I chose to do this as one of my writing culture themes because I think this shows the future that lies ahead of it. A massive aspect of writing culture as we know it right now are the writing centers scattered across different campus, there only to help students/writers in need. Something I have been discussing a lot for the past few weeks in my Issues and Methods of Writing Consultancy class is how writing centers may change in the coming years.
A multiliteracy center is similar to a writing center, except it is more. It will do the same exact things that the writing center already does, however it has more areas of interest. There will be computers and many other forms of technology for students in different fields to use. For example, lets say a film student comes into the writing center asking to be tutored on a script. A writing tutor could easily accomplish this! Let’s take it one step further, and say that the student needed help editing the film as well. A writing tutor’s job is not to do this; it is not what they are trained to do. If we had a multliteracy center however, there would be someone there to help that student edit the film. Essentially, the multiliteracy center is a writing center that focuses on many more departments. Why is this necessary? I have learned in class that because technology is expanding and evolving, a multiliteracy center may be the only way for writing culture to stay relevant. As it is, not many people visit the University of Rhode Island’s writing center for many different reasons. If a multiliteracy center were there in its place, maybe more people would be willing to go.
I read “The Future of Multiliteracry Centers in the E-World: An Exploration of Cultural Narratives and Cultural Transformation” by Christina Murphy and Lory Hawkes. This article, in summary, suggests the need for innovation to the 21st century in order for writing centers to survive. On page 365, they discuss “the need for flexibility, autonomy, collaboration, problem solving skills, broad knowledge, and diverse intelligence” (Murphy, Hawkes). This whole article pushes towards trying to expand towards a bigger audience, shifting into modern technology and advancements.
Jeremiah Dyehouse, the man who used to be in charge of the writing center on campus, teaches my Issues and Methods in Writing Consultancy class. He expressed how URI was almost going to take advantage of all of this, but it became overbearing. A writing tutor knows how to help someone with writing. If we had a multiliteracy center, we would need tutors in all areas; something that colleges may not be able to afford.
What do you think about multiliteracy centers? I think it all comes down to survival. If the writing center needs to maintain the spotlight and wants to appeal to a wider group of people, multiliteracy centers may be the way to go!