Research-Engaged Practice Network



Re-theorizing Literacies: A Review of Multiple Perspectives and Some Thoughts on Implications for Literacy Pedagogy

Seminar on 6th March 2019

Presented by Stavroula Kontovourki of the University of Cyprus

Wednesday, 6th March 2019, 16:30 to 18:00,
Room 12.3.17, Charles Street Building, City Campus

This seminar focuses on the multiple ways in which literacy has been re-theorized over the past five years to consider the onto-epistemological and pedagogical potentials of these endeavours—both distinctly and collectively. In particular, it stems from the realization that attempts to re-theorize literacy have recently proliferated and focused on complicating simple views of literacy and of literate being. This re-theorization has been instantiated in the renaming of literacies as, indicatively, im/material (Burnett et al., 2014), embodied (Enriquez, Johnson, Kontovourki, & Mallozzi, 2016), post-human (Kuby & Rowsell, 2017), and trans- (Stornaiaulo, Smith, & Phillips, 2017).

These attempts to re-theorization fall into and constitute a next generation of literacy research that moves beyond the predicted shifts in the “object of inquiry” from local to translocal, from print to electronic, and from verbal to multimodal (Baynham & Prinsloo, 2009) to a rethinking of the inquiry itself. This not only constitutes an onto-epistemological shift, but also has implications for literacy pedagogy, especially at a time when education policies across the globe continue to work against the broadening of such definitions.

In this seminar presentation, I invite the audience to engage in a discussion around two key questions: (1) In what ways do re-namings of literacy, distinctly and collectively, help to re-think the study of literacy and to reframe sociocultural literacy research, in particular? And, (2) What are the implications of retheorizing literacy for teaching and learning in bounded places like school classrooms? Our discussion of these questions will eventually provide the space to think of the retheorization of literacy as an ethico-political project.

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