Literacy in the Digital Age international conference

deadline for submissions: 
August 15, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
Ana-Karina Schneider, Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu, Romania

Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu, Romania

Faculty of Letters and Arts






Literacy in the Digital Age


19-20 November 2021


The Department of Anglo-American and German Studies at Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu,

The Academic Anglophone Society of Romania and

The Centre for Linguistic, Literary and Cultural Studies


are pleased to invite you to the Literacy in the Digital Age international conference, to be held online.


The advent of the digital age has ushered in unforeseen possibilities in terms of resources and communication channels but also huge challenges related to cyber-security, citizen surveillance, virtual realities, hyper-uncertainty and increased volatility. E-mail messages, blogs, proliferating information resources in a variety of formats, as well as an incredible range of communication prospects and diverse social media are all inextricably linked to literacy. In a seminal article entitled “Reading, Writing and Thinking in an Age of Electronic Literacy,” W. Costanzo correctly argues that the new technologies are changing the way we read, write and even think, concluding that not only have “the tools of literacy … changed; the nature of texts, of language, of literacy itself is undergoing crucial changes” (11).

The concept of literacy has always had a deictic character, evolving and being comprehended differently, in keeping with its historical context. Nowadays, we no longer speak about literacy in the singular, but about various types of literacy, ranging from media, civic, cultural, network, discourse, personal, and visual literacies to multiliteracies and their pedagogies, which have emerged in response to realities generated by the new technologies. While individuals are required to master digital skills in order to effectively navigate and make use of online resources, engage in collaborative projects and even do their daily work online, there is concern that the emerging technologies destroy the vital sources of our humanity, creating a culture without moral foundation, undermining mental processes and social relations that make human life worth living. What is needed is a marriage between these technologies and the traditions of rhetorical education which would bring back the emphasis on the individual. In other words, what is needed is a careful and innovative reconsideration of ways of harnessing the new communication technologies to the task of inculcating literacy that is not only functional, but critical and rhetorical, that is, literacy that has the capacity to free the mind from bias and ignorance and demystify ideologies.

The COVID 19 pandemic has abruptly moved many activities online, contributing a significant digital and participative dimension to the meaning of literacy. Humanities specialists consequently feel compelled to revisit the definitions, functions and practices of literacy and to adapt traditional approaches to the task of explaining and coming to terms with the digital world. While the digital humanities have long been changing academic scholarship, research, teaching and publishing, the effects of the encounter of print-based and digital scholarship, of the material world with virtual and enhanced reality, of online and onsite teaching and learning, and of human memory with its extension into Cloud and international databases are still insufficiently studied. The very role of the digital humanities is shifting from repositories of texts and quantitative analyses to facilitators of interactive narratives and systemic analyses. Our conference therefore proposes to look into the impact of the emerging technologies on literacy, and beyond, on ecology, and encourage enquiries into the ethics of literacy, as much as into cognitive and pedagogic aspects.


We invite participants to explore these issues from theoretical and/or text-based, interdisciplinary perspectives in individual presentations, panels, and/or workshops.


Topics might include (but are by no means limited to):


▪ literature in the digital age

▪ cultures of literacy / cultures of reading

▪ reading (in) translation

▪ reading theories, reading practices

▪ reading in the ‘post-reading’ age: film adaptations, audiobooks, vlogs, text-to-speech generators etc.

▪ literacy and technology

▪ computer-generated and interactive digital narratives

▪ cognitive approaches to literacy

▪ literacy and the archival

▪ memory in the age of digital mnemotechnologies

▪ teaching critical literacy

▪ multiliteracies and multiliteracy pedagogies

▪ literacy and migration

▪ literacy and citizenship

▪ identity and literacy

▪ literacy as resistance

▪ the carbon footprint of literacy  

▪ reading across disciplines

▪ access to literacy and the ethics of education


Presentations should be 20 minutes long, allowing for 10 minutes of discussion. Please send an abstract (no more than 200 words), a list of 5-7 keywords, and a short biographical note in word format. Proposals should include titles of papers/ panels, name and institutional affiliation, mailing address, phone, and e-mail address.


A selection of the papers presented will be published in a special issue of East/West Cultural Passage


Deadline for submission of proposals:15 August 2021


Please send proposals to:      Anca-Diana Ignat

                                                Alexandra Mitrea



Conference venue: online


Conference Organisers: Ovidiu Matiu, Alexandra Mitrea, Anca-Diana Ignat, Anca-Luminița Iancu, Ana-Karina Schneider, Corina Selejan, Teodora Creangă, Andreea Teodorescu and Marius Stroia.


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