An Odyssey of Our Own

Mike Palmquist, Colorado State UniversityMike Palmquist, Editor
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As 2001 draws to a close, the editorial staff of Academic.Writing offers a new collection of materials addressing communication across the curriculum. You'll find our fourth Forum, which brings together four ESL scholars and two WAC scholars in a collegial and revealing discussion of connections between the two fields. You'll find a new column from Pam Childers, who reflects on what keeps us going as scholars and teachers--something I'm wondering myself as this academic term draws to a close. You'll also find Donna Reiss' CAC Connections, which provides a wide-ranging discussion of upcoming CAC events and recent publications, including two special issues. In addition, you'll find reviews of Christopher L. Schroeder's, ReInventing the University: Literacies and Legitimacy in the Postmodern Academy, and Rebecca Moore Howard's, Standing in the Shadow of Giants: Plagiarists, Authors, Collaborators. Finally, you'll find updates to the resources listed in the WAC Clearinghouse, including upcoming conferences, links to resources, and related online journals.

This collection of work also marks a key point in our efforts to establish this journal as a going concern. At times over the past two years, I must confess to feeling as though I've been written into the latter moments of Kubrick's Odyssey. And I'm pretty sure my Dell has started talking to me. But completing our second volume of work suggests that we've moved beyond the experimental stage.

To celebrate this dangerous brush with normalcy, we're planning important changes over the next year. You might recall that Academic.Writing emerged from the WAC Clearinghouse as an attempt to make contributions to online scholarship about WAC "count" in a way that could be reported on an annual activity report. For example, there's more "value" in being a member of a journal's editorial board than in being a member of a Web site development team. Similarly, a refereed publication carries more weight on an annual review than a hypertext document on the Web. As a result, when Academic.Writing went online, the WAC Clearinghouse became a part of Academic.Writing. The resources once available in the WAC Clearinghouse were still available, but the journal took center stage.

As we've pursued the original--and still central--goals that led to the creation of the WAC Clearinghouse, however, we've outgrown the limits of an academic journal. For instance, Academic.Writing contains the back issues of our sister publication, Language and Learning Across the Disciplines. It also contains a book series, Landmark Publications in Writing Studies. And we're planning to offer access to additional online journals that address communication across the curriculum. (More on that in early 2002.)

It's a bit odd, though, to publish books inside a journal, and to publish other journals inside our journal. So, beginning in 2002, the WAC Clearinghouse will take back its place at the center of this enterprise. The new WAC Clearinghouse will house our book series (including our first completely online publication, co-edited by Chuck Bazerman and David Russell, and two new online versions of books by Sue McLeod and Art Young). The Clearinghouse will also be home to Academic.Writing and LLAD, as well as at least two other journals. It will also house a new database-supported list of resources on communication across the curriculum as well as full-text dissertations and theses on WAC topics. And that's only the beginning. Any reader will be able to become a co-author of the WAC Clearinghouse by creating a login and adding content to the site. At the moment, we're working on the code for a reader-authored bibliography of WAC sources, a reader-authored list of useful WAC links, and a consultants listing. Between now and the unveiling of the new WAC Clearinghouse, I hope to expand that list.

If you have ideas for resources that should be included in a new, expanded WAC Clearinghouse, please share them with me. I look forward to hearing from you.

Call for Submissions

If you are interested in publishing your work with Academic.Writing – and I certainly hope you are – please view our Contribution Guidelines and Submissions Procedures for information about sending us your work.

Publication Information: Palmquist, Mike. (2001). An Odyssey of Our Own. Academic.Writing.
Publication Date: December 12, 2001

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