Writing in the 21st century is undergoing significant changes as technological innovations constantly emerge; interconnected social, racial, and ecological crises multiply and intensify; and the digital apparatus shifts how communication unfolds within and across communities and borders. The Write Lab was invented as a collaborative working space to keep pace with such profound changes through innovative research and teaching.
Origins and Goals of the Lab
The Write Lab was conceived by tenure-track (TT) faculty in the Program for Writing and Rhetoric (PWR) to boost transdisciplinary writing studies at a university that favors canonical disciplines and epistemologies. All resident TT faculty formally, by MOU, affiliate with other departments (English and Communication) but strive to produce scholarship, teaching, writing, and advocacy in the vital spaces between these departments and PWR so that research in writing studies moves beyond traditional disciplinary boundaries. The WRITE Lab is thus imagined as an invitational space to generate individual and collaborative research projects among scholars within and beyond PWR to boost innovative writing studies for the 21st century.
The WRITE Lab is also committed to enhancing writing studies at CU Boulder. In one sense, The Write Lab is committed to vital matters of working conditions—salary compensation and teaching loads; professional development; recruitment, promotion and retention, including all initiatives on campus to recruit and retain students and faculty of color. The WRITE Lab is also invested in deepening writing-in-the-disciplines efforts on campus and providing curriculum outreach to the First-year Academic Experience, while also participating in several other initiative on campus.
The WRITE Lab is also intensely committed to providing cutting edge writing pedagogy on the CU Boulder campus. Faculty teach undergraduate and graduate classes to support, enhance, and promote writing and rhetoric across the curriculum at CU Boulder. Building on PWR’s longstanding history of community engaged pedagogy, The WRITE Lab recently spearheaded a new minor to help students hone the diverse rhetorical arts of persuasive writing and public engagement. Through a curriculum focused on theory, practice, and action and committed to inclusive pedagogy, this minor offers students opportunities to write in diverse genres for diverse purposes and public audiences; leverage a wide variety of digital technologies to design, produce, and distribute multimodal compositions; write in professional settings and with community partners; and write collaboratively for social change. Housed within English, but taught by TT and Teaching Professors in PWR and English, the Minor for Writing and Public Engagement (WPE) is truly a collaborative effort in the Arts and Humanities that aims to help students cultivate valuable skills, practices, and tools for creating, participating, and connecting as active technocitizens in the 21st century.
Finally, The WRITE Lab is committed to the engaged humanities. Echoing an important point made recently by Reiland Rabaka, faculty need to become the bridge between campus and community. The WRITE Lab is currently seeking ways to work with students and community on local issues and to generate engaged research and teaching, public outreach, public programming, and transformative justice programming to build that bridge. The WRITE Lab strives to become an exemplary space for transdisciplinary academics and public intellectuals whose collaborative work contributes to and resonates with folks both within and beyond the academy.
If you like what you read; if you wish to join; if you believe the Lab might be a good fit for yourself, your research, and/or your teaching, there are three ways to connect with The Write Lab:
Resident faculty locate all or part of their FTE (full-time equivalency) in the WRITE Lab, therefore the PWR and the Division of Arts and Humanities in the College of Arts and Sciences at CU. Many of our Residents are recruited inter/nationally through the disciplinary lens of “writing studies” and according to UCB’s policies for equitable, inclusive tenure-stream searches. Residents may also, with approval of the existing tenure-stream faculty and the college, move all or part of their lines to build our community and broaden our disciplinary presence.
CU faculty from diverse departments and programs may join The WRITE Lab as research affiliates or teaching affiliates. Research affiliates participate in the lab’s various research projects and initiatives (and possibly to teach with us) in order to build a transdisciplinary approach to writing studies. Teaching affiliates teach for the WPE minor and contribute to the evolution of its curriculum. The FTE of both remain in the home departments.
Affiliates at Large may join The Write Lab simply to be associated with our work and to stay informed about our of projects. Likewise, we seek Affiliates at Large to learn and respect related scholarship, teaching and projects in our region, nationally, and internationally. We only ask for a name, an image, email, links, and a short descriptor to list on our web site.