Wednesday, 12 December 2018

CFP: Academic Writing and Well-being. 5 April 2019. NUI Galway.

CFP:  Writing and Well-being
National University of Ireland, Galway
5 April 2019

Procrastination, writer’s block, failing a course due to being unable to finish writing assignments, and even debilitating anxiety—many of us who work with writers, whether in the classroom,   the writing centre, or in another support capacity, encounter students who regularly experience these kinds of challenges. There are also those writers who explain writing as essential to their being, a form of therapy, and a release. Both sides of this spectrum point to the ways writing intersects with students’ well-being. Given that academic writing constitutes the core activity across multiple disciplines, professionals responsible for students’ workload and supporting writing should understand how mandatory writing assignments affect students’ physical and mental health and their emotional state; however, the subject remains under-researched, and the answers in hand are ambivalent.
For example, while some writing practices have been cited as fostering  students’ sense of confidence and self-worth (Virtanen 2007), there is a consensus that writing anxiety is prominent among multiple student populations (Baez, 2005).  At the same time, studies of student stress (Bush et al., 1985; Abouserie, 1994, Schafer, 1994) do not specifically point to writing anxiety as a stress factor. While most of us understand developing a writing process as a way to intervene in writing-related anxiety, there is little direction in the scholarship on what to do when the writing process itself seems to exacerbate a students’ stress.
In speculating on ways to negotiate this issue in our pedagogies and practices, one might refer to the calls to see students’ writing as labour; as Horner (2000) and Rose (2012) argue, students’ time is a finite resource that should be used with a greater sense of responsibility. Traditionally, writing was seen as an invisible activity taking place purely in the realm of the intellect, away from the daily life of the students. This limiting view of writing obscures its impacts, whether negative or positive, on the physical world—on students’ bodies, minds, and broader aspects of their well-being.
To look at student writing through the lens of well-being means to challenge long-standing assumptions, to examine familiar practices from a new angle, and to explore new approaches in our writing pedagogies and other writing support programs like writing centres and mentoring programs within higher education institutions. With these goals in mind, we invite you to join
us for a one-day symposium at the National University of Ireland at Galway on 5 April  2019.
We welcome presentations that explore the connection between writing and well-being from a variety of angles. Possible topics include but are not limited to the following:

●      Writing for well-being, and well-being for writing
●      Nurturing well-being during the writing process
●      How do we teach/model well-being for student success and beyond?
●      Intersections between well-being and marginalized identity markers
●      Intersections between well-being and inclusivity efforts
●      Historical approaches to the issue of writing and well-being
●      Well-being in locations that  support writing (writing centres, mentoring programmes etc)
●      Student writing as labour

Proposals of 300 words should be submitted to by Friday, December 21, 2018. Panel proposals are also welcome and should include a list of contributors.
Please send any questions to Ira at irina.ruppo@nuigalway or Georganne at

In addition to 20-minute talks, the conference will include a discussion forum. Please contact if you are interested in giving a 5 minute presentation on any of the above subjects or a new subject related to writing and well-being. Informal queries are also welcome. 

Looking forward to seeing you in Galway!
Ira Ruppo & Georganne Nordstrom

Friday, 7 December 2018

Dr Nordstrom (University of Hawaii) to Begin Work at the AWC next term

We are looking forward to the arrival of Dr. Georganne Nordstrom, who has been awarded the Fullbright Fellowship to work with the AWC in the James Hardiman Library and in the Discipline of English in Spring 2019.

Dr. Georganne Nordstrom is an Associate Professor of Composition and Rhetoric and Director of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s (UHM) Writing Center. Her research and teaching focuses on writing center studies, critical and place-based pedagogy, and examinations of Indigenous and minority rhetorics, with a specific focus on Hawaiʻi’s Creole, Pidgin. She is the co-editor (with Jeff Carroll and Brandy Nālani McDougall) of Huihui: Aesthetics and Rhetorics of the Pacific (UH Press, 2015), a multi-genre anthology whose authors represent different nations of the Pacific. Her work has also been published in College English, College Composition and Communication, and The Writing Center Journal. Dr. Nordstrom is the recipient of UHM’s 2016 Chancellor’s Citation for Meritorious Teaching and the 2012 Richard Braddock Award for the article “Ma ka Hana ka ‘Ike (In the Work is the Knowledge): Kaona as Rhetorical Action.”

New Irish Fiction in the Library

It has been an amazing year for Irish fiction - a Booker prize winner and a bestseller from Castlebar. As well as Anna Burns and Sally Rooney there has been a wealth of new and established writers publishing new material in all genres.

Here are some of the recent Irish novels we have added to our collection.

All of these books are available from our Popular Reading Collection, currently on floor 1. We always welcome suggestions for new books to added to the Library's collection.

Milkman by Anna Burns

Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne

Normal People by Sally Rooney

The Orchid and the Wasp by Caolinn Hughes

A Keeper by Graham Norton

Skin Deep by Liz Nugent

The Importance of Being Aisling! by Emer Lysaght & Sarah Breen

 Collection Development

Thursday, 6 December 2018

Student Reading List Survey - tell us what you think

The Library is currently running a short student survey about access to your reading list materials.

We would like to know:
  • do you have difficulty accessing your required readings - books, ebooks or articles? 
  • would you like your course modules to use our Reading List System as described below? 
Please take a minute to fill out the Student Reading List Experience survey.
(survey ends Friday 14th December)

The Library's Reading List System
In the last two years we have, where possible, provided your lists online with our dedicated Reading List System.

The list is created by the lecturer and links to ebooks, scanned chapters, full-text articles and our Library holdings. The list is accessed via the relevant Blackboard module.

Using this system allows us to quickly check and keep track of your reading list requirements.
It is easier for students to find their readings and we do everything we can to provide access to high demand material whether ebooks, scanned chapters, articles or more print copies.

Currently we have over 450 reading lists online but we would like to extend use to as many modules as possible.
If you would like to use this system please tell us by filling out the Student Reading List Experience survey.

Collection Development

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Oxford Bibliographies in Music - trial ends Friday 07th December

Oxford Bibliographies in Music combines the best features of a high-level encyclopedia and a traditional bibliography in a style tailored to meet the needs of today’s online researchers.

Each article, written and reviewed by top scholars in the field, is rich with citations and annotations, expert recommendations, and narrative pathways to the most important works for virtually all areas of music.

Click here to access the trial of Oxford Bibliographies in Music. Please submit the feedback form available here to assist in evaluating this resource.

The trial ends on Friday 07 December 2018.