Advice to the Linelorn: Crossing State Borders and the Politics of Cyberspace

Jennifer Jordan-Henley

Roane State Community College


Barry M. Maid

University of Arkansas at Little Rock

The only boundary that separates Arkansas from Tennessee in physical reality is the Mississippi River. Yet even Huck's home-made raft, conceived more than a hundred years ago, could cross that boundary. Now, as we approach the twenty-first century and find ourselves electronically linked to the entire globe, having students in Arkansas tutor students in Tennessee should be as easy as driving across the bridge from West Memphis, Arkansas to Memphis, Tennessee.

As we began the Cyberspace Writing Center Consultation Project, however, we gave little thought to the realities created by both small and large political boundaries. While it appears that the Internet makes many boundaries meaningless, state legislatures, which control funding of state institutions, and internal politics, which can exist both between schools and among departments and individuals at those schools, sometimes seem to combine forces to hinder students at either location from serving one another.

The Project