Call for Participation: Writing Through the Lifespan

Writing Through the Lifespan: A Longitudinal Study of Writing Experiences & Development

Seeking to put Charles Bazerman’s thought experiment into action, we seek potential collaborators interested in contributing to a long-term investigation of writing throughout the lifespan. We seek to develop a century-long longitudinal, mixed-methods study that will use qualitative and quantitative measures to investigate writing development across the lifespan in 10-20 communities in the US and around the globe.

We seek to build an interdisciplinary team of:

Core Researchers: early or mid-career researchers in Writing Studies with an interest in longitudinal work who are excited by the possibility of developing this project over the next 25, 30, or 35 years. Core researchers will work with Consultant Researchers to develop the study design, articulate rights and responsibilities within the collaboration, and secure funding. Most importantly, Core Researchers will identify participants and collect the primary qualitative and quantitative data throughout the project.

Consultant Researchers: senior researchers who have expertise to contribute to the project but are not able to invest 25 years or more into data collection. Consultant researchers will provide guidance to the core researchers during the early years of the project on study design, will help identify funding sources and leverage their existing research to secure funds for the project, and may assist in early stages of data analysis.

Affiliated Researchers: researchers with deep methodological experience in areas that would augment the project in important ways for finite periods of time. Examples include cognitive researchers, linguists, sociologists, literacy specialists, and many others.

To express interest (or questions), send a brief CV and a 1-2 page cover letter describing how you see yourself and your research experience potentially contributing to the project to Talinn Phillips ( and/or Ryan Dippre ( Also please describe any institutional resources that you might be able to access or contribute.

Our working plan is to identify and organize researchers by November 1.  This will allow us to have a virtual meeting of interested researchers in late 2016 and a face-to-face meeting at the CCCC in Portland in order to move our project forward in a timely manner.  This will serve as the start of organizing an agenda of work for the project.