Literacy Research in Communities

The Assembly for Research of the National Council of Teachers of English announces a conference on Literacy Research in Communities, to be held February 15-17, 2008 at Indiana University in Bloomington, IN. In this call, we would like researchers and educators to consider what it means to do literacy research in and with communities, both communities that are familiar to the researcher and those that are not. We define communities broadly (i.e., classrooms, virtual communities, schools, neighborhoods, community centers etc.). One goal is to begin a conversation about the various ways that researchers represent and capture the voices of those we study and the challenges and tensions associated with doing so. Questions that guide the conference can be broken down into three related strands: 1) Representation and Relationships; 2) Methodological, Theoretical, and Epistemological Issues; 3) Ethical Dilemmas and Issues.

We invite proposals that address the following issues, topics and questions that will frame our Midwinter Conference for 2008.

Representation and Relationships
  • How do researchers and educators engage in doing literacy research in communities, especially those which consist of marginalized or historically underrepresented groups?
  • What are the various relationships between researchers /educators and the community members with whom they study and work? What role do these relationships play in the research process?
  • How do community members participate in creating scholarship with researchers?
  • What role do community members play in the dissemination of this research and scholarship as it is made public to various audiences?
Methodological, Theoretical, and Epistemological Issues
  • What methodological and theoretical tools do researchers use to problematize their own assumptions and to ensure that they justly represent the communities in which they study?
  • What have researchers/educators learned about the knowledge and experiences of various communities as a result of their literacy research and how has that knowledge impacted their scholarship, the communities in which they study, policy, and the field.
  • How do educational researchers/educators define and understand their work with diaspora communities, communities in transition, transnational communities, virtual communities, and undocumented communities?
  • How do educational researchers/educators conceptualize “the literacies of communities”?
Ethical Dilemmas and Issues
  • How do researchers/ educators value and incorporate the voices and represent the knowledge and experiences of the people in the communities that we work and study?
  • To what extent does the scholarship that researchers/educators create help the communities in which we study? Who is the work done for? And for what purposes?
  • What are some of the challenges of doing research in communities? What ethical dilemmas do researchers and educators face as they engage in studying the literacy of communities, particularly communities of historically underrepresented groups?
  • What ethical responsibilities do researchers and educators have in representing communities and the literacies within them in their scholarship and programming?
We welcome proposals grounded in diverse perspectives, including, among others: critical race, postcolonial, postmodern, multicultural, feminist and queer theories; critical discourse analysis; critical and anti-racist pedagogies; and ethnic, cultural, cross-cultural, historical and comparative studies. We invite proposals that focus on empirical research including teacher/action research, as well as conceptual/theoretical work.

Proposals (no more than 2 single-spaced pages) should address the following:
The research question(s), methodology, findings/issues/questions for discussion, and how the research will contribute to the conference conversation. If your paper is a conceptual/theoretical one, please describe your theoretical framework and argument and tell how it will contribute to the conference conversation. Please indicate in the opening lines of the proposal whether you intend to focus on empirical or conceptual/theoretical questions.

Cover Page - Include the following information for all presenters:
- Name(s)
- Affiliation(s)
- Mailing address(es)
- Telephone number(s)
- E-mail address(es)
- Title of presentation
- Indicate whether this is a round table or poster session.
- Audio-visual requests (overheads, TV/VCRs supplied without charge and upon request)

Review Process: Review criteria will include the quality of the proposal and the degree to which it addresses the conference theme.

Submit proposals via email to: LELLC@indiana.edu
Please include “NCTEAR Proposal” as the subject line. Proposals must be received by November 2, 2007.

Address any questions to Conference Co-chairs Stephanie Carter or Gerald Campano to: LELLC@indiana.edu

No comments: