Question: For you, what is the most pressing or important issue that the field of Writing Studies is currently facing?
Stacy Wittstock: I believe that the most pressing issue facing our discipline is the equitable treatment of all students, faculty, and staff involved in Writing Studies writ large. It is my perspective that this issue manifests itself in two complex and interrelated ways within Writing Studies–1) the ways in which current writing assessment practices always already disadvantage students of color and students for whom Standardized Edited American English is either not their first language or the dialect they speak every day, and 2) the ways in which the current corporatization of colleges and universities across the US has led to unsustainable labor conditions for many adjuncts and contingent faculty, particularly those working in Composition programs.
As enrollment in post-secondary institutions has risen, and as college and university campuses have continued to become more diverse along racial, cultural, linguistic, and socioeconomic lines, so too have our composition classrooms changed in response. Scholars like Asao Inoue, Mya Poe, and others have powerfully addressed racist and otherwise discriminatory assessment practices in Writing Studies, while Seth Kahn and others have drawn attention to the plight of adjuncts and contingent faculty in composition programs across the US. There is still much work to be done both on classroom and programmatic levels to address these issues, and it is my belief that organizations like the WPA-GO will play an important role in ensuring that the next generation of WPAs is prepared to tackle these conditions in their own programs.