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[xmca] FW: [LING-ETHNOG] Ethnographic approaches to researching literacy practices: seminar Lancaster University Dec 17th.
Ethnographic approaches to researching literacy practices
Research seminar, Institute for Advanced Studies, Lancaster University,
Friday December 17th, 2010. 10 am -3.30 pm
How do we study literacy? What are the most appropriate research methods to understand reading and writing? This one day research seminar is devoted to methodologies, in particular the use of qualitative and ethnographic approaches to the study of literacy. We understand reading and writing as social and cultural practices and we seek research methods that allow us to explore the situated nature of literacy in a variety of contexts, including everyday life and institutional contexts.
Literacy researchers frequently describe their work not as 'doing ethnography' but as adopting an 'ethnographic approach'. But what does it mean to take such a stance? Does literacy research need 'full' ethnographies? And what is the place of text analysis in relation to ethnographic methods? As literacy researchers, do we give sufficient attention to the texts and documents people are using? We want to discuss what role text analysis plays in our overall understanding of people's reading and writing practices. How for example can insights from text analysis be combined with interview data and participant observation? Analysis of texts also includes understanding the materiality of different documents and how this impacts on how these are used and understood. Finally, we also want to pursue the role of a more historic and diachronic approaches to studying reading and writing, in particular archives as sources of understanding literacy in specific contexts and periods.
The seminar brings together researchers from two different but related approaches: the 'anthropology of writing' in France and 'New Literacy Studies' in the UK. A recent publication 'The anthropology of writing' (ed. D. Barton and U. Papen, Continuum 2010) provides a synthesis and examples of work carried out in both traditions. Research methods are mentioned in each contribution but the focus in this publication was on the insights gained through various studies; the planned seminar adds a detailed discussion of methodologies.
The day will consists of two panels. Speakers' topics will be:
Philippe Artières, Archives as sources for the study of reading and writing
David Barton, Analysing texts and practices online
Claire Bustaret, Studying the material aspects of texts
Julia Gillen, Multimodality - bringing together cultural-historical activity theory and social semiotic approaches
Mary Hamilton, Institutional ethnography and literacy studies
Uta Papen, Linguistic landscape research - between text analysis and ethnography
David Pontille, In the backrooms of writing
Karin Tusting, Discourse analysis within an ethnographic approach to literacy
We have invited two respondents to comment on the panellists' interventions:
Theresa Lillis, Open University
Mark Sebba, Lancaster University
Timetable for the day:
9.45 Tea and coffee
10.15-11.45 Panel 1 (5 speakers of 15 minutes each)
11.45-12.30 Respondents and general discussion
12.30-1.30 Lunch break
1.30-2.45 Panel 2 (4 speakers of 15 minutes each)
2.45-3.30 Respondents and general discussion
To register, please contact D
Ruth Harman, Assistant Professor
Language and Literacy Department
125B Aderhold Hall
University of Georgia, Athens GA 30602
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