*deadline extended* Edited Collection:: Fragmented, Evolving, Precious: Scholarly Writing across Life Contexts

deadline for submissions: 
February 22, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
Kim Hensley Owens / Derek Van Ittersum

Call for Papers: 

Fragmented, Evolving, Precious: Scholarly Writing across Life Contexts 

500-word proposals with 50-word bios due 15 February 2021

Scholarly writing can be a scattered process, with research and composing time eked out in fits and starts as teaching, administrative, and familial responsibilities can overwhelm even the most dedicated scholars’ best intentions for scheduled writing time. Writing and research processes also change over time as circumstances change--as graduate student life morphs into tenure-track or adjunct life; as single life morphs into partnered life, or vice versa; as faculty have children who require different intensities of attention at different stages; as bodies are or become differently dis/abled; and/or as administrative roles replace writing time with back-to-back meetings. This collection seeks to examine, explain, and even exult in how writing processes change over time by exhibiting what is both lost and gained through successive rounds of transformation and adaptation. How do writers, in their own words, respond to significant disruptions of their established processes? How do they develop "writing workflows" (Lockridge and Van Ittersum) to meet new demands, or that are capable of responding to unstable conditions? How do they understand the variables that prompt changes and what resources do they draw on to meet that change?                                                                                            

This kairotic moment finds many scholars newly challenged to develop different writing processes as they wrestle with new ways to teach, administrate, parent, and navigate the world. As various researchers (Boice, Tulley) have demonstrated, scholars successfully produce scholarship even when their focus and time are fragmented. Boice recommends that faculty writers ensure their writing success in part by arranging “external situations to ensure regular writing productivity.” Boice’s advice articulates well with the “environmental-selecting and structuring practices (ESSPs)” Paul Prior and Jody Shipka describe in their study of scholarly writers’ processes. What this collection takes up in part is the current context in which many scholars are, due to pandemic restrictions such as school and library closures, unable now to “arrange external situations to ensure regular writing productivity” as they have in the past. These same pressures also call scholars to respond to the neoliberal demands of limitlessly increasing personal productivity.

Drawing inspiration from Jessica Restaino’s pledge to “determine anew [her] use value” as a scholar (137) after a devastating personal loss, this collection seeks to determine anew the use value of scholarly writing and the processes that produce it, both within and beyond the context of losses, constraints, and adaptations associated with Covid. We want to explore how scholars have navigated various workflow changes throughout various phases of their lives and careers. The pandemic context provides an opportunity to examine how writing processes can be adapted. When the most reasonable “normal” writing advice may be impossible to follow and writing is necessarily slowed and further fragmented, might writing activity be also deepened and made more precious?

We seek both personal and scholarly contributions that examine the advantages and possibilities as well as the frustrations concomitant with evolving scholarly writing processes. We invite proposals for chapters that take up, challenge, or augment questions such as these:

  • How have you reinvented your writing process(es) at one or more stages of your scholarly career or for different types of projects?

  • What resources or tools have you adopted for that reinvention? What was your affective experience before, during, and after? 

  • How does your personal engagement with writing processes shape your engagement with process scholarship or writing studies writ large, or vice versa? 

  • How does your teaching of writing shape your own writing processes?

  • How does your scholarly writing occur within your home, work, and community context?

  • How is your scholarly writing process affected by gendered, raced, and/or classed work-life expectations?

  • What are the possibilities and challenges associated with your scholarly writing process?

  • How could past examples of ideal and/or problematic scholarly writing processes speak to the present? How do you relate to your past processes?

  • What do you see as the challenges of creating or sticking to a productive process, and/or how do you push back against a culture that over-values speed and “productivity”?


Submit 500-word proposals and 50-word bios no later than 15 February 2021. Notifications of acceptance will be sent by 15 March 2021. Full chapter drafts (6000-8000 words including Works Cited) will be due 1 July 2021. Requested revisions will be due 1 October 2021. Please send queries and proposals to: fragmented.writing@gmail.com.


Kim Hensley Owens

Derek Van Ittersum