Ramblings on Literacy

The first thing to understand about literacy is that it is complex. It is more than what first comes to mind when the word “literacy” is uttered. It is certainly more than reading and writing and any “standardized” or “idolized” ideas about what is included in those practices. A lot of my understanding about literacy has been guided by my… Read more →

17 rubiks cube

Literacy is a Rubik’s Cube, Good Luck

“Literacy” may seem like a simple four-syllable word to some, but the idea behind it is considerably more complex than the 17x17x17 Rubik’s cube designed by Oskar Van Deventer. It doesn’t fit into a certain mold because there is so much to consider.   With a quick Google search, the noun’s definition appears on screen as “ability to read and… Read more →


Jaxon: Sponsor Problems

In “Sponsors of Literacy,” (1998) Deborah Brandt offers a compelling and complex look at the concept of sponsorship. Through case studies, she demonstrates how literacy learning and usage is brought into existence by sponsors, and defines the term to mean “people, institutions, materials, and motivations involved in the process [of learning to read and write]” (p. 167). Brandt’s essay provides… Read more →


Ideas for our blogs

What do we want to say about literacy studies so far… literacy practices literacy events sponsors and sponsorship new literacies context social practices social nature of writing the great divide oral vs written cultures and texts civilized vs primitive othering and east/west binary our own literacy practices digital literacies situated literacies autonomous ideological assimilation “standard” disrupting the idea of standards… Read more →


Seneca Schaffer: Moll & Gonzalez “Lessons from Research with Language-Minority Children”

Reading Summary: Lessons from Research with Language-Minority Children Moll and Gonzalez (1994) use four language minority examples to explore and advocate for utilization of various literacies for accessing knowledge resources and extending beyond the limited, learning boundaries of the “typical” classroom. The author’s first, and ideal, example of such an approach is represented in the intricate, pedagogically innovative, and resource… Read more →


Brittany DeLacy: Dyson & Smitherman’s “The Right (Write) Start…”

In “The Right (Write) Start: African American Language and the Discourse of Sounding Right,” Anne Haas Dyson and Geneva Smitherman discuss how dialect, particularly African American Language (AAL), plays into a classroom where a standardized version of English is valued. Their outline of their research discusses their goals of the article and tells readers that they are questioning the system… Read more →


Kelsey King: Brandt and Clinton- “Limits of the Local: Expanding Perspectives on Literacy as a Social Practice”

Brandt and Clinton- “Limits of the Local: Expanding Perspectives on Literacy as a Social Practice” In the introduction to this piece an important quote stood out as defining the goals of Brandt and Clinton. “To open new directions for literacy research we suggest more attention be paid to the material dimensions of literacy. Drawing on the work of Bruno LaTour… Read more →


Catherine Wilcox: New Literacy Studies in Practice

New Literacy Studies in Practice Street’s argument is positioned in direct conversation with Brandt & Clinton’s (2002) “Limits of the Local,” in that it illuminates the divide between local and global literacies. Street (2003) acknowledges that Brandt and Clinton (2002) create a “helpful way of characterizing the local / global debate in which literacy practices play a central role” (80).… Read more →


Matt Franks: Collins & Blot – “The Literacy Thesis” (A review of an old theory)

Collins & Blot – “The Literacy Thesis” (A review of an old theory) “The Great Divide” — Literacy, the ability to read and write, is purported to be the catalyst of cognitive, cultural, and social reformation into “modernity.” On one side of this debate, literacy is seen as the defining aspect that allows for the construct and advancement of complex… Read more →


Keaton Kirkpatrick: Featured Blogger for Brandt’s “Sponsors of Literacy”

Deborah Brandt – “Sponsors of Literacy” A sponsor of literacy is a broad term that applies to the resources and conditions that influence literacy practices. Sponsors are similar to the patron in a patron-client relationship, meaning a sponsor gives a writer the means to write for the sponsor’s implicit or explicit interests. There are two main kinds of sponsors that… Read more →