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DWC professor co-authors article on editing and inclusion

Published in College English journal

What does inclusion mean in higher education, and what does it have to do with activism? Both are the subject of a recent journal article co-authored by Department of Writing and Communication Assistant Professor Janine Morris, Ph.D.

MorrisEditing as Inclusion Activism” was published in the March 2019 issue of College English, a journal published by the National Council of Teachers of English. The article was part of a special issue focusing on the theme “Scholarly Editing: History, Performance, Future.” Morris co-authored the article with Laura Micciche of the University of Cincinnati, Kelly Blewett of Indiana University East and Christina LaVecchia of the Mayo Clinic.

College English is one of the two biggest journals in our field,” Morris said.

Micciche edits the journal Composition Studies and was Morris’ Ph.D. advisor at the University of Cincinnati. Morris and her other co-authors served as editorial assistants for Composition Studies, and according to Morris, Micciche would make active efforts to seek out writers who would not normally be published in academic journals. Out of this grew the concept of “inclusion activism,” which are suggestions writers and journals can use to diversify the kinds of scholarship that are published.

According to the article: “To be inclusion activists, editors must be aware of how power relations operate in a field, be willing to challenge operations that exclude and diminish the experience and knowledge of some while propping up that of others, and be supportive of those who have not traditionally had access to or representation within field conversations.”

“It’s to have a more representative set of voices in our journals,” Morris said. “Especially for young and minority scholars, if you’re not seeing yourself represented in the field, you feel like there isn’t a place for your work.”

The article recommends creating a mentorship system for pairing authors together or for new journal editors to learn from established ones. It also suggests making the editorial process more transparent and providing additional support to writers during the revision process to ensure that they re-submit articles.

“If you just stick to the same types of stuff that has been published, that’s not really representing the evolution of ideas and what people have been doing,” Morris said.

Click to read more about DWC's M.A. in Composition, Rhetoric, and Digital Media.

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