The Unfamiliar and Familiar
By Andrea L. Beaudin, Texas Tech University (firstname.lastname@example.org)
I have a confession to make: I have lived in Lubbock, Texas, for over six years, yet other than airports, I’ve not visited any of its cities other than Amarillo. You see, Lubbock is “centrally located,” which is a local euphemism meaning it’s at least a six-hour drive to any other city in the state (or, for that matter, Albuquerque and Oklahoma City).
In a truly geographical sense, Houston was a disruption of my experience of Texas. Instead of flat, dusty, windy plains atop a 3,300-foot mesa, I was in an almost tropical, verdant city. It was much more metropolitan than Lubbock, with skyscrapers and traffic sprawling into its many sections and neighborhoods. It was part of a state I knew, still with its proudly Texan identity, but presented a different subculture and experience outside of what had become familiar to me in the Panhandle.
As you may have predicted, coming to Houston for the Conference of College Composition and Communication (CCCC) was very much a metaphor for my experience of CCCC each year. While this is a conference concerning college composition and communication, there are diverse expressions, interpretations, and foci as to what this means, should entail, and how to achieve it. Spurred by Joyce Locke Carter’s (2016) call to “disrupt and innovate,” I ventured into some unfamiliar neighborhoods in my discipline by attending sessions on queer rhetorics, disability studies, and histories of the field.
Yet as I read through each of the reviews in this collection, I realize there were so many hidden gems I missed, as one may miss on the first visit to a city. I am grateful to the reviewers who have provided me (and many other) readers with a glimpse into so much that the CCCC has to offer, to teach, and to spark within us. I also cannot thank my fellow editors enough for their work in supporting this endeavor through their time and effort.
I hope you will take the chance to venture into new areas of what may be familiar—yet unfamiliar—territory by reading reviews outside of your usual scholarly neighborhood. It is through such exploration that we can innovate, disrupt, and create those strategies for action.
Carter, Joyce. (2016, June 9). Chair’s Address, CCCC 2016 [Video file]. YouTube. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/86FHQMZJI54