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LRDG seminar: Literacy practices, text/s and meaning making across space and time

Date: 7 October 2008 Time: 1.00 - 2.00 pm

Catherine Kell, Auckland University of Technology and University of Waikato, New ZealandLiteracy practices, text/s and meaning making across space and timeThe strength of New Literacy Studies is its attention to social practice as the analytical base through which communication can be studied, in particular, the value of the concept of literacy practices in studies of written communication. However, studies which focus on the production and interpretation of meanings within contexts, rather than the projection of meanings across contexts have predominated. This paper asks the questions: How does the view of literacy as situated social practice account for the movement of meanings across contexts; and what happens to the concept of literacy practices when the unit of analysis becomes the movement of meanings across space and time? It proposes a method for studying meaning making as it crosses contexts and flows across the boundaries of groups, institutions and places. The method is based on the scale-sensitive concept of recontextualisation and draws on activity theory with its focus on agency and mediational means. Data is drawn from ethnographies of a participatory development project in South Africa, where homeless people were building houses (interacting with architects, planners, NGO staff, engineers and local government officials). Fine distinctions in conceptualising space and time in relation to communication are thus drawn, and these are then tested against further ethnographic data of computer programmers building a piece of educational software.

Event website: http://literacy.lancs.ac.uk

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Who can attend: Anyone

 

Further information

Organising departments and research centres: Lancaster Literacy Research Centre, Linguistics and English Language

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Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Lancaster University
Lancaster LA1 4YD
United Kingdom

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