Ideologies of Literacy, “Academic Literacies,” and Composition Studies
AbstractIn my contribution to this symposium, I take up the call of this journal in its mission statement for “new interactions between Literacy and Composition Studies.” From the framework of competing ideologies of literacy, I explore points of intersection as well as divergence between strands of what’s known as “composition studies” and what has come to be identified as the “academic literacies” approach to academic literacy. My focus on “academic literacies” rather than the broader area of literacy studies signals at least three of my biases: first, I wish to counter the tendency to allow the cultural norm for academic literacy to go unchallenged, a tendency that a focus on those literacy practices deemed nonacademic risks maintaining; second, and relatedly, insofar as work in composition studies remains tied by its location in the academy to programs charged with the study and teaching of academic writing, those of us identified with composition cannot allow cultural norms for academic literacy to go unchallenged; and third, some of the most promising work challenging such norms can be found in work taking an academic literacies approach.
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