Facing the Center
Facing the Center
Harry C. Denny
6x9, 180 pages

Published: 2010

ISBN 978-0-87421-767-4
paper $26.95

ISBN 978-0-87421-768-1
e-book $20.95

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Harry Denny is an assistant professor of English at St. John's University in New York City. Through its Institute for Writing Studies, he directs writing centers on its Queens and Staten Island campuses and does research on composition and writing center studies, cultural studies and social justice. Denny is active in writing center community organizing and leadership in the New York City, the Northeast Writing Centers Association, and the International Writing Centers Association. He is currently at work on projects that focus on research methods for writing centers as well as critical explorations of space and the negotiation of professional identities in the field.

Facing the Center

Toward an Identity Politics of One-to-One Mentoring

Harry C. Denny

A much-needed introduction to identity theory for writing center directors, administrators, and consultants. Denny's voice and narrative style, and his willingness to explicate theory by writing from experience give the book a gravitas. Many teachers of writing center theory and practice courses will use Facing the Center as a required text.

—Frankie Condon, University of Nebraska

In the diversity of their clients as well as their professional and student staff, writing centers present a complicated set of relationships that inevitably affect the instruction they offer. In Facing the Center, Harry Denny unpacks the identity matrices that enrich teachable moments, and he explores the pedagogical dynamics and implications of identity within the writing center.

The face of the writing center, be it mainstream or marginal, majority or miority, orthodox or subversive, always has implications for teaching and learning. Facing the Center will extend current research in writing center theory to bring it in touch with theories now common in cultural studies curricula. Denny takes up issues of power, agency, language, and meaning, and pushes his readers to ask how they themselves, or the centers in which they work, might be perpetuating cultures that undermine inclusive, progressive education.

Book Review Book News Inc. Spring 2010