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Published in: Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, & Pedagogy, vol. 18, no. 1, 2013.


The morning of the CCCC preconvention workshops feels a lot like the beginning of a marathon. The atmosphere is full of both excitement and apprehension as attendees slowly fill the seats around each table—a few seasoned veterans casual in their conversation and demeanor, as if the morning were just like any other, whereas others appear to be only half present, staring far off into space as if trying to focus on imagining what it will feel like to finally cross the finish line and not what it will take to get there. I arrived at this year’s “The Political Turn: Writing Democracy for the 21st Century” workshop with a mixture of both excitement and apprehension—excitement because I was sold on the idea of a national network through which local campus-community civic engagement projects could share resources and promote and advocate for one another, but apprehension because without a centrally funded organizing entity, such a project would require a level of coordination to which few if any scholars have the time, energy, or other resources to commit.