The Hard Work of Imagining: the Inaugural Summit of the National Consortium of Writing Across Communities

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Published in: Community Literacy Journal, vol. 7 no. 2, 2013


On July 12–15, 2012, in advance of the Council of Writing Program Administrators 2012 Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the University of New Mexico hosted the inaugural Summit of the National Consortium of Writing Across Communities (NCWAC) in nearby Santa Fe. In attendance were twenty-four established and emerging scholars and graduate students working in (and across) fields such as community literacy, writing program administration, writing across the curriculum, and second-language writing. Of NCWAC’s twenty-seven sponsoring institutions, represented at the summit in addition to the host university were Arizona State University, University of Arkansas, Bridgewater State University, University of California Santa Barbara, Colorado State University, Georgia Institute of Technology, University of Oklahoma, St. John’s University, Salt Lake Community College, Temple University, Texas A&M University-Commerce, and University of Utah. The purpose of the summit, like that of the consortium itself, was to bring these scholars and their respective disciplines into conversation, with a recognition that the next generation of public intellectuals must, according to Ellen Cushman, “combine their research, teaching, and service efforts in order to address social issues important to community members in under-served neighborhoods” (329).