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Updates in Group Developing Transnational Literacies




It is estimated that approximately 3 million students are enrolled as international students, and it is possible to project that this number may reach more than 7 million by 2025. As global demand exceeds the supply, competition is building for the best of these students. Some countries (or regions) clearly envisage the opportunity this represents and have been strongly stimulating student mobility. There is a race for “brains”, be it for professors at the end of their careers looking for new professional opportunities and/or the opportunity to return to their native countries, or for researchers at the beginning of their careers, looking for a place that might offer them a better future, or even for students, who seek more appealing alternatives. How
will Brazil fare in this competition for talent?

Insurgent Expertise: The Politics of Free/Livre and Open Source Software in Brazil – Jo…


Under the administration of President Luiz Incio Lula da Silva, the Brazilian state has advocated the use of Free/Livre and Open Source Software (FLOSS) throughout the public sector. How did FLOSS adoption gain traction as a developmentalstrategy across a large federal bureaucracy that had embraced information technology policies supporting export-oriented growth and market liberalization during the 1990s? In an historical case study, I argue that the FLOSS agenda emerged as a result of the actions of a network of insurgent experts working within elite political, technical, and educational institutions. I trace the history of this mobilization and show how a dedicated network of experts brought about conditions for institutional transformation that contradicted prevailing neoliberal policy proscriptions. The Brazilian FLOSS insurgency offers insights into the means by which a group of elites endeavored to reframe debates about technology-driven economic growth around questions of state-led access to source code and knowledge.

Critical text analysis: linking language and cultural studies

critical literacy

Many UK universities offer degree programmes in English Language specifically for non-native speakers of English. Such programmes typically include not only language development but also development in various areas of content knowledge. A challenge that arises is to design courses in different areas that mutually support each other, thus providing students with a coherent
degree programme. In this article, I will discuss a Bachelor of Arts programme involving Cultural Studies and Translation, as well as English Language and Linguistics. I will offer a rationale for a course in critical text analysis, which is offered in the final year of the programme. It is intended to promote language development and cultural awareness as well as skills of linguistic analysis and critical thinking.

Liberalism, Language Revival and Employment – Lewis – 2011 – Political Studies

critical literacy

Do policies that seek to revive the prospects of minority languages transgress important liberal principles? The article will explore this question by focusing on one controversial aspect of language policy in Wales: the steps taken to set Welsh language requirements for some jobs in the public sector. This is a practice that has generated substantial debate, with opponents
claiming that it undermines equality of opportunity in the field of employment and, in particular, transgresses the principle of appointing on the basis of merit. It will be argued here that such objections do not stand up to scrutiny. Efforts to promote a language’s position in the field of employment do not undermine the principle of merit, but merely expand slightly on its meaning. Therefore, liberals should, in principle, be willing to endorse policies similar to those adopted in Wales in recent years. Nevertheless, the fact that these policies can be endorsed in principle does not mean that liberals would wish to exclude them completely from criticism. Rather, as will also be argued, the background conditions against which they are implemented and the degree to which these can influence an individual’s linguistic ability should also be considered, and in the Welsh context, at least, this is an issue that may call for further attention.

Performing (Dis)Ability in the Classroom: Pedagogy and (Con)Tensions – Text and Perform…

performance,critical literacy

Disability has become a pervasive and contested issue on college campuses, and instructors and students find themselves occupying physical and discursive spaces that hold great pedagogical potential. This essay pursues such a consideration. It examines one physically disabled student’s staged performances of a personal narrative, her ethnography of a university’s disabled student services office, an in-depth interview with the student, and the author’s family experiences with disability to illustrate the ways a performative pedagogy offers insight into (dis)ability in the classroom. The analysis illuminates the classroom as a site for identity negotiation, performance as a tool to deconstruct and reconstruct notions of ability, and family relationships as an integral part of a critical communication pedagogy

Missing Bodies: Troubling the Colonial Landscape of American Academia – Text and Perfor…


Subjugated bodies continue to be missing from classrooms, faculty meetings, and educational structures everywhere. Where are the excluded bodies? Where is the untheorized visceral experience of everyday discrimination? Possibilities of inclusiveness must be viscerally felt, not simply disembodiedly spoken. Merely claiming to be a progressive teacher-writer isn’t enough to achieve a decolonizing praxis. This claim needs to come from an embodied performance in the classroom, a place where teachers and students alike can perform the scars of oppression on their bodies. Teacher and student bodies, in-between the colonial and postcolonial experience, can then become more present in teaching and praxis.

