Publication Date


Document Type

Book Chapter


Many have commented that higher education is becoming increasingly fragmented, leading to the overspecialization of scholars, disciplinary discourses that are opaque to those outside the field, and lack of cross-pollination among disciplines (Kerr). WAC has long been seen as a movement that creates connections among disciplines. In fact, these connections are often created through the workshop, the quintessential WAC experience, as it “bring[s] faculty together around the same table”—bringing together people who may work at the same institution but, in practice, work worlds apart (Cox 317). More recently, this movement to bring people around the same table has come to include colleagues from secondary education (Childers and Lowry).

While this practice of WAC has long been recognized, it has not been adequately theorized. Writing Across Communities (WACommunities), introduced by Michelle Hall Kells and Juan C. Guerra, was developed to rethink student writing. This approach to WAC asks us to think of student writing holistically, as including students’ literacy and language experiences outside of the classroom—online writing, civic writing, disciplinary writing, writing in languages other than English—as well as the writing students did before they entered our classrooms and what they’ll write after leaving them. In this chapter, we argue that WACommunities is also a productive theory for reconceptualizing relationships among educators, drawing on an event we organized at Bridgewater State University (BSU) as an example of this theory in practice.

Original Citation

Cox, M. & Gimbel, P. (2016). Talking about Writing across the Secondary and College Community. In J.S. Blumner & P.B. Childers (Eds.), WAC Partnerships Between Secondary and Postsecondary Institutions (pp. 19-36). Fort Collins, CO: The WAC Clearinghouse.