Final Project, Spring 2009
The Bosporus Project, An Overview:
Unlike a normal "research paper," this project allows you to make a real difference in the field and, maybe, in our world. For several years, Turkish and Greek academics have reached across the very real geopolitical, cultural, and linguistic barriers separating their nations. Thus the European Writing Center Association began a series of conferences. I first traveled to Turkey in 2005 and 2006, where I met several faculty participating in this bridge-building.
Dr. Dilek Tokay of Bogazici University in Istanbul is the consummate bridge-builder and cosmopolitan. She loves the Bosporus as place and metaphor. In 2006 I attended the EWCA conference and compared notes with Lebanese, Greek, Turkish, and German colleagues about writing centers. After a session about the architecture of Writing Centers, I wanted to continue sharing ideas across space and cultures. One night, from the deck of a boat giving a dinner-cruise of the Bosporus, I looked at the giant bridges that connect two continents. Then the idea came to me.
Bosporus Project Wiki (opens in new tab or window)
Your goal will be bolder: to work with a few peers from the class to select a worthwhile topic for a short video. It should interest an international audience of writing-center professionals. Of course, the language of instruction is English at the schools where we are working. Thus ESL topics will be useful. Peer tutors are rare in Turkey; I do not yet know about other nations.
The project will consist of a prospectus I will approve, and then a final project consisting of words and video.
In the prospectus, posted to your wiki, briefly discuss in at least 300 words about the area of writing-center work you think will be valuable to our international audience. I plan to share your prospectuses with Dr. Nuray Grove, who will visit our class to discuss teach English to speakers of other languages. If you plan to conduct any interviews, you must include a few likely questions you will be asking.
Also include an annotated bibliography of at least three possible sources for the topic, at least two from outside of the class readings. Each annotation should sum up, in a sentence or two, the source's focus and findings, if one exists.
A Few Ideas for Possible Topics:
Your audience will be professional tutors in Europe. You won't be able to teach this audience much about our theory, but perhaps you can help by making some of the heuristics we use in our center accessible in short documents. Think of how Ryan and Zimmerelli do this in The Bedford Guide for Writing Tutors.
How to begin: