Book launch: Transforming Writing Centres in South Africa

Posted on February 05, 2024

The University of Pretoria's ESI Press has recently unveiled a timely and thought-provoking publication on Writing Centres in South Africa, titled "Reimagining Writing Centre Practices: a South African Perspective.” This collaborative effort was edited by Dr. Avasha Rambiritch, a Writing Centre expert in the Unit for Academic Literacy (UAL) at UP, and co-editor Dr. Laura Brennan from WITS.

The Department of Library Services (DLS), the two co-editors, and ESI Press collaborated to organize this noteworthy occasion. The launch event took place in the Merensky 2 Library Auditorium on Friday, February 2, 2024. Academic literacy practitioners attended both in person and online to celebrate and engage in discussions surrounding this ground-breaking work.

Ms. Anna Siwela, Deputy Director of Academic Support at DLS, welcomed attendees and highlighted the significance of Writing Centres that support students' success. She emphasized the Department of Library Services' commitment to supporting such initiatives. Acting Dean from the Faculty of Humanities, Professor Sandy Africa, also expressed her support for the event with thought-provoking opening remarks and her presence.

Professor Pineteh Angu, Head of the UAL, skillfully directed the program, maintaining a relaxed and cordial atmosphere. This ensured the audience remained focused on the four main themes that the ten chapters of the book explore, namely: Reimagining Writing Centre Practices; Discipline-based writing; Lessons from COVID-19; and Transforming our training and development.

Dr. Laura Brennan, co-editor, led the discussion by inviting speakers to introduce their respective chapters. Contributors such as Brenda Vivian, physically present at UP, and others, including Sherran Clarrence, Laura Dison, Natashia Muna, Puleng Sefalane, and Arona Dison, joined the conversation online. Their overviews and Dr. Rambiritch's reading from the book intrigued the audience. QR codes strategically placed in the venue allowed guests to scan and request copies of the open-access book.

"Reimagining Writing Centre Practices: a South African Perspective" is available as an e-book. Interested individuals may order the book from the Emerging Scholars Initiative (ESI) Press within UP’s Faculty of Humanities.

More images can be viewed on the UP library's Facebook page

- Author Adrienne Warricker

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