Call for Proposals for a Special Issue of the Journal of College Literacy and Learning

Special Issue: What Does Working with Literacy Look Like in College Literacy Contexts?

The Editors of the Journal of College Literacy and Learning are excited to introduce Dr. Samantha NeCamp and Dr. Connie Kendall Theado as Guest Editors for a Special Issue of JCLL to be published in 2019.  This issue focuses on the concept of "work". We invite you to consider all the possibilities that "work" entails as you conceptualize your contribution to JCLL.

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In this Special Issue of JCLL, we focus on how our conceptions of “work” in the college literacy classroom impact the people, the labor(ing), the documents, the physical space, and the imagined future workplaces that are present within it, as well as the administrative structure and larger college environment within which such work operates.

The word “work” carries many connotations:  Work is a process, a physical space, an idealized destination and, for many, an essential part of our identity.  When we speak of working with literacy, we imagine the processes of composing and reading, of teaching and research, of production and print.  Work also refers to the concrete artifacts these processes produce—the works we create with our words, in the form of documents, texts, and ideas, as well as the works we create in other mediums, like music and art. We also call the spaces in which these acts occur and these documents live our work(place).  As teachers and students, we go to work, a location quintessentially different in its meanings and functions from other locations in our lives.  And, for both students and teachers, work is a place, a task, and an identity toward which we are striving:  We want to get work in a particular occupation, in a particular place, and for a particular income. 

As you contemplate your contribution to JCLL, some potential avenues to consider are:

  • How do teachers imagine their work in the college literacy classroom?  In what ways do the purposes and goals teachers bring to the classroom productively challenge or align with those of both students and administrators?
  • How do students imagine their work as first year students? What expectations do they envision? How do their expectations align with their goals and their performance? In what ways does the work that the student does in the college classroom prepare them for work in other contexts? Do students perceive a connection between the work of academics and other kinds of work?
  • What kinds of work do we undertake in the college literacy classroom?  What tasks to students and teachers engage in, and to what ends? How might we make literacy work in the classroom more rewarding, effective, efficient, enjoyable, transferable, and/or resonant with students’ lives and imagined futures?
  • How do the conditions of employment and course design affect teacher efficacy in the college literacy classroom, and how might teachers most effectively navigate these conditions?  For example, how can teachers work within a shared curricula model to create space for their own teaching identity?  How can students work within this same instructional model to carve out space of an individualized learning experience?
  • How do our students’ understandings of their future work impact their interest, engagement, and/or retention in college literacy classrooms and programs?  How might teachers’ (mis?)understandings of student projections of their future selves influence the classroom context?
  • How can administrators best make a case for the value of the work taking place in college literacy contexts?  In an age of budget cuts, how is working with college literacy learners monetized within the university, and what do these efforts imply about the imagined work of the literacy classroom, teachers, and students?
  • How is the physical workspace of the literacy classroom constructed, and in what ways can such constructions further or hinder the work that takes place within them?  How might online classroom spaces work to forward a more egalitarian, effective, and/or enjoyable space for literacy work? 
  • How have the conditions of production impacted the literacy work students undertake in the classroom?  What technologies impact how students and teachers conceptualize what it means to work with literacy, and how might we use these technologies or others to change what it means to do literacy work?

Other topics and issues related to the general theme of “work” in college literacy contexts but not specifically listed above are also welcome and enthusiastically invited!

Interested contributors should send a 300-500 word proposal to the JCLL Associate Editor, Lou Ann Sears (Email: by March 15, 2018. Please attach a cover letter with the proposal that includes a working title for the article and the author/s name and contact information. Questions or ideas about the theme and how you might be able to contribute to this Special Issue can be sent to the Guest Editors, Samantha NeCamp (Email: and Connie Kendall Theado (Email:

Timeline for this Special Issue:

January 2018: CFP released
March 15, 2018: Proposals to JCLL Associate Editor (300-500 words)
April 5, 2018: Notification of acceptances
August 1, 2018: First drafts due (6000 words)
August 30, 2018: Guest Editors provide comments and revision requests
October 30, 2018: Manuscript revisions due
December 15, 2018: Final comments by Guest Editors
March 1, 2019: Final manuscripts due
April 2019: Special Issue published


Call for Manuscripts