Friday, May 06, 2011

Call for chapter proposals--Critical Digital Literacies as Social Praxis: Intersections and challenges

This is a call being placed by JuliAnna Avila and Jessica Zacher Pandya for chapter proposals for an edited book for submission our New Literacies Series with Peter Lang. We're lending them a hand here with getting the word out--so contact the dircetly (see below) rather than us if you're interested in contributing to this collection.

From JuliAnna and Jessica:

The contributors to this edited volume will examine the simultaneous implementation of critical and digital literacies and explore ramifications for the development and assessment of critical digital literacy (CDL) curricula across educational contexts. Critical literacies, as we conceive of them, encompass curricula, pedagogy, and assessment; through them, we analyze printed texts, discourses, popular culture, media, and subject-matter content. A critical literacies approach to teaching and learning, then, is a way to talk and think about students as knowledge-holders and producers, and a way to talk and think about teachers’ pedagogical practices. The theoretical framework undergirding this approach is well-established (Comber & Simpson, 2001; Fehring & Green, 2001; Freebody & Luke, 2003; Janks, 2000) and although scholars caution against assuming a standardized approach to critical literacies in practice (Iyer, 2007; Stevens & Bean, 2007), many educators around the world have added to our understanding by describing critical literacy activities in their own educational contexts (Behrman, 2006; Boran & Comber, 2001; Dozier, Johnston & Rogers, 2006; Fisher, 2008; Lewison, Leland & Harste, 2008; McLaughlin & DeVoogd, 2004; Morrell, 2008).

Recent research has highlighted the need for educators to bring digital literacies into our classrooms (Alvermann, 2010; Alvermann et al., 1999; Jenkins et al., 2009; Paris, 2010; Rance-Roney, 2010; Robin, 2008;) even though traditional school definitions of literacy may well be at odds with definitions that include digital dimensions (Collins & Halverson, 2009; Tarasuiuk, 2010). Digital literacies have called into question our understandings of literacy acquisition and development, and of authorial authority (Lankshear, Peters, & Knobel, 1996) even as schools continue to hold onto more traditional, and decidedly less digital, definitions of literacy. Along with Dockter, Haug, & Lewis (2010), we theorize that critical digital literacy (CDL) has the potential to reach learners who might be otherwise reluctant to engage in print-based critical literacy work. CDLs provide opportunities for students to critique the cultural worlds they inhabit (Gainer, 2010) and to expand their understandings of culture (Myers and Eberfors, 2010) while also revising their own literacy and academic identities using digital tools (Lankshear, Peters, & Knobel, 1996; O’Brien, 2003).

Given the current state of both fields, we ask, in regards to the intersection of the digital and critical, how has the increasing ubiquity of digital literacies in and out of school affected our definitions of critical literacy? And how have our ever-changing perceptions of critical literacy affected how we define, teach, and engage in digital literacies?  We believe that there is crucial work to be done at these intersections, work that builds upon the extensive bodies of critical and digital literacy research briefly mentioned above. Some issues and questions that chapters might address are:

o    What would it take to make CDLs more valued in schools?
o    What is negotiated, gained, or lost in the process of combining the critical and the digital?
o    Where is the power located—and who is silenced, and how—in CDL approaches?
o    Do children and adolescents today even need CDLs in the ways we currently conceptualize them?  If so, what do they need from them? If they do not—if youth are already critical consumers and producers of texts, as some have begun to argue—what kinds of CDL projects might supersede or replace current approaches and assumptions?
o    Can CDL practices disrupt classroom routines in constructive in engaging ways?
o    How has the divide between audience and participant, and the notion of collective intelligence, been challenged and redefined by CDLs?

While the primary focus of the proposed book is on educational practice, we also invite chapters that address the philosophical foundations of, and social justice issues related to, critical/digital literacies. We also aim to present a balance between current issues and promising future opportunities and directions.

Please note that we only need a tentative chapter title and a brief abstract (approximately 200 words) by May 28th for preliminary submission to the series editors Michele Knobel and Colin Lankshear.  We may ask for more detailed abstracts after review.

Editors will select contributions for the collection, notify authors, and then send additional details. To submit a proposal, or for further information, please contact the editors.

JuliAnna Avila, Ph.D.                    Jessica Zacher Pandya, Ph.D.
UNC Charlotte                     California State University, Long Beach
Department of English                1250 Bellflower Blvd., ED-1
9201 University City Blvd.                 Long Beach, CA 90840
Charlotte, NC 28223          

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