Praxis Vol 13, No 1: From the Editors, Special Issue on The Future of Writing Center
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We are enormously proud to be publishing this issue. While previous issues have always included one or two articles, columns or features focused on what could be considered non-traditional or non-typical subject matter for the study of writing center research and practice, this issue takes as its focus just that: the non-typical. It is worth asking, though, what we mean by ‘typical.’ Merriam-Webster’s defines ‘typical’ as “normal for a person, thing, or group,” “average or usual,” “constituting or having the nature of a type” or “conforming to a type.” From this we can see that being normal, being average, conforming or constituting a type is what makes one typical, while being non-typical is doing fewer or none of these things. People with dis/abilities are, as various authors in this issue note, defined as Other against exactly this ‘type,’ which is assumed to be ‘able’ in body and mind, and which has for too long formed the imagined average user of the writing center around and for whom writing center services are designed. This issue asks us to question what we perceive to be typical, what we value as average and treat as the norm, and what the effects on non-conforming people are.