We were devastated to learn of the passing of Dr. Gail E. Hawisher. Mentor, teacher, and friend to us and to so many others in the field, Gail was not only a brilliant scholar but also the most generous of leaders, always recognizing the skills of graduate students and junior scholars around her and inviting them to the table. It is why we’re here today.
In 2007, Gail E. Hawisher and Cynthia L. Selfe founded Computers and Composition Digital Press as an open access press that publishes book length born-digital scholarship, one of the first digital presses in the humanities. CCDP is just one of Gail and Cindy’s many successful collaborations. The Press stands as a testament to their foresight in not just imagining but building a place where digital scholarship would be taken seriously by others in the academy. Along with Cindy, Gail did a great deal of work to ensure that important aspects of academic publishing continued in this medium: peer-reviewed projects with ISBN numbers, inclusion in WorldCat, and a university press imprint with the University Press of Colorado and Utah State University Press. This ensured that past and future authors can make a case for the importance and the intellectual contribution of their digital scholarship to deans, provosts, tenure and promotion committees, and outside funders. This work was just the kind of thing Gail excelled at: building opportunities and opening doors for those who come after.
The field of Computers and Writing has lost one of its founders, but we’ve also lost a friend. Unfailingly generous, supportive, and fun, Gail was a delight to be around and a light for our work. She will be forever missed.
Patrick W. Berry, Amber Buck, and Tim Lockridge, CCDP Senior Editors