Chapter 4: Collaboration and Graduate Student Professionalization in a Digital Humanities Research Center
Reviewed by Jen Bradwell
Chapter 4, written by Jim Ridolfo, Martine Courant Rife, Kendall Leon, Amy Diehl, Jeff Grabill, Douglas Walls, and Stacey Pigg, sought to understand whether research centers such as the then-named Writing in Digital Environments (WIDE) Research Center at Michigan State University were beneficial to graduate student education and professionalization. Ridolfo and his co-authors explained that collaboration in such centers is "woven together with community engagement and outreach in essential ways," and they suggested that this is becoming a more common model in similar centers (p. 114).
The chapter was divided into six sections, each written by an individual collaborator. The sections focused on the work the writers did in the research center and made connections to their development as members of the larger discourse community. For example, in the first section, "Building Collaboration: Professionalization in Everyday Interactions," Leon demonstrated connections between her research on Chicana rhetoric and the work she did in the center. She noted that while her study of Chicana rhetoric may not appear to explicitly relate to the various projects she assisted with in the research center, the community-building that was modeled and that she practiced in the center informed her development as a "scholar, teacher, and administrator" (p. 120).