From Comfort Zone to Contact Zone: Lessons from a Belfast Writing Centre

Document Type

Article - Merrimack Access Only

Publication Title

Arts and Humanities in Higher Education

Publication Date


Abstract/ Summary

American writing center director Kathleen Shine Cain analyzes the transformative experience of spending a year in a Belfast writing centre, resulting in a renewed appreciation of cross-national and cross-cultural partnerships. Although American writing center theory and pedagogy have informed the development of centers in Europe, Asia, and Africa, those centers have developed practices reflective of their unique academic and national cultures. Perhaps even more significantly, dialogue among centers throughout the world has resulted in an opportunity for writing centers in the United States to reinvigorate themselves, to interrogate both their practices and the theories underpinning those practices – and to appreciate more fully their responsibility in dismantling oppressive institutional practices.