Writing Center Journal


Writing studies and writing center scholars have recently focused much-needed attention on how graduate student writers are taught, mentored, and supported. This scholarship also points to a persistent and stubborn conundrum: Graduate students must write their way into disciplinary belonging, yet most advisors lack a language for, or even awareness of, the specialized practices and tacit expectations shaping written discourse in their fields. While graduate student–serving writing centers help fill this writing-support gap, a reliance on English and humanities graduate students for staff reproduces a status quo in which the genre awareness and rhetorical vocabulary needed to mentor advanced academic writers are neither widely distributed nor recognized and valued. This essay offers the counterexample of a graduate writing center whose consultants hail primarily from master’s and doctoral programs in the sciences and social sciences. Using feminist social reproduction theory to examine this case study of one graduate writing center, the authors explore how multidisciplinary staffing resists the enclaving of writing process and rhetorical knowledge and points to a future in which the responsibility for mentoring graduate student writers is visible, valued, and shared.