Fifty years of WAC: Where have we been? Where are we going?

Michael Palmquist, Pam Childers, Joan Mullin, Richard Rice, Alisa Russell, David R. Russell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In their history of the writing across the curriculum (WAC) movement, Charles Bazerman and his colleagues (Bazerman et al., 2005) observe, "As far as has been documented, the earliest Writing Across the Curriculum faculty seminar was led by Barbara Walvoord in 1969-70 at Central College (a four-year liberal arts college in Pella, Iowa)" (p. 26). The 2019-2020 academic year marks the 50th anniversary of Walvoord's early seminar. With this in mind, it is both a time for celebration and a time to take stock. In this article, we draw on our understanding of our historical roots to challenge and question not only where WAC as a field is going but also to interrogate its present and future roles in the research and practices of key areas in writing studies, including first-year writing instruction, technical and professional communication, writing assessment, inclusiveness and access, and global collaboration.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAcross the Disciplines: A Journal of Language, Learning and Academic Writing
StatePublished - Dec 31 2020


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