Writing Center Journal


This article examines connections among disability, colonization, university policies, and writing center work in North America. By positing that university policies have long mimicked medical and scientific processes for creating—and then discriminating against—perceived categories of disability, this article makes interventions into traditional writing center practices and pedagogies without dismissing the spirit with which these aspects of our field came to be. The article has several central claims:

  • Disability has been constructed by nondisabled entities (including doctors, scientists, and institutions).

  • Disability’s “drift” and myriad forms act as both specter and insidious insurance against progress or inclusive design.

  • Writing center scholarship has consistently made claims toward equity yet still must reframe its points of engagement.

  • Disability itself provides opportunities to reconstruct not only our relationships to one another but to our field and world.

While these claims do situate writing centers (under the auspice of the institution itself ) as agents of colonization and control through their ableism and expectations for bodies, bodyminds, and identities, they also leave ample opportunity to imagine and build upon the values that shape our praxis. What can we imagine for one another, beyond accommodations and retrofits? What does a decolonized, disabled body have to offer? How can we find out?