About the Journal

Literacy in Composition Studies (LiCS) is a refereed open access online journal that sponsors activity at the nexus of literacy and composition studies. We publish long-form scholarly articles and short-form pieces including book reviews, interviews, symposium essays, and work in new and emerging genres.

Given its ideological nature, literacy is a particularly fluid and contextual term. It can name a range of activities from fundamental knowledge about how to decode text to interpretive and communicative acts. Literacies are linked to know-how, to insider knowledge, and to social and cultural groups. Literacy is often a metaphor for the ability to navigate systems, cultures, and situations. Literacy is linked to interpretation—to reading the social environment and engaging and remaking that environment through communication. At its heart, literacy is situated within sociocultural contexts and is connected to power and inequality. 

The term composition studies points to the range of writing courses at the college level, including FYC, WAC/WID, writing studies, and professional writing, even as it signals the institutional, disciplinary, and historically problematic nature of the field.  

We invite authors to consider how multiple groups of people seize power and agency through literacy practices and to examine the ways in which literacy acts on and/or constitutes the writer, even as the writer seeks to act on or with others. By exploring the intersections of literacy and composition, we further seek submissions that draw from the broadest range of traditions possible to promote equity and justice within our disciplines, classrooms, and communities. We particularly invite work that:

  • examines the literacy practices, processes, and histories of marginalized and underrepresented communities.
  • adds new or challenges existing knowledge to literacy’s history.
  • analyzes the processes and power relations whereby literacies are valued or circulated.
  • investigates the ways in which social, political, economic, linguistic, historical, and technological transformations produce, eliminate, or mediate literacy opportunities.
  • analyzes how literacy practices construct student, community, and other identities.
  • provides provisional frameworks for theorizing literacy activities.
  • examines the literacies sponsored through college writing courses and curricula, including the range of literate activities, practices, and pedagogies that shape and inform, enable and constrain writing.
  • considers the implications of institutional, state, or national policies on literacy learning and teaching, including the articulation of high schools and higher education.
  • proposes or creates opportunities for new interactions between literacy and Composition studies, especially those drawing on transnational, multilingual, and cross-cultural literacy research.