Rethinking Critical Pedagogy: Implications on Silence and Silent Bodies – Text and Perf…

performance,critical literacy

Many critical pedagogy scholars claim that agency and dialogue in the classroom can only be achieved through students’ engagement in verbal deliberation to “voice” against oppressive actions. As current discourses in the critical pedagogy literature tend to consider silence as a negative attribute in the classroom, I argue that they privilege a western construct and a very particular way of being and thinking. By using performative pedagogy as a theoretical framework, it is imperative to discuss the macro and micro implications of how discourses in the critical pedagogy literature affect how we understand silence theoretically and pedagogically.

You Had Me at Foucault: Living Pedagogically in the Digital Age – Text and Performance …

body,performance,gender,critical literacy,new_media

This essay examines the role of technology and social media in the performance of decentered heteronormative bodily and pedagogical power. Today’s teaching spaces occupy traditional, physical outlets but also imaginary, online gathering places such as blogs, Twitter, and Facebook that have become extensions of our pedagogical bodies. I argue that feminism and queer theory—united by Foucault’s upheaval of norms—provide critical sites to engage this discussion. Where feminism has become accessible inside and outside the classroom, resistance to queer theory persists. I share some of my own experiences with bodily ambiguity via teaching and living with social media that I hope can bridge the accessibility gap to move toward an emancipatory theory of pedagogical bodies in the digital age.

Wide open to rap, tagging, and real life: preparing teachers for multiliteracies pedago…

critical literacy,new_media

This article examines a teacher educator’s implementation of a pedagogy of multiliteracies in an adolescent literacy course. The purpose was to foster pre-service teachers’ knowledge and dispositions to enact multiliteracies pedagogy. This article synthesizes the theories of multiliteracies pedagogy and Third Space to explore the opportunities and challenges presented by key
learning experiences for pre-service teachers’ development of knowledge about and dispositions towards multiliteracies pedagogy. This article argues that emphasizing the Situated Practice and Critical Framing components of multiliteracies pedagogy can promote pre-service teachers’ productive negotiations of the conflicts they experience in developing dispositions towards multiliteracies pedagogy.

Indigenous Education for Critical Democracy: Teacher Approaches and Learning Outcomes i…

democracy,critical literacy

This article focuses on how three dimensions of critical democracy preparation (place-based geographical knowledge, social and political awareness of American Indian history and culture, and orientations conducive to the development of personal connections with American Indians) were impacted by different instructional approaches introduced when implementing an innovative Indian Education for All education program at a K-5 school in Montana. Student-learning outcomes were measured through pre- and post-intervention tests of place-based and social/political knowledge and a short survey of personal orientations. Instructional approaches across first-grade through fifth-grade were identified through interviews and participant observation. In their own ways, participating teachers, working in partnership with Salish tribal educators, demonstrated that Indigenous education contributes to critical-democracy learning. The specific outcomes of the Indigenous-education program varied according to the different instructional approaches teachers elected to pursue. Instructional comparisons showed that combining place-based instruction with guided reflection on personal connections with American Indian people through “boundary-breaking” approaches that aim to bring about critical consciousness ignited the most impressive changes in learners’ orientations. The research findings offer particularly valuable insights for teachers striving for equity and excellence in elementary schools with American Indian populations.



Changes related to globalization have resulted in the growing separation of individuals in late modern societies from traditional bases of social solidarity such as parties, churches, and other mass organizations. One sign of this growing individualization is the organization of individual action in terms of meanings assigned to lifestyle elements resulting in the personalization of issues such as climate change, labour standards, and the quality of food supplies. Such developments bring individuals’ own narratives to the fore in the mobilization process, often requiring organizations to be more flexible in their definitions of issues. This personalization of political action presents organizations with a set of fundamental challenges involving potential trade-offs between flexibility and effectiveness. This paper analyses how different protest networks used digital media to engage individuals in mobilizations targeting the 2009 G20 London Summit during the global financial crisis. The authors examine how these different communication processes affected the political capacity of the respective organizations and networked coalitions. In
particular, the authors explore whether the coalition offering looser affiliation options for individuals displays any notable loss of public engagement, policy focus (including mass media impact), or solidarity network coherence. This paper also examines whether the coalition offering more rigid collective action framing and fewer personalized social media affordances displays
any evident gain in the same dimensions of mobilization capacity. In this case, the evidence suggests that the more personalized collective action process maintains high levels of engagement, agenda focus, and network strength.

