Remixing Critical Theory: Literacy Theory as Literary Criticism; 4Cs / CCCC 2010 Panel; 4/22

full name / name of organization: 
Nicole duPlessis / Texas A&M University
contact email: 

Eldred and Mortensen, in their article "Reading Literacy Narratives" published in College English (1992), call for the movement of literacy studies "in one important direction: into the study of literary texts" (512). Toward this goal, the article identifies categories of literacy-centered literary texts: the "literacy myth," "narratives of socialization," "literature of the contact zone," and "literacy narratives" (Eldred and Mortensen 512-513). However, to date, this article has failed to make a significant impact on literary criticism.

This panel seeks to identify new ways in which literary criticism can be enriched by literacy theory. In particular, we will propose that texts that are not organized as literacy narratives, but which contain scenes of reading and writing, may also be viewed through the lens of literacy theory. The argument that the panel as a whole will present is that when a text portrays literate acts--acts of reading and writing--it embodies a discourse on literacy that may be analyzed as a reflection on the place of literacy in society or the life of the individual.

We seek papers that use literacy theory as a methodology for the analysis of literary texts. Please submit abstracts of 250-300 words to Nicole duPlessis .