Call  for  Proposals: Defining,  Locating,  and  Addressing  Bullying  in  the  WPA  Workplace


Dr.  Cristyn  L.  Elder,  University  of  New  Mexico

Dr.  Bethany  Davila,  University  of  New  Mexico


Given  the  prevalence  of  workplace  bullying  and  the  often  unique  and/or   vulnerable  position  of  WPAs  (e.g.,  untenured  WPAs;  WPAs  who  have  high campus   visibility  but  lack  the  power  to  make  hiring/firing/budget  decisions;  WPAs  in   literature  departments,  etc.),  it  is  important  to  dedicate resources  to  defining   behaviors  and  patterns  of  bullying  and  offer  specific  strategies  for  agentive   responses.  Much  of  WPA  literature  has  addressed issues  of  power  associated  with   WPA  work  (e.g.,  Dew  and  Horning;  George;  Mountford;  Pauliny;  Strickland  and   Gunner;  Schell;  White).  However, workplace  bullying  has  not  yet  received  focused   attention  in  WPA  scholarship.  In  The  Promise  and  Perils  of  Writing  Program   Administration  (2008), Skeffington,  Borrowman,  and  Enos  begin  the  collection  by   listing  the  questions  they  did  not  ask  in  “a  Web  survey  of  WPAs”  (p.  8),  including,  as   the authors  note,  the  most  important,  yet  implicit,  question—“are  you  okay?”—  a   question  to  which  “many  junior  faculty  with  administrative  duties cannot respond   positively  on  either  a  personal  or  professional  level”  (p.  9).  Despite  the   acknowledgment  of  the  challenges  WPAs  face,  including  either  being bullied  or   seeing  others  bullied,  there  has  yet  to  be  a  collection  that  focuses  on  defining,   locating,  and  addressing  bullying  in  the  WPA  workplace—including  perspectives   from  (non/un)tenured  WPAs,  WPAs  from  underrepresented  social  groups,  WPAs   for  whom  English  is  not  their  native language, and  WPAs  responding  to  the  bullying   of  others  (e.g.,  students,  staff,  faculty,  etc.).  This,  we  believe,  is  an  oversight  that   leaves  workplace  bullying largely  unnamed  and  undertheorized,  forcing  WPAs  into   the  vulnerable  position  of  having  to  seek  out  resources  and  advice  on  their  own  or   to  read between  the  lines  of  what  has  been  published.



Leah  Hollis,  Ed.D,  (2012)  estimates  the  incidence  of  workplace  bullying  in   higher  education  to  be approximately  62%  (p.  36).  In  contrast  to  the  lack of  direct   attention  it  has  received  within  WPA  scholarship,  workplace  bullying  has  been  a   topic  of increasing  importance  in  higher  education,  with articles  ranging  from   reporting  on  incidents  of  bullying  (DeFrancesco,  2015;  Wilson,  2010)  to describing   anti-­‐bullying  policies  (Flaherty,  2014).



Additionally,  according  to  other  scholarship   on  workplace  bullying,  “there  is  growing  evidence suggesting  that  minority  status   could  be  a  contributing factor  to  receiving  differential  treatment  in  the  workplace”   (Lewis,  Giga,  and  Hoel,  2010,  p. 271).  As  such,  the  issue  of  workplace  bullying  is  an   issue of  social  justice,  as  minority  and  disenfranchised  WPAs  may  be  silenced  or   excluded through  these  practices.     For  the  above  reasons,  the  editors  of this  collection  invite  chapter  proposals  for   theoretical  essays,  empirical  research, narratives,  practice-­‐oriented  papers,  book   reviews,  action  research and  reflective  essays.  Proposals  are  welcome  on  (but  not   limited  to)  the  following topics:



Definitions  of  Bullying  in  the  WPA  Workplace:  

  • What  is  workplace  bullying/harassment  in  the  WPA  workplace?  How  is  it   operationalized?
  • What  is  cyberbullying  in  the  WPA  workplace?  How  is  it  operationalized?
  • What  are  the  various  ways  bullying  is  experienced  by  teachers?   administrators?  graduate  students?  undergraduate  students?  international   students?  international  faculty?  multilingual  writers?  non-­‐traditional   students?  women?  men?  people  of  color?  members  of  the  LGBTQ   community?  others?
  • How  is  workplace  bullying/harassment  identified  and  measured?
  • What  are  the  risk  factors  for  bullying  and/or  harassment?
  • What  are  the  costs  of  bullying?



Locations  of  Bullying:  

  • How  is  bullying/harassment  experienced  or  perpetrated  by  stakeholders   within  first-­‐year  composition  programs?  writing  centers?  WAC programs?   undergraduate  programs?  graduate  programs?  departments?  committees?   professional  organizations?  on  the  job  market?  in  different cultural  settings?
  • How  does  workplace  bullying/harassment  overlap  with  working  conditions,   issues  of  a  living  wage,  health  and  safety,  discrimination?



Effectiveness  of  Bullying  Interventions  and  Programs:

  • What  are  best  practices  for  addressing  workplace  bullies?
  • What  are  best  practices  for  addressing  those  who  have  been  bullied?
  • How  do  we  cope  with/respond  to  workplace  ill-­‐treatment  of  ourselves?  of   others?
  • What  are  prevention  and  intervention  issues  related  to  bullying  and   harassment?
  • How  do  we  promote,  build,  and  maintain  healthy  workplaces  for  all?
  • How  do  we  build  bullying  prevention  into  our  WPA  preparation  programs?
  • What  environmental  and  cultural  changes  might  help  to  reduce  bullying  and   harassment?
  • What  programmatic  and/or  policy  changes  might  help  to  reduce  bullying  and   harassment?
  • How  might  we  further  advance  our  understanding  of  preventing  and   managing  workplace  bullying  and  harassment?



Proposals should be sent as an email attachment to both editors and should include a title, name(s) of author(s), and a 500-word statement of topic, argument, method, and description of chapter organization and development. Chapters will be approximately 1520 pages in length.



Prospective contributors may send proposals or queries to the editors at and



Proposals due: October 26, 2015

Conditional acceptances: December 15, 2015

Manuscripts due: April 15, 2016