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CFP: New Literacy Narratives

New Literacy Narratives:  Stories about Reading and Writing in a Digital Age

Call for Papers: Special Issue of Computers and Composition
Guest editors:  Sally Chandler and John Scenters-Zapico

From their inception, literacy narratives have provided powerful means for documenting the complex, social and material interactions that orchestrate both who we are as writers and the world where we write.  Literacy narratives created through interviews have supported landmark studies of reading and writing in the culture at large, within particular identity groups, and in association with changing technologies (Brandt, 2001, 2009; Selfe & Hawisher, 2004; Sohn, 2006; Young, 2004 ); reflective, analytic narratives composed in the classroom have played an important role in helping students become better writers and in training future teachers (Corkery, 2005; McVee, 2004; Rabin, 2008). It is no surprise that digital technologies are changing not only the content of subjects’ stories about reading and writing, but also the forms these stories can take.

In today’s world, new literacy narratives – detailed reflective stories about reading, writing, and communication technologies – exist not only as alphabetic texts but as videos, digital stories, mash-ups, and animations.  The creation of the Digital Archive of Literacy Narratives ( and tools for accessing, searching and categorizing these new narratives offer exciting new opportunities for scholarly work.  New literacy narratives demand new definitions for “reading and writing”; new methods for creating, archiving, and studying stories about literacies; and new pedagogical theory and practice to realize the opportunities they present in the classroom.

In this special issue, we invite contributors to share theories, experiences, and news  about  their work with new literacy narratives – within research projects and in the classroom.  We are particularly interested in essays that identify questions, pose theory, and/or offer reflections relevant to:

•    how new communication technologies are re-defining what counts as a literacy narrative;
•    the potential value and use of emerging practices for composing, representing, analyzing, archiving, or disseminating new literacy narratives;
•    explorations of pedagogies and projects associated with new literacy narratives in the classroom;
•    the changing ethics of literacy narratives gone digital – in the classroom and in the archive;
•    studies of new literacy narratives outside of the classroom in understudied niche ecologies;
•    new literacy narratives created by individuals from different generations;
•    the consequences of accessibility to technologies necessary to create new literacy narratives;
•    the role of new literacy sponsors—from within educational walls and outside them;
•    new literacy narratives and experiences in the workplace.

Guest editors invite proposals that explore these and other questions surrounding the use of new literacy narratives in teaching and research.  Proposals should be one page, single-spaced (approximately 500 words) with a separate page for references.  Deadline for proposals is March 1, 2011.  Authors will be notified of acceptance by May 1, 2011; complete manuscripts will be due September 1, 2011.  Send proposals by email to Sally Chandler, at; queries are welcome.