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Call for papers: Higher Education Research & Development


Higher Education Research & Development
Call for papers for the 2019 Special Issue:
“New perspectives on reading and writing across the disciplines”

Guest editors: Judith Seaboyer (University of Queensland) and Tully Barnett (Flinders University)

This special issue connects a growing body of work on and interest in reading and writing across the disciplines, including cognitive science, the text-based foundations of much of new media and digitisation, and the widening international participation agenda in the tertiary sector.

Deep reading and its concomitant good writing are essential both to the mastery of content across disciplines and across cultures, and to the transformative potential of higher education. This special issue seeks inventive papers that consider reading and writing from practical, theoretical, and political perspectives. What are the challenges, difficulties, and pleasures of reading for students and teachers? What strategies best help students learn to de-code complex texts and enter into meaning-making dialogue?

We are interested, too, in papers that consider how twenty-first-century technologies and modes of knowledge production and dissemination influence how as well as what students do and don’t read. What reading platforms are students using? What are the intersections and tensions between digital and traditional ways of reading and writing? What are their implications?

Does constant hyperlinking, as Naomi Baron, Nicholas Carr and others have suggested, undermine the brain’s capacity to process long-form text? How might we foster what Maryanne Wolf has termed bi-literacy, the capacity to shift between two activities: the efficient rapid reading-for-information that involves scanning, clicking, linking and the “slower, more time-consuming cognitive processes ... vital for contemplative life.”

Submissions might address the following:

• What is the case for the core importance of reading and writing across the disciplines, or within specific disciplines, in an increasingly marketised university?
• Might a tertiary education that fosters imaginative, thoughtful, hospitable, adaptable reading be reflected in a democratized citizenry? Or is this a consolatory narrative?
• What role might deep reading play in developing the creative thinking necessary for success in an AI world?
• To what extent are programs that create a space for reading and writing shaped by outside forces? What pressures are shrinking budgets, the massification of tertiary education, job markets in crisis, and political influences placing on different programs across different geopolitical locations?
• What are the affordances of technologies? How are they changing the way students read and write? How might students benefit from a range of platforms for both activities?

HERD seeks articles of between 5000 and 7000 words (all inclusive) that engage with these issues in some way. Full articles are due by 31 March 2018. The special issue is slated for publication in early 2019. For more information or to seek feedback on an idea, please contact the special issue editors Judith Seaboyer and Tully Barnett

A guide for authors, along with other relevant information, can be found on the journal’s homepage: Submissions should be made online at HERD’s Scholar One site:

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