Discussion Group

Academic year 2021-22.

Current Organiser: Uta Papen u.papen@lancaster.ac.uk

Hello and welcome back to the Literacy Research Centre Discussion Group. Please see below for the timetable for upcoming talks. We are still preparing the programme of sessions, so keep checking back! Talks will be held online.

Friday 29th October, 12 noon (UK time) Kristof Savski, Prince of Songkla University, Thailand Translocalism and translingualism in the online literacy practices of non-local teachers in Thailand

Eventbrite link to book onto this talk and receive details of how to access it online

With the continued deepening of socio-economic and cultural ties across traditional borders, the teaching profession has also increasingly become characterised by mobility. In Thailand, non-local (migrant) teachers of various professional and lingua-cultural backgrounds have become an integral part of the education system. Digital literacies appear a key part of this phenomenon, as much recruitment now takes place online, in particular in informal settings like social media. In this presentation, I will examine data collected from one such recruitment space, a Facebook group with a large and diverse population. I will focus on two over-arching themes: Translocalism, examining especially how themes from current socio-political debates across the globe were introduced into various debates within the group, and translingualism, discussing attempts to enforce an English-only policy in the group and how these were resisted through creation of ad hoc translanguaging spaces.

Friday 12th November 3pm (UK time) Jayne C. Lammers, University of Rochester’s Warner School of Education and Human Development Global Meaning Making in Action: Learning from the Digital Literacies of Indonesian Youth

Eventbrite link to book onto this talk and access details of Teams link

In this talk, Dr. Jayne Lammers (University of Rochester, NY, USA) shares from her experience of conducting research in Indonesia with her local partner, Dr. Puji Astuti. In the study, they sought answers to question what are the digital literacy practices of Indonesian secondary students, and collected data through surveys and focus groups with 618 participants from seven secondary schools in Central Java, Indonesia. Using abductive analysis (Tavory & Timmermans, 2014) to engage in systematic defamiliarization and theorizing, they have traced chains of meaning that began with surprises in their data. Positioning the researchers and participants as global meaning makers (Tierney, 2018), Lammers will explore both the enactment of the collaboration and the lessons learned from the youth.

Friday 3rd December 3pm (UK time)

CANCELLED – in support of UCU strike

Daniel N. Silva, Federal University of Santa Catarina

Adriana C. Lopes, Federal Rural University of Rio de Janeiro

Literacies of survival: non-hegemonic writing and hope in Brazilian peripheries

Eventbrite link to book onto this talk and access details of Teams link

This talk is grounded on our fieldwork in the peripheries of Rio de Janeiro. For a decade, we have been interested in how residents of peripheral neighborhoods – the Complexo do Alemão favelas and Baixada Fluminense, a group of cities in the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro – oppose the commonsense elitist discourse that they live in a state of “deprivation”, and therefore education ought to bring them food, culture and civilization. Our interlocutors in the field instead appropriate technologies, resources, and cultural tropes that have enabled them to strive as ethical subjects and to “survive” social inequities, such as necropolitics (Mbembe 2003) and the penal state (Wacquant 2012) – legacies of colonialism that disproportionately affects Brazilian peripheries.

“Literacies of survival” refer to practices of appropriation of writing that exceed modern binaries such as literality and metaphor, code and inference, life and death, school and society, rule of law and penal state. For this talk, we will focus on two case studies that display literacies of survival.

In the first case, we build on Liliana, a 7-year-old girl from Baixada Fluminense who was caught up in a media scandal involving her ability to read. Since an early age, she had been visiting the Paulo Freire library in the area, and news about her prolific reading skills travelled to news outlets. Yet one of TV shows displaying her story invoked an autonomous model of literacy (Street 2003) to prove that her reading skills and her rituals of reading to family members would have been “faked”: according to the media narrative, she only staged her reading, but did not “decode” sentences.

In the second case, we focus on Raphael Calazans, a human rights activist from Complexo do Alemão who has had a trajectory of schooling in middle class spaces. In a series of interactions with us, he challenges dominant dichotomies, such as socialization “within” and “outside” schooling, code and inference, and life and death. In questioning his own positionality within and outside hegemonic schooling institutions and the favela, he further complicates commonsense assumptions about literacy and language.

We intend to think through both case studies with the audience and discuss what these empirical cases have to teach us about literacy, agency and survival to longstanding inequities of capitalism.

Friday 4th February 2022 Professor Jennifer Rowsell, University of Bristol tbc  

Previous year’s discussion group schedules