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Toward More Sustainable Metaphors of Writing Program Administration

edited by Lydia Wilkes, Lilian W. Mina, and Patti Poblete

Paperback Price $31.95
Ebook Price $26.95
30-day ebook rental price $13.50

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afterword by Douglas Hesse

“These chapters are fun to read and are helpful conversations among bright, experienced colleagues.”
—Kristi Murray Costello, Old Dominion University

“The value of the collection rests in the range and quantity of different metaphors as well as the diversity of data used to argue for particular approaches. I found myself thinking about how I could apply each chapter to my own practices and am excited by the possibilities.”
—Bethany Davila, University of New Mexico


The field of writing program administration has long been a space rich in metaphor. From plate-twirling to fire-extinguishing, parents to dungeon masters, and much more, the work of a WPA extends to horizons unknown. Responding to the constraints of austerity, Toward More Sustainable Metaphors of Writing Program Administration offers new lenses for established WPAs and provides aspiring and early career WPAs with a sense of the range of responsibilities and opportunities in their academic and professional spaces.

This volume presents twelve chapters that reclaim and revise established metaphors; offer new metaphors based on sustainable, relational, or emotional labor practices and phenomena; and reveal the improvisational, artisanal nature of WPA work. Chapters resonate across three sections. The first section focuses on organic relationships captured in phrases like “putting out fires” and "seeing forests for the trees” alongside unexpected comparisons to ground and light. The second describes institutional landscapes featuring generative juxtapositions such as the WPA as a labor activist or a mapper of emotional geography. And the third discusses performance crafts like improv comedy and artisanal making.

Toward More Sustainable Metaphors of Writing Program Administration offers new and revised ways of thinking and acting for WPAs, who are constantly negotiating the paradoxical demands of their work and continually striving to act ethically in conflicted, and even fraught, situations. It will inspire practicing, aspiring, and former WPAs working in a time of transformation by highlighting more sustainable ways of enacting WPA identity.

Contributors: Jacob Babb, John Belk, Katherine Daily O'Meara, Ryan J. Dippre, Kimberly Gunter, Douglas Hesse, Andrew Hollinger, Rona Kaufman, Cynthia D. Mwenja, Manny Piña, Scott Rogers, Robyn Tasaka, Alexis Teagarden, Christy I. Wenger, Lydia Wilkes

Lydia Wilkes is assistant professor of English and writing program administrator at Auburn University. She studies intersections of rhetoric, violence, and writing in public spaces. She is coeditor of Rhetoric and Guns.

Lilian W. Mina is associate professor of English and the director of Freshman English at University of Alabama at Birmingham. She researches digital rhetoric, multilingual composition, and writing program administration. Her work has appeared in multiple journals and edited collections.

Patti Poblete is English faculty at South Puget Sound Community College. Her research focuses on composition pedagogy, writing program administration, and institutional rhetoric as mediated through social media. 

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  • Paperback Price: $31.95
  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-64642-305-7
  • Ebook Price: $26.95
  • 30-day ebook rental price: $13.50
  • EISBN: 978-1-64642-306-4
  • Publication Month: February
  • Publication Year: 2023
  • Pages: 260
  • Illustrations: 8
  • Discount Type: Short
  • Author: edited by Lydia Wilkes, Lilian W. Mina, and Patti Poblete
  • ECommerce Code: 978-1-64642-305-7
  • Get Permissions: Get Permission

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