Writing and Language Studies Faculty Publications and Presentations

Document Type


Publication Date



Writing centers are at once a part of and a response to the neoliberal academy, a phenomenon that Ryan King-White describes as a place where, “students have come to be regarded as customers, academic researchers are thought of as entrepreneurs competing for external grant funding, and the university itself more closely resembles a business model than an institute of higher learning” (223). Using that as a starting point, this essay functions part historiography, part diagnosis, and part synthesis, with three main goals: (1) redefine “neoliberalism” as a framework of critique for contemporary higher education within the United States, (2) diagnose writing centers situatedness within the neoliberal academy, and finally, (3) identify how emergent social justice scholarship—here defined as those theories accounting for access and ability, anti-racism, braver space, mindfulness, and labor—within Writing Center Studies are particularly suited as responses to neoliberalism. By expanding disciplinary praxes to examine how writing centers function within the neoliberal academy to incorporate a broader range of identities, theories, and people, writing centers can be better equipped to identify the reifying practices of our centers and develop ways to resist the harmful effects of neoliberalism that evoke these responses.

Publication Title

Praxis: A Writing Center Journal





To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.