Literacy

Defining a Participatory Critical Literacy

Monday, February 02, 2015 Comment musicians band performing song on SNL with Black lives matter I cant breathe shirts

The screen in the room offered the expected prompt: “What is your definition of critical literacy?” The familiar scratching of pen to paper could be heard throughout the auditorium as ideas were being generated. There is a strange dissonance to sit in a full room and silently write (like with a pen and paper!) for five minutes. Yes, today’s modern conference is one often obsessed with a backchannel. (Watching Obama’s State of the Union two weeks ago, I spent nearly the entire speech staring at my twitter feed and engaging in dialogue; Obama’s main-attraction content mainly


Libraries as ‘Sponsors of Literacies’: Diving Deep to Expose Narratives & Metanarratives

Monday, October 14, 2013 Comment underwater photograph of scuba diver

In my last post “Literacies and Fallacies,” I introduced Deborah Brandt’s conceptual approach of sponsors of literacy that connects individual literacy development to the economic development of literacy.  I also shared a rationale for why libraries should use this critical interpretive lens and offered an initial list of questions as focal points of inquiry to consider.  As I recently finished Natasha Trethewey’s brilliant and deeply moving Beyond Katrina: A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, I saw parallels between the narratives in Trethewey’s work and Brandt’s ethnographic research examining sponsors of literacy.  In this collection of


Literacies and Fallacies

Monday, August 26, 2013 Comment students setting up equipment to film in classroom

As someone who inhabits multiple learning worlds in libraries and public schools, concepts of literacy–traditional and emerging–are central to my work as I think about pedagogies that inform literacy practices in these spaces.  Educational policies and curricular standards, economic factors, local and federal legislation, and political mandates are increasingly a driving force in the literacy practices championed by libraries (public, academic, K-12) and public schools.  As library and educational organizations craft programming and curriculum in response to traditional literacy mandates like grade-level reading as well as contemporary literacies like digital, new media, and information literacy that