Questioning the Web 2.0 Discourse: Social Roles, Production, Values, and the Case of th… 

critical literacy,rights,new_media

This article interrogates the notion of Web 2.0, understanding it through three related conceptual lenses: (1) as a set of social relations, (2) as a mode of production, and (3) as a set of values. These conceptual framings help in understanding the discursive, technological, and social forces that are at play in Web 2.0 architectures. Based on research during a two-year period, the second part of this article applies these lenses to the case of the Human Rights Portal, a Web portal designed to leverage the participatory knowledge production ethos of Web 2.0 for human rights organizations. This section discusses the design process and the ways in which the discourse of Web 2.0 as parsed through the three lenses described informed this process.

Uses of video in social research: a brief history – International Journal of Social Res…

critical literacy,new_media

This article discusses the origins of video-based approaches to social research and their continuation up to the present moment. It begins by considering early studies employing silent cinema film and audio recording, followed by the unification of audio and visual recording in sound cinema film. Special emphasis is placed on the perspectives and methods initiated by the ‘Natural
History of an Interview’ research group; the first systematic study of verbal and nonverbal behavior together, as these occur in immediate social interaction in face-to-face encounters. The discussion then continues autobiographically as I recount my own early research experience of the development of video-based research approaches. This is followed by an overview of current work to show the wide range of contemporary research that uses video. The article concludes with a few speculations concerning likely futures for video-based approaches in social research.

Multimodal transcription as academic practice: a social semiotic perspective – Internat…

new_media,critical literacy

With the increasing use of video recording in social research methodological questions about multimodal transcription are more timely than ever before. How do researchers transcribe gesture, for instance, or gaze, and how can they show to readers of their transcripts how such modes operate in social interaction alongside speech? Should researchers bother transcribing these modes of communication at all? How do they define a ‘good’ transcript? In this paper we begin to develop a social semiotic framework to account for transcripts as artefacts, treating them as empirical material through which transcription as a social, meaning making practice can be reconstructed. We look at some multimodal transcripts produced in conversation analysis, discourse analysis, social semiotics and micro-ethnography, drawing attention to the meaning-making principles applied by the transcribers. We argue that there are significant representational differences between multimodal transcripts, reflecting differences in the professional practices and the rhetorical and analytical purposes of their makers.

Normalizing English language learner students: a Foucauldian analysis of opposition to …

critical literacy

This article uses Foucault’s (1977/1995) concept of normalization to analyze contemporary opposition to bilingual education in the United States. These contemporary movements have ‘normalized’ English language learner (ELL) students by appropriating the technology of language in order to become ‘Americanized.’ This has become urgent and emergent in educational research, in part, because of the growing number of ELL students in United States’ public schools. English-language proficiency is an essential element for academic success in the US’s current English-only, high-stakes testing environment. This analysis questions the notion of an ideal American as the standard for how educators implement English-only curriculum and pedagogy for ELL students. The article concludes with a critique of the impact and implications of ‘normalizing’ ELL students with an English-only education.

English teachers’ racial literacy knowledge and practice – Race Ethnicity and Education

critical literacy

This article examines how secondary English teachers in two racially diverse schools – one in Massachusetts, USA, the other in Ontario, Canada – described their knowledge of and practices for teaching about race and racism. The extent and quality of teachers’ racial literacy knowledge and practice were considered in light of the literature on racial literacy, racial literacy instruction, and anti-racist education. Three approaches to racial literacy instruction were identified: apprehensive and authorized; incidental and ill-informed; and sustained and strategic. The paper explores the strengths and weaknesses of teachers’ knowledge and skills in order to suggest content and structures for professional development in support of racial literacy instruction.

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