Writing Center Journal


It is crucial for writing center professionals who discuss community to ask ourselves what we mean by the term as applied to writing centers. In this keynote, I explore various notions of community that are influenced by writing center growth, expansion, and complexity, especially in relation to Iowa’s writing center. After relating a personal story about our new tutors’ traditional notion of community and an account of our own center’s expansion and growing complexity over the decades, which challenges their traditional notion, I discuss other obstacles to community, bringing in the critiques of writing center scholars. Finally, I synthesize what I consider to be the most important bases on which to build writing center community today, focusing on the special I-Thou relationships writing center tutors form with students.