology
Sharon Quiroz, Editor
Homepage: http://www.iit.edu/~quiroz/
Email: quiroz@iit.edu

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About five years ago, Language and Learning Across the Disciplines surveyed its subscribers to ask: If we put the journal online, would you submit articles to it? Most of the subscribers said "no", but many of them said "not yet." And a few of them predicted that they would be comfortable publishing in an online journal in about five years.

Five years later, Language and Learning Across the Disciplines merged with Academic.Writing, and they became Across The Disciplines, and in the first year we are getting plenty of good manuscripts. In fact, the overall quality of submissions is definitely up. That's a lot of change in five years.

The post-modern version of this discipline is maturing (I persist in believing it started with the Greeks). Your editor was one of the first generation to get a degree in rhetoric and composition, and one of the first to write my dissertation on a word-processor (remember WordStar?). As I look at the submissions, I see we have lots of new names, newer practioners drawing on a longer tradition. Most of the people who submit material to this journal were trained by professors from my generation, that first generation of professors fully trained in the field. And they have never not been comfortable with computers. They probably don't remember WordStar.

So the move to represent this field online is perhaps more significant for us than it would be for another field: the medium may not quite be the whole message, but it is undoubtedly the most significant difference between today's message and yesterday's.

In the coming year, the two special issues will represent further signs of the times: one special issue will be devoted to studying the visuals in communication, the other to the implications for WAC/WID of the linguistic diversity of our students. And a third will represent continuity: we will have articles and conference papers from the National Writing Across the Curriculum Conference in St. Louis, 2004.

So Across the Disciplines is in good health: it is growing and changing, and firmly attached to its roots. Romantic metaphor floating around in a post-modern medium. Vamanos!