CFP – Edited Collection –  A Socially Just Classroom: Transdisciplinary Approaches to Teaching Writing Across the Humanities

William Whitehead's picture
Call for Publications
August 1, 2020
Subject Fields: 
Humanities, Social Sciences

AIM AND SCOPE: How do writing instructors alter their classroom practices in ways that respond directly to servicing students’ varied backgrounds, identities, and positionalities? How do we create a rigorous college classroom that simultaneously meets students where they are, and allows room for growth? What methods enable implementation of inclusive and transparent pedagogies across different institutional contexts? What lessons have we learned from the global shift to remote instruction during the Covid-19 pandemic and the heightened exposure of massive inequities impacting students? Given the rise in hate crimes, how do we protect our classrooms and maintain productive learning environments for all students?


Vernon Press invites proposals that focus on transdisciplinary approaches to the teaching of writing across the Humanities through the lens of inclusion and equity in higher education. We invite chapters that focus on both triumphs and challenges in the classroom, learning objectives and best practices, theories and their in-class applications, as well as concrete examples of campus action. Chapters written in collaboration with students are especially welcome. While this edited collection builds on the scholarship of rhetoric and composition, it is more broadly interested in transdisciplinary approaches across the Humanities disciplines, including language and translation studies, literature and creative writing, history and philosophy, cultural and ethnic studies, women and gender studies, and digital media studies. Our hope in fostering a conversation around the teaching of writing in a comparative and transdisciplinary context is to encourage educators to share and translate the resources available in their fields in a collective effort to close the equity gaps.


LITERATURE REVIEW: In the last few years, we have seen an exciting movement in higher education research that responds to systemic racism and promotes more inclusive and equitable institutions. To extend the discourse on the role of institutional practices, this collection considers the writing classroom as the pivotal space in which individual teaching practices directly impact the lives of students. It is our contention that the classroom environment has lasting influence on all students, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds. In this scheme, writing, as an extension of one’s voice and identity, carries significant weight. Thus, the writing classroom is ground zero for effecting meaningful change. A socially just classroom, by design, has the potential to emancipate education in order to meet the needs of the wide range of students we serve, as we prepare them for traditional and non-traditional career paths.


While we understand that there is no static definition of social justice and regard it as a multifaceted and ever expanding effort, we affirm the essential role of classroom instructors as the foundational actors in cultivating and sustaining inclusion and equity. To that end, we build upon the groundbreaking work of Paulo Freire, bell hooks and Lisa Delpit as well as the more recent scholarship on antiracist writing pedagogies, including works by Peter Elbow and Asao Inoue. We also centralize the teaching of writing in response to the urgency of global crises, like the COVID 19 pandemic, which intensifies previously existing issues surrounding housing, employment, healthcare, and the legal residency status of many students. It is our hope that this edited collection will offer pedagogical strategies drawn from and tailored to 21st century stakeholders and provide  a context where younger faculty, diverse students, and their chosen institutions can redefine the college classroom.


OUR DIRECTION: The collection will consist of four major sections. Submission may include, but are not limited to the following:


  • Impact on Student Learning: Improving Quality, Confidence, Agency, and Participation
    • Acknowledgement of  language diversity and accessibility for creating inclusive writing communities
    • Student-generated rubrics and student-driven learning experience, including the assessment of writing
    • Rethinking grades and learning outcomes


  • Remote Instruction: 21st century opportunities and limitations 
    • Lessons learned from the COV-19 Pandemic: The power and the limit of online learning, synchronous or asynchronous classrooms
    • How race/class/gender/ability inform learning communities
    • Opportunities for rethinking accessible/universal design and transparent pedagogy
    • Challenging neoliberalism in higher education: How a for-profit/corporate educational model with severe budget cuts, reductions in staffing, exploitation of contingent faculty, omission of select departments compromises educational values


  • From Disciplinary Practice to Transdisciplinary Application
    • How discipline specific methods inform the higher order concerns in the teaching of writing
    • How foundational authors/discourses/theories in certain fields of study relate to various subjectivities
    • How can educators contribute to developments in, for example, queer critique, postcolonial theory, and historical materialism vis-à-vis classroom practices with undergraduates 


  • Transparent Pedagogical Practice: Concrete examples and anecdotes from different institutional contexts 
    • Models of innovative teaching and learning practices from non-traditional, experimental, and smaller liberals arts colleges
    • Experiences in teaching and learning from community colleges to research universities
    • Humanities education and transferable skills within the context of career-oriented learning


SUBMISSION DETAILS: Please send a 200-word abstract and a brief biography by August 1st, 2020. Authors will be notified by late-August whether their abstract has been accepted and are invited to submit. Please submit abstracts to &


The deadline for submission of invited articles is December 1st, 2020. Full submission should range in length from 3,000-6,000 words. Word count must include notes and images (images count as 200 words each). Please format per Chicago Manual of Style—endnotes only, no works cited/bibliography. Because we strive for an interdisciplinary space of intellectual exchange, we discourage highly specialized language and encourage open, argumentative work that is well written. Please target your submission to an engaged, informed audience of educators inside and outside of the academy. Accepted papers will undergo extensive peer review.


Contact Info: 


Kristin Coffey, Ph.D., M.F.A.

Vuslat D. Katsanis, Ph.D.

William Whitehead, Ph.D.


Contact Email: