Returning to Text: Affect, meaning making and literacies

BURNETT, Cathy and MERCHANT, Guy (2020). Returning to Text: Affect, meaning making and literacies. Reading Research Quarterly.

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Existing work on literacy and affect has posed important questions for how we think about meanings and how and where they get made. The authors contribute to such work by focusing on the relation between text and affect. This is a topic that has received insufficient attention in recent work but is of pressing concern for education as text interweaves in new ways with human activity, through social media, surveillance capitalism, and artificial intelligence—ways that can be unpredictable and poorly understood. Adopting a sociomaterial sensibility that foregrounds the relations between bodies (people and things), the authors provide conceptual tools for considering how texts affect and are affected by the heterogeneous entanglements from which they emerge. In situating their argument, the authors outline influential readings of Spinoza’s theories of affect, explore how these have been mobilized in literacy research, and identify how text has been accommodated within such research. Using texts from a political episode in the United Kingdom, the authors explore the idea of social-material-textual affects to articulate relationships among humans, nonhumans, meaning making, and literacies. The authors conclude by identifying four ways in which text participates in what happens, raising questions about how different materializations of text (or indeed “not text”) are significant to the diversifying communicative practices that inflect social, cultural, economic, and political life.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Education; 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy
Identification Number:
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 14 Jan 2020 11:39
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2023 09:31

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