Joan Turner, "On Writtenness: The Cultural Politics of Academic Writing" (Bloomsbury, 2018)


Listen to this interview of Joan Turner, author of On Writtenness: The Cultural Politics of Academic Writing (Bloomsbury Academic 2018). We talk about writers, writing, writers writing, unwritten subtexts, and written text.

Interviewer: "What do you see as the step which writing practitioners can take in the direction of their discipline-based colleagues, and what's the step that researchers can take toward writing practice?"

Joan Turner: "Well, obviously, it has to be something that has to be ongoing, and in many respects, it comes down to individuals. There are a lot of well-meaning researchers who value collaboration with writing practitioners, as there are many who don't. And I think is it probably incumbent upon the writing practitioners to kind of put themselves forward more, to kind of slough off the sense of inferiority that might surround them because of how institutions position writing development, and they just have to attempt to begin the conversation. I think that often, when they do, on an individual level, it works. Although often, another problem that occurs with that, is, if you're actually making contact with a particular department where you've got a lot of students, then you might make contact with a particular individual, who then leaves that institution or goes on to a different role in the institution, and is no longer collaborating with the writing center, and then you have to begin again with another one. So, it can be an uphill struggle, but I do have some optimism that things will get better."

Daniel Shea, heads Scholarly Communications, a Special Series on the New Books Network. Daniel is Director of the Heidelberg Writing Program, a division of the Language Center at Heidelberg University, Germany. Just write

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Daniel Shea

I am committed to helping scientists write at their best. To this end, I founded the Graduate Communication Services, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany. Here I work in the unique role of textician. Want to know more? Contact me at
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