De-‘othering’ everyday visual practices

Dr John Potter will give a keynote talk at the Valuing the Visual in Literacy Research conference, 4-5th July 2917. The talk is entitled De-‘othering’ everyday visual practices: Dynamic literacies, third spaces and curation.

Literacy research is concerned with exploring and representing the many ways in which humans make and share meanings in their everyday practices. These are essentially dynamic processes, ever changing in response to what Lievrouw and Livingstone refer to as the changed artefacts, practices and social arrangements of the new media age. For those of us who work in education, our research is concerned with what these changes afford learners in communities throughout life. Because the visual is one prime location of these dynamic literacies, we should perhaps ask questions about what and how it is represented inside and outside formal education. We may well find that the visual is still somehow ‘othered’ in research agendas as well as curriculum documents, located outside of print literacy as a residual category with many labels, among them: digital literacy, multimodal literacy, media literacy. This is not how everyday literacy practices work, of course, with text and image sharing the same pages and screens, underscored by sounds, touch and movement at home, in school and through all the spaces in between in which we move. It is all ‘literacy’. This talk will explore the pedagogical, political and personal implications of ‘de-othering’ the visual, placing it at the heart of a research agenda which is concerned with three main concepts: Dynamic Literacies as a way of framing all ‘literacy’; Third Spaces as a way of conceiving its locations and