This site was created to fulfil a resolution at the May 2011 CASLL meeting to continue holding yearly Inkshed conferences and to maintain the types of discussion and communication established in the Inkshed name over the past thirty years.
A professional organization: The Canadian Association for the Study of Language and Learning (CASLL) is more commonly known as Inkshed because of its penchant for commenting in writing (and then writing comments on the comments) in sessions at its yearly conferences. Russ Hunt, one of the organization’s founders, has posted an inclusive definition of Inkshedding, its origins and applications. Others, including Betsy Sargent, have also written about the practice and its use in teaching.
An email discussion list: Inkshed also means an active listserv, CASLL-L. You can subscribe by sending a message to firstname.lastname@example.org saying simply “subscribe CASLL-L [your name].” All messages after 1995 are archived and searchable
A newsletter: Since 1982, Inkshed has been the name of a newsletter for and by people teaching writing in Canadian postsecondary institutions. Inkshed Newsletter’s history reflects the issues and developments as that field established itself in Canadian form. First published in print and then online, its online archive of 120 issues is a historical treasure — and a good read.
A publisher: And finally, Inkshed means a publishing imprint for works of Canadian scholarship about writing, reading, and learning. Karen Smith and others at the University of Manitoba deserve credit for long service in managing this resource.
The site took its current shape as a combined newsletter and blog after online discussion that affirmed the advantages of free blogging software as an efficient and flexible way of maintaining online communication. A subcommittee consisting of Margaret Procter, Roger Graves, Brian Hotson, Russ Hunt, and Tania Smith worked on the design and structure of the site. Eric Graves got us over one technical hurdle by installing WordPress software on the server that already held the Inkshed website. In late 2011, Tania Smith used her creative gifts and technical expertise to design and set up the current pages; she also exercised her patience to explain to the rest of us what she was doing. We were inspired by other WordPress sites, including the handsome one prepared by Amanda Goldrick-Jones for our sister organization CASDW (the Canadian Association for the Study of Discourse and Writing) to replace an outdated website.
The newsletter site’s positioning alongside the Inkshed website, now at www.inkshed.ca, was made possible by the long service of Russ Hunt in creating and maintaining the original Inkshed website at St. Thomas University, and by the foresight of Roger Graves in obtaining a new domain name and finding a server to hold both the website and the new WordPress functions.