Everyday Literacies SIG

The UKLA Everyday Literacies SIG will explore literacy research, pedagogy, practice and policy development within a framing of ‘everyday literacies’, as literacy is lived and experienced by diverse populations and across space, time, and varied practices.

The UKLA Everyday Literacies SIG will explore literacy research, pedagogy, practice and policy development within a framing of ‘everyday literacies’, as literacy is lived and experienced by diverse populations and across space, time, and varied practices.

This UKLA SIG’s membership will draw from members who conduct literacy research across an array of everyday spaces, communities, times, and contexts, and who seek to make sense of this phenomenon. The SIG will provide a space for exploration; where members can discuss the apparent presence or absence of literacy (ies) in and across the contexts in which they research.

The notion that literacy is uniform, normative, and tied exclusively with schooling has been extensively challenged (Street, 2001). A transformation and pluralisation has occurred within literacy scholarship that invites consideration using theories in adjacent fields such as affect theory, posthuman theory, AI and immersive world. These inquiries give the UKLA community an alternative way of seeing literacy that invites other fields, domains, and disciplines to enter into a dialogue with literacy researchers.

A main objective for the Everyday Literacies SIG will be to navigate and render the complexity of the diversity of literacy studies as a field and discipline, using the focus of the ‘everyday’. The lens will be expansive to include examples that can be drawn from the varied literacy practices enacted outside of formal learning contexts. Examples could include: rural literacies, urban literacies, multicultural literacies, gaming literacies, multimodal literacies, digital literacies, sociomaterial literacies, artifactual literacies, spatial aspects of literacy, participatory and community-based approaches to literacy, visualizing literacy practices, and so on…. This inclusive ‘everyday’ framing seeks to act as a ‘catch all’; providing opportunities for new departures and responsive practice to be explored by our members.

An overarching goal for the SIG will be to make Everyday Literacies a critical and a change agent – exploring the activist and civic literacies that are taking place in this contemporary moment. A key part of this goal is to move understandings of everyday activist and civic literacies into schools as well as into broader notions of schooling across lifetimes and generations.

Upcoming Events

For our third seminar, the UKLA Everyday Literacies SIG will host a webinar on the newly published collection, Black Girls’ Literacies: Transforming Lives and Literacy Practices (Price-Dennis and Muhammad, 2021). Black Girls’Literacies offers literacy researchers and educators a close look at what literacy has meant for Black girls historically. It is a ground-breaking vision for what literacy can aspire to be for communities seeking and enacting justice in the future. At the heart of the book are the ‘Kitchen Table Talks’, included at the end of each section, where the authors of each chapter gather around a symbolic kitchen table with a featured Black woman scholar, to expand on themes through dialogue that touches on ideas, feelings, and personal connections. On December 7th, we will gather around a table with editors of Black Girls’ Literacies, Drs. Price-Dennis and Muhammad, to interrupt racism implicit to institutions and policies and invite readers into a world that refuses anti-Blackness and offers Black girl joy, intellectual acuity, historical agency, community, and criticality (italic phrase by Professor Cynthia Lewis). It is an important event and we hope that as many of you that can join us will do so. 

Both seminars will be hosted online by Dr Clare Dowdall and Professor Jennifer Rowsell. 

Webinar on Black Girls’ Literacies on December 7th, 2021  ​17:00- 18:30 GMT

The events are open to all SIG and UKLA members

UKLA members are warmly invited to attend this webinar. Click here to sign up!

Introduction by Professor Cynthia Lewis 

Keynotes by Dr. Detra Price-Dennis and Dr. Gholdy Muhammad

Dr. Detra Price-Dennis is Associate Professor of Education in the Department of Mathematics, Science, and Technology at Teachers College, Columbia University, in the Communications, Media, Learning Technologies, and Design program. Detra serves as Co-Director of the Reimagining Education Online Advanced Certificate Program and is the founding director of #JustLit – a media-based project that seeks to provide multimodal resources about literature, media, and social change in education. Her scholarship draws on ethnographic and sociocultural lenses to examine the intersections of literacy education, technology, and curriculum development as a means to identify and amplify equity-oriented pedagogies in K-8 classrooms. She sits on the board of directors for the Literacy Research Association and is the Chair of the National Council of Teachers of English Assembly for Research.  Her professional background includes work as an elementary school teacher, an administrator of a graduate teacher education program, and an Assistant Professor of Literacy Studies and Elementary Inclusive Education.

Dr. Gholnecsar (Gholdy) Muhammad is Associate Professor of Literacy, Language, and Culture at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She studies Black historical excellence within educational communities with goals of reframing curriculum and instruction today. Dr. Muhammad’s scholarship has appeared in leading educational journals and books. Some of her recognitions include the 2014 recipient of the National Council of Teachers of English, Promising New Researcher Award, the 2016 NCTE Janet Emig Award, the 2017 GSU Urban Education Research Award, the 2018 UIC College of Education Researcher of the Year, and the 2020 American Educational Research Association (AERA), Division K Early Career Awardee. This year (2021) she was named NCTE Outstanding Elementary Educator in the English Language Arts. She works with teachers, leaders, parents, and young people across the United States and South Africa in best practices in culturally and historically responsive instruction. She was granted $750,000 by the U.S. Department of Education to study culturally and historically responsive literacy in STEM classrooms. She brings expertise having served as a middle school teacher, literacy specialist, school district administrator, and school board president. She is the author of the best-selling book, Cultivating Genius: An Equity Model for Culturally and Historically Responsive Literacy.

Dr. Cynthia Lewis is Professor and Chair of Education at the University of California, Santa Cruz.  She studies the sociopolitical dimensions of literacy and learning, with a focus on critical literacy and classroom discourse as youth interact with texts and with each other. She has served as founding co-editor (with Jennifer Rowsell) of the Routledge book series Expanding Literacies in Education and has won many awards for her leadership and scholarship such as the AERA Division G Mentoring Award, the Edward Fry Book Award, and a Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship, She has written and co-written widely cited books, edited collections, journal articles, and book chapters over the years and she has been funded by the Spencer Foundation and W.T. Grant Foundation. In short, Professor Lewis is a luminary in literacy studies. 

Please email Jennifer Rowsell Jennifer.Rowsell@bristol.ac.uk or Clare Dowdall C.Dowdall2@exeter.ac.uk if you have any further enquiries.

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