Another notion of ‘new’ in New Literacies Studies

ImageI like chancing upon ideas that chime comfortably with my own. When coming up with ideas about how to talk, write and think about blogging, I wanted to move away from placing too much emphasis on blogs as digital spaces. They are digital spaces of course – but they are also social spaces, places where people meet and interact. The digital, the virtual and the embodied overlap:  an embodied person writes and another embodied person reads and responds to what is written. The mechanism through which their communication is enabled is ‘virtual’ but the communication itself – is not.

Blogging implies a changed relationship between the reader, the writer and the text. An extended, ongoing relationship in which the text is never quite complete and the audience too dispersed in time, place, position and visibility to imagine. Blogs may be directed at a particular imagined reader, while the actual reader experiences them as over heard snippets of a conversation. All of this implies an additional variant on the ‘new’ in New Literacies Studies: an additional exploratory lens.

Digital text is interactive and as such always has the potential to be ‘new’.  It is always ‘on the move’ (p6) – as in mobile.  Part of what my analysis of Globalising Dissent will include is an analysis of how and where blog posts are reblogged – which posts are reblogged in and which are reblogged out, from and to where. Blog posts are or have the capacity to be multi – modal, media, platformed and  authored; they are interactive, distributed and dispersed.  Their diverse audience sync their reading between desk-top, lap-top, tablet, pc, mobile device and print.

All of this makes another notion of ‘new’ in New Literacies Studies possible.

‘New’ implies that literacy – as concept and text – is always being remade. The new accentuates the multiplicities that surround literacy.

Albers, P., Holbrook, T., & Flint, A. (Eds.). (2013). New Methods on Literacy Research. Routledge. (Currently being reviewed for journal of Education and teaching. I have read 13 out of 16 chapters)


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