If you’d like to assist people in the skill of writing at the University of Maryland, you had better believe white people are perpetrators. And preferably, you’ve protested against pale oppression.
The college’s Writing Center is hiring a new Writing Consultant.
A dash of details from the online listing:
- WHO can apply: Current students at UMB, and current students of UMBC and UB graduate programs.
- WHO we serve: Students enrolled in UMB’s seven schools as well as post-docs, faculty, and staff.
- WHAT we do: Writing Consultants perform a variety of educational assistance, primarily through one-on-one peer consultation. Most of our clients ask for feedback on their course assignments, but we also have a good number of appointments that focus on CVs, cover letters, publications, grants, etc.
The Center offers “face-to-face sessions and online sessions, using video/audio and email. Consultants will work a combination of in-person and virtual hours.”
“Primary Duties” are thus:
- In every consultation, apply research-based strategies for centering linguistically and culturally diverse writing practices as academic and social norms.
- Provide individual feedback to Writing Center clients during 50-minute consultations, either via online meetings or written feedback (eTutoring).
- Learn and apply the approaches presented in the annual Writing Center consultant preparation program (part face-to-face, part online), as well as ongoing cohort meetings, usually bimonthly. Complete all assignments for trainings during paid hours.
- First-year consultants only: Participate actively in the BWCP (see above) throughout the first year of employment.
- Attend regular staff meetings (online or face-to-face) to collaborate on adjustments and improvements to writing center practice.
- Develop online and print writing resources for use by clients and consultants.
If you enjoy writing and consulting, you may assume you’d be perfect for the job. But the publicly-funded university takes a particular ideological approach. If you’re a colorblind kind of conjugator, the college doesn’t want you onboard.
Minimum qualifications include a bachelor’s degree and “extensive experience with academic/scientific writing in undergraduate career and beyond.” A “good faith commitment” and willingness to “continually learn” are also mandatory.
But there are also “Preferred Qualifications”:
- Previous experience as a peer tutor, ideally in a writing center
- Previous teaching experience, ideally with adult learners
- Background in science writing
- Previous antiracist coursework or activism
For an explanation of the term, here’s UCLA Law Professor Kimberlé Crenshaw speaking to Good Housekeeping:
“Antiracism is the active dismantling of systems, privileges, and everyday practices that reinforce and normalize the contemporary dimensions of white dominance. This, of course, also involves a critical understanding of the history of whiteness in America.”
As relayed by CNN, antiracism erases the following microaggressions:
- “All lives matter.”
- “We’re all one human race/big happy family.”
- “I’m colorblind; I don’t care if you’re white, black, yellow, green or purple.
University of Maryland’s application asks for a 250-400-word explanation on how candidates might fight “white supremacy.”
As noted by Campus Reform, the Writing Center’s webpage emphasizes racial conflict:
For students committed to antiracist action in your own professional practices and communities, the rigorous preparation will be a major benefit of this campus job.
And from the Center’s “About Us” section:
We know that writing is way more than words on the page or the arrangement of grammatical units. We approach our work with writers with an antiracist lens.
Why would a school want employees to reject unity? How would a racial lens benefit writing? Whatever the answers, U of M isn’t alone in its quest.
So goes academia, and so goes the future of America.
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