Why I Call it the Academic Ghetto: A Critical Examination of Race, Place, and Writing Centers
MetadataShow full item record
This article investigates my lived experience as a black queer writing center tutor for the purposes of theorizing the transformative power of learning centers. Drawing on several perspectives and methods offered in Praxis’s special issue on Access and Equity in Graduate Writing Support, this article argues that the antiracist potential of writing centers depends on more comprehensive analyses of how writing centers function as racialized places. Using the metaphor of the “academic ghetto,” I signify on the misconception of writing centers as places for correcting deficiency. I apply my analysis to both an Undergraduate Writing Center (WCs) and a Graduate Writing Center (GWC) space to systematically discover how racial biases mediate and construct these learning spaces. In particular, I structure my discussion through a blend of personal narrative and critical analysis that illustrates the epistemic conflict and character of the “academic ghetto.” The article concludes with a call to invent antiracist practices for writing centers that model more inclusive methods of living in these spaces.