Call for Proposals: Community Engagement and the Covid-19 Pandemic – Aug 31

Posted by Vernon Press on July 19, 2022

Vernon Press invites book chapter proposals to be included in a forthcoming scholarly volume on “Community Engagement and the Covid-19 Pandemic” edited by Tawnya Azar, Ph.D.

Community-engaged (CE) teaching is not a new concept; however, in the past several years, it has experienced a new emphasis as is evident by the changes to institution mission statements as well as the allocation of institution resources to support faculty development in CE teaching and to support CE coursework and research.

The arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic forced many faculty to pivot to an all-online instruction model, impacting community-engaged teaching and research in both predictable and unexpected ways. Community partners, faced with a similar struggle to serve their communities with restrictions on face-to-face interaction, were often too overwhelmed to work with higher education volunteers. Legally, universities could not ask students to risk their health with face- to-face community engagement. In fact, the number of CE courses decreased dramatically in 2020 and 2021 because of the unique challenges they faced during the Covid-19 pandemic.

At the same time, the pandemic presented some CE faculty with new opportunities for community-engagement. Some responded swiftly to the immediate needs of the local, regional, or national community with which they worked, taking advantage of the affordances of digital technology or capitalizing on the issues that the pandemic itself created or exacerbated.

The goal of this edited collection is to capture this incredible work (of pivoting and innovating) in community-engaged teaching. With a primary focus on community-engaged teaching in higher education, this collection will explore how faculty, students, and community partners adapted their work during the Covid-19 pandemic and how we might, in the future, adapt our work to meet the challenges and affordances of any major crisis. We invite proposals for essayistic and empirical chapters that address but are not limited to the following questions / topics:

  • What challenges did the Covid-19 pandemic pose to your existing community-engaged teaching?
  • How did you pivot your CE course to work around the restrictions of the Covid-19 pandemic?
  • What new opportunities for your community-engaged teaching did the Covid-19 pandemic present?
  • What support, if any, did your institution offer your community-engaged teaching during the Covid-19 pandemic?
  • For what reasons did you persist in teaching CE courses under the difficult circumstances of the Covid-19 pandemic?
  • How did your students respond to the challenges and opportunities of working on community-engaged projects during the Covid-19 pandemic? How did this affect their learning outcomes?
  • How did your community partners adapt to the restrictions and challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic? How did these adaptions affect your relationship with community partner(s)?
  • How might the lessons learned doing CE work in the time of Covid-19 be applied in other times of local, national, or global crisis?

Submission Instructions
We welcome individual submissions, but also co-authored pieces by graduate students, faculty, and/or community partners that explore the challenges and affordances of doing community- engaged teaching during the Covid-19 pandemic are most welcome.

Please submit your 500-word proposal via email to the editor, Tawnya Azar ( by August 31st, 2022.

31 August 2022: Proposals Submitted
15 September 2022: Notification of Acceptance/Rejection and Call for Chapter Manuscripts
30 June 2023: Manuscripts Due
31 August 2023: Response from Editors
31 October 2023: Revised Chapters Due
15 December 2023: Full Manuscript Submitted to the Publisher

Editor Bio
Dr. Tawnya Azar is an Assistant Professor of English at George Mason University. She was recently named Faculty Associate for Community Engaged Teaching & Learning Support. She has taught Community-Engaged English and Honors courses for the past three years. Her research interests include Digital Literary Culture Studies, the Digital Divide and Community-Engagement, and Digital Composition.

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