Chris Thaiss Leads WAC/WID Workshops in Argentine and Chilean Universities
UC Davis emeritus professor and former UWP director Chris Thaiss spent three weeks in August as visiting professor in Argentina to lead workshops for faculty and graduate students. A consortium of universities (RAILEES) had received a grant from the Fulbright Commission and the U.S. State Department to bring in Thaiss to work with them in three areas of writing studies: writing program development, teaching writing across the curriculum and in disciplines (WAC/WID), and development of writing research projects.
His work in Argentina this year follows on his two weeks in Chile in October 2017, when he led similar workshops and conferences at the Universidad de Chile and the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaiso.
Over his three weeks in Argentina, he visited universities in four cities: Paraná, Río Cuarto, Córdoba, and Buenos Aires, where he was hosted by six universities: Universidad Nacional de Entre Ríos, Universidad Nacional de Río Cuarto, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Universidad Nacional de Villa María, Universidad Nacional de Quilmes, and Universidad de Flores.
In each city, his schedule included a conference address on the topic “Building and Sustaining Writing Programs: Experiences and Implications,” which draws on his many years in writing program administration, as well as on his research in writing program development transnationally. His co-edited book Writing Programs Worldwide: Profiles of Academic Writing in Many Places (eds. Thaiss, Bräuer, Carlino, Ganobczik-Williams, Sinha) describes examples of this programmatic growth in 28 countries on 6 continents.
In each of the four Argentine cities, he also conducted a series of half-day workshops for faculty and graduate students on two topics: “Designing Research Projects in Writing Studies” and “Teaching Writing Across the Curriculum and in Disciplines.” As time allowed, he also met with administrators in the several universities in regard to their own developing programs. All the events were carried out in both English and Spanish.
Thaiss’s visit was meant to further the remarkable growth over the past two decades in research and publication in the discipline of writing studies across Latin America, this growth being led by scholars such as Paula Carlino, Federico Navarro, Natalia Avila Reyes, and Sara Pérez, with whom Thaiss and other U.S. researchers have collaborated. Along with the new Argentine consortium RAILEES (Red Argentina de Instituciones Lectoras y Escritoras de Educación Superior), the organization ALES (La Asociación Latinoamericana de Estudios de la Escritura en Educación Superior y Contextos Profesionales), founded in 2016, will contribute to further growth in scholarship and program development.