Composing Agency: Theorizing the Readiness Potentials of Literacy Practices

Clay Walker

Abstract


This essay argues that literacy actors compose agency through the embodied practice of literacies in combination with self-aware feedback loops. The argument brings together recent conversations on agency, embodiment, and cognition in composition studies, neuroscience, and the humanities to develop the concept of discursive readiness potential. Discursive readiness potential refers to one’s embodied agency and accounts for the range of possible actions available to an actor on the basis of her or his past experiences. Furthermore, discursive readiness potential points to one’s capacity to navigate a field of potential literate practices into one actualized action. As such, the essay supports a renewed call for research on agency and embodied cognition in composition studies by outlining discursive readiness potential as a flexible process model for understanding how agents act in emergent discursive situations.


Keywords


agency; embodiment; embodied cognition; potentiality; literacy

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.21623%2F1.3.2.2



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