On April 16, Dr. Chris Thaiss presented “Writing Programs Worldwide: The Present and Future of the WAC/WID Mapping Project” to WRD students and faculty. In his presentation, Thaiss presented findings from his research on mapping Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) and Writing in the Disciplines (WID) programs across the world. Through his research, Thaiss aimed to determine the prevalence of WAC and WID programs in higher education, reveal trends in these programs, and evaluate how the programs have changed over time.
Thaiss’s presentation provided valuable insight to students of WRD 550/309: International Writing Centers and Writing Programs. Students in this class, taught by WRD Professor Darsie Bowden, are using Thaiss’ text Writing Programs Worldwide: Profiles of Academic Writing in Many Places in their investigation of how writing programs operate in various higher education institutions around the globe. Using the institutional profiles in Writing Programs Worldwide as models, WRD 550/309 students are uncovering how universities in Qatar, Canada, Budapest, and Australia are operating their writing centers, addressing contrastive rhetoric, and teaching varieties of English. Ultimately, these students, like Thaiss, hope that their research will facilitate cross-linguistic negotiation among institutions and broaden investigations into effective WAC /WID practices.
Thaiss is a member of the Language, Literacy, and Culture Graduate Group at University of California-Davis, and he also serves as Principal Investigator of the Area 3 Writing Project, a site of the National Writing Project. Active in the development of cross-curricular writing in colleges and universities since 1978, Thaiss coordinates the International Network of WAC Programs (INWAC) and works with teachers in the elementary, middle, and high schools through sites of the National Writing Project. He is the author and editor of several books, including Writing Programs Worldwide: Profiles of Academic Writing in Many Places (with Gerd Bräuer, Paula Carlino, Lisa Ganobcsik-Williams, and Aparna Sinha; Parlor Press and the WAC Clearinghouse, 2012). In addition, he serves on the editorial boards of Across the Disciplines, the WAC Clearinghouse, Writing Spaces, and Writing on the Edge.