Literacy-as-event: accounting for relationality in literacy research

BURNETT, Cathy and MERCHANT, Guy (2018). Literacy-as-event: accounting for relationality in literacy research. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 41 (1), 45-56.

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Research in New Literacy Studies has demonstrated how literacy consists of multiple socially and culturally situated practices illuminated through a focus on literacy events. Recently, this sociocultural perspective has been complemented by relational thinking that views literacy as an ongoing reassembling of the human and more-than-human. This conceptual article proposes that, in exploring how relational thinking might be deployed in literacy research and practice, it is helpful to re-visit conceptualisations of literacy events. Specifically it proposes the notion of ‘literacy-as-event’ as a heuristic for thinking with the fluid and elusive nature of meaning-making, elaborating on three propositions: 1. event is generated as people and things come into relation; 2. what happens always exceeds what can be conceived and perceived; 3. implicit in the event are multiple potentialities. Approaching literacy research through engaging with literacy-as-event promotes an expansive, reflective, and imaginative engagement with literacy practices that aligns with relational thinking.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Sheffield Institute of Education
Identification Number:
Page Range: 45-56
Depositing User: Jill Hazard
Date Deposited: 07 Mar 2018 09:12
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2023 09:30

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