Date of Award


Degree Type

Closed Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Dr. Elizabeth Burmester

Second Advisor

Dr. Mary Hocks

Third Advisor

Dr. Michael Harker


Much of the existing research on how to make the intellectual contributions of writing centers more visible looks to models found in Rhetoric and Composition programs. By examining the parallel tensions surrounding the histories of naming practices, research agendas, and intellectual trajectories that can be found in scholarly accounts of Women’s Studies, Composition Studies, and Writing Center Studies, this dissertation illustrates how, contrary to received wisdom, Women’s Studies is a more appropriate model for Writing Center Studies because the interdisciplinary objectives and rebranding efforts that Women’s Studies has undertaken to confirm its scholarly significance provide a more apt interdisciplinary identity and institutional location for writing centers.