Kairotic Situations: A Spatial Rethinking of the Burkean Parlor in the Writing Center
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The Burkean parlor has been integrated into the lore of writing centers, showcasing how writing centers have both conversational and collaborative elements. However, the ease for students to enter into the academic conversation is not as simple as this metaphor suggests. To rethink this concept, kairos, or the opportune moment, must be considered. This article will investigate kairos as spatial and how that conceptualization can deepen the Burkean parlor and the conversations within it. Breaking down the Burkean parlor into three stages—questions, metacognition, and choices—can benefit the practicality of the tutoring session. Kairos complicates each of these three points of the student writer’s integration into the conversation. The creation of kairos depends upon the student and tutor being mindful of these conscious and unconscious interactions and understanding how to most effectively disrupt the spatial boundaries of the tutoring session. Connecting kairos into the Burkean parlor metaphor differentiates the perspective of the tutoring session, encouraging both student and tutor to become more aware of the spatiality of tutoring and to redefine these boundaries.