Written By Amber Abboud
The 2018 EWCEA was my first ever writing center, and first university level, academic conference. Going into it, I didn’t know what to expect in terms of what would be presented. Upon arrival, I was pleasantly surprised to see the variety of topics that were being discussed at all of the different breakout sessions. I went to presentations that discussed emotional labor in the Writing Center, how to deal with language and identity in writing, and informational guides on how to set up cross-cultural connections in your own center. The experience was overwhelmingly positive, and being surrounded by people sharing their work only inspired me to further my own.
One particular session that stuck with me was “If A Brown Girl Speaks in the Writing Center does She Make a Sound?” by fellow MSU colleagues. Their session was honest, well-crafted, and thought provoking to everyone in the room. They sparked a dynamic discussion regarding POC, more specifically, woman of color in the writing center, and questioned how the writing center functions and whom it benefits. This presentation in particular stuck with me because it asked outside-of-the-box, and hard to answer, questions to consider about writing centers, and required its audience to think critically about the proclaimed inclusivity of writing centers in general. Overall, my experience at this session was great because I had the opportunity to think and discuss with others what we could do to better a writing center space for all of its consultants. This discussion also would have been harder to foster if not for the set space that the ECWCA conference provided.