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Writing Across Difference

Year of Funding: 
Abstract painting of curly-ques in rainbow colors

This research cluster draws together scholars from the English Department writing programs, the Odegaard Writing & Research Center, Human Centered Design & Engineering, the Center for Teaching & Learning, and other programs to facilitate cross-disciplinary discussion. With a dual focus on developing scholarship and teaching resources, the group explores ways that power and difference (linguistic, cultural, disciplinary, and otherwise) are at work in writing and other forms of communication. We are especially interested in the ways writing shapes how we encounter difference, how we engage inequity, and how we can use writing as a tool for changing attitudes about difference.

We formed the group in response to a number of urgent needs facing the UW, including the need for changing “exclusionary or biased policies and institutional practices that lead to and maintain racial and other forms of inequity” (from the UW Race and Equity Initiative). We aim to address these needs by developing support for anti-racist pedagogies and teaching across difference; by increasing systems of support for international and multilingual students; by enhancing students’ global citizenship; and by helping students successfully write within and across disciplinary contexts.

Our goals include:

  1. Studying relevant scholarship that will help us develop models of support for teaching across difference.
  2. Producing collaborative, cross-disciplinary research.
  3. Increasing institutional capacity for engaging writing, difference, and power through a campus-wide symposium.

Ultimately we aim to sustain collaborative networks across departments and disciplines through the creation of a research institute. 

Primary Contacts 

Megan Callow (English) 

Anis Bawarshi (English) 

Katie Malcolm (Center for Teaching and Learning) 

Carrie Matthews (English) 

Candice Rai (English) 

Mark Zachry (Human Centered Design & Engineering)