Re-Centering Writing Center Studies: What U.S.-Based Scholars Can Learn from Their Colleagues in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria
Although many writing centers in Germany have rich transatlantic histories, influence has been
largely unidirectional with few centers in the U.S. adapting German-language scholarship in their
research and practices. This article seeks to help reverse that trend, focusing on what Americans
can learn from writing professionals in German-speaking countries. Writing centers in this region
occupy an arguably enviable position. Unlike in the U.S., they are at the very center of disciplinary
conversations about writing, driving much of the research on writing and writing pedagogies published in German. Likewise, research in this region presents a language for rescuing the value of practice at a time when scholars in the U.S. are quick to dismiss — often uncritically — local knowledge as they foster empirical research cultures. Together, these findings allow us to ask new questions about how writing studies is storied as a discipline and how its methodologies are framed and understood.