Literacy Practices in the 21st Century: What’s new in the social practice approach to literacy?

Day Colloquium hosted by the Centre for Language, Discourse and Communication, King's College London.

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This event took place 3:46pm - 3:54pm Monday May 28th, 2012

There seems to be a need to take stock of what is new (and old) in the social practice approach to literacy in education, and to consider new developments and critiques of and within the field of New (old?) Literacy Studies (NLS). This concept has served as a valuable and extremely fruitful analytical tool and theoretical framework within NLS, which has led to an increased awareness of the social and ideological nature of literacy. The past decades have seen a proliferation of applications and interpretations of the concept of ‘literacy practices’ in diverse literacy-related studies and publications, involving varied contexts of education and learning. Empirical studies of literacy have contended that it is both local and translocal (Brandt and Clinton, 2002), is fused with multimodality (Kress, 2003; 2010), interaction (Bloome, 2008) and technology (Barton, 2009), and that the literacy practices which people are engaged in shift and change over time and space (Ivanič et al, 2009). Therefore, the specific question which this colloquium seeks to address is: ‘How do researchers and practitioners see the relevance, usefulness and effectiveness of 'literacy practices' as it was originally defined and applied, in light of current research and theorising within literacy studies’? Key questions the colloquium aims to explore:

  • How is the concept of ‘literacy practices’ being conceptualised in current research in NLS?

  • What are some of the other perspectives from outside of NLS which are being utilised within a social practice approach to literacy?

  • What other analytical tools are researchers employing in the study of literacy in contexts of education and learning?

Speakers James Collins (Professor of Anthropology and Linguistics at University at Albany) Bruce Horner (Professor of Composition and Rhetoric at University of Louisville) Brian Street (Emeritus Professor at King’s College London) Discussants will be confirmed at a later date. Click here to book online 

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