[csaa-forum] CSAA symposium, UNSW Apr 4-5, draft program and registration

Paul Byron paul.byron at unsw.edu.au
Wed Mar 5 16:01:34 CST 2014

*CSAA Intermezzo Symposium*

*Cultural Studies and the New Uses of Literacy*

Draft program and registration available at


[image: Bill Green]

*Bill Green*

*Rethinking Literacy for the New Media Age?*

Notwithstanding Richard Hoggart's significance in the formation and history
of cultural studies, and recurring references to his early book *The Uses
of Literacy*, I want to argue that literacy as such doesn't figure all that
much in the field of cultural studies, at least in its dominant
constructions. When it is not being deployed more or less metaphorically,
there is overwhelmingly a sense of what has been described as "the
assumption of literacy" - the view that literacy is something that can and
should be simply 'assumed' in cultural studies work, or perhaps 'presumed',
especially when that field is conceived as, first and foremost, a
university discipline. I argue this is symptomatic of its restricted
engagement with education, as both a practice and a field of study.
Literacy, it seems, is all too often invested with the same kind of
taken-for-grantedness as education. Seeking to open up a more productive
dialogue between these two fields, this presentation will firstly explore
the notion of a paradigmatic shift from 'print' to 'digital electronics',
before going on to provide a reconceptualised, historically informed
account of literacy, with due regard for changing formations of technology
and culture, communication and power. What *is* at issue in rethinking
literacy for the new media age?

*Bill Green* is Emeritus Professor of Education at Charles Sturt
University, NSW. He has a longstanding interest in the relationship between
education and cultural studies. His research profile includes work ranging
across curriculum inquiry and literacy studies, English curriculum history,
technocultural studies, doctoral research education, and education for
rural-regional sustainability. Recent publications include the edited
volumes *Literacy in 3D: An Integrated Perspective in Theory and
Practice*(ACER, 2012), with Catherine Beavis, and *Rethinking
Rural Literacies: Transnational Perspectives*(Palgrave Macmillan), with
Michael Corbett. He is presently completing another edited volume on the
body in professional practice, learning and education, to be published by

[image: Lelia Green]

*Lelia Green*

*Children's digital literacies: a contested space*

Early writers on children's digital literacies were swift to identify
contested priorities. P. David Marshall, for example, discussed the fact
that parents bought computers for their children because of the educational
imperatives while children used computers for games and socialising: "The
arcade game dimension of the computer shifts its value from information
source to entertainment site with a particular [working] class dimension."
(1997, p. 71). The anxieties this dynamic elicited were further exacerbated
by the realisation of (in those days) accessible sexual content: "Parents
still occupy the role of the initiated with regard to sexuality, [but] if
they are uninitiated technologically then they lose the power base from
which to set the markers for progressive socialisation." (1997, p. 68)

Eighteen years later, many of those children now have children of their own
but what passes for digital literacy in which circumstances is no less
hotly contested. Indeed, more organisations and institutions are involved
in the debate. Schools, policy makers, parents and children all have
digital literacy agendas.

This presentation takes policy-driven research with children (AU Kids
Online) and combines it with analysis of in-depth qualitative interviews to
construct the different frames of what passes for digital literacy for whom
in which circumstances: and when such digital literacies can be plausibly
denied. As one 14-16 year old told me: "I recently got Snapchat and I know
what it's for but [...] I only got it to Snapchat friends that I know, but it
can be used for something really different." (Even his friends contested
that statement.)
*Lelia Green* is Professor of Communications at Edith Cowan University, in
the School of Communications and Arts, and a co-Chief Investigator with the
Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for Creative
Industries and Innovation. She has been the first Chief Investigator on
three ARC Discovery Grants and on four ARC Linkage Grants. Lelia is the
author or co-author of over 80 refereed articles, book chapters and
conference papers and co-edited *Framing technology: society choice and
change* (1994, Green & Guinery). She is the author of *The internet: an
introduction to new media* (Berg, 2010) and *Communication, technology and
society* (Sage, 2002, also co-published as *Technoculture: from alphabet to
cybersex*, Allen & Unwin, 2002).


Paul Byron
Research Assistant
School of Arts and Media
University of New South Wales
Sydney NSW 2052
paul.byron at unsw.edu.au
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