Author: kjaxon


Week 6 Things

Howdy everyone, We have a lot going on in this week: Reading and discussing Baron’s “From Pencils to Pixels…” (please post a question/passage before class in your group’s shared Google Doc per usual) Watching and reading some things together in class. Thinking about new literacies Doing some synthesis work with Szwed, Williams, Brandt, Baron…asking: what do you know about literacy studies as of now?… Read more →


Featured Blogger: Sabrina Arredondo

In Deborah Brandt’s, “Sponsors of literacy,” she discusses the role that “sponsors” play in an individual’s literacy learning process. This relationship between sponsor and sponsored is explained as someone/something that facilitates an individual’s literacy while gaining something in return. The sponsor sets either the restrictions or liberties for accessing literacy and also provides motivation for consistent obedience from the sponsored.… Read more →

picture of Gil

Featured Blogger: Gilberto Guerrero

Literacy. Sponsored.   This week’s reading, “Sponsors of Literacy” by Deborah Brandt, gives economic value to our literacies. It also presented the idea of literacy sponsors in detail. The piece also presented several examples where literacy improved an individual’s economic value. This piece raised several questions about my past literacy sponsors. Who influenced my literacy the most? Could it have… Read more →


Week 5 Reminders

Reading Deborah Brandt’s “Accumulating Literacy…” for class tomorrow (9/19). Pay attention to her definitional work with “piling up” and “spreading out” on page 652. Could be interesting to look at your literacy narratives for traces of literacy past, present, and future. Please remember to talk about a passage, pose a question, etc in your group’s Google Doc before class tomorrow. The link… Read more →


Featured Blogger: Samantha Cosmero

The literacy of our generation is no less productive than that of past generations. Our dependence on written communication may hinder us in face to face interactions, however, I feel like it in a way forces us to be able to constructively display our thoughts, ideas, and emotions in written text in a way that is comprehensive on both sides… Read more →


Featured Blogger: Lydia Breitenfeldt

This week in Literacy! “Why Johnny Can Never, Ever Read: The Perpetual Literacy Crisis and Student Identity” by Bronwyn Williams. This piece really hit home for me on several levels. Williams begins by defining the “literacy crisis” that is present in every generation, though its focus is always a little different. One thing that’s argued to be a problem is… Read more →

sparknotes meme

Featured Blogger: Emily Michael

“Why Johnny can never, ever read: The perpetual literacy crisis and student identity” This article challenges the idea that a literary crisis is looming over the younger generations. Which is funny considering that each generation does this as they get older, as the author, Bronwyn T. Williams points out. Why do we have this tendency to reminisce about the good ol’… Read more →


Featured Blogger: Olivia Gross

A Reflective Analysis of Bronwyn Williams In “Why Johnny Can Never, Ever Read: The Perpetual Literacy Crisis and Student Identity” and “A Puzzle to the Rest of Us: Who is a ‘Reader’ Anyway?” Bronwyn T. Williams synthesizes theories on literacy as identity. Among other things, he hones in on the repercussions of viewing departure from classical literary practices as illiteracy… Read more →

funny road sign

Featured Blogger: Benjamin Mann

We recently started to study John Szwed’s “Ethnography of literacy” and UNESCO, trying to figure out what literacy actually means. Szwed introduces many challenging questions for us as readers. For example, he asks, what is literacy? How can we measure literacy? How do we define literacy? These are just a few questions that Szwed had for the readers, but his… Read more →

pen and person hand writing on paper

Featured Blogger: Lee Verrall

John Szwed’s “Ethnography of Literacy” (1980) poses an interesting take on the idea of literacy, suggesting that it may be a more flexible term than many think at first. He states, “Conventional thinking about reading and writing far too often uses a much-out-dated model of literacy…” (425). He means that we are excluding so many types of literacy by condemning… Read more →


Featured Blogger: Sydney Swain

  In our literacy studies class, we formed small groups to discuss John Szwed’s “Ethnography of Literacy” and UNESCO, Defining Literacy. While sharing as a class we discussed questions like: 1) What exactly is literacy? 2) How do you define reading and writing in a classroom? 3) What would a school define as successful or helpful reading/writing? 4) How can you… Read more →


Welcome to fall 2017!

Hello! Welcome to Introduction to Literacy Studies. This site is where you will find our syllabus, assignments, calendar, readings, etc. Almost all readings are available as links from the calendar. I will ask you to choose a book club text, but we can talk about that when we meet. For now, feel free to click around the site and get… Read more →


Ideas for Our Reflections

Definitions/conceptions of literacy literacy as doing, as a social practice (Barton) literacy as accomplishing things with reading and writing (Brandt) Girls use literacy to present a particular kind of self. Literate practices served to mark social boundaries (Finders) Literacy as the ability to read and write situates literacy in the individual person, rather than in society. The practices of social… Read more →


We have work to do: Allegedly, Johnny still can’t read or write

Three very recent discussions in the news that will be interesting for us to talk about: Here & Now story about the Bic handwriting campaign (starts at timestamp 24.50): The comments are fascinating. Dripping with nostalgia: http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2015/10/13/bic-mission-to-save-handwriting An article from the Washington post: Why Americans Can’t Write And this one too: Novelist Teaches Freshmen Writing… Read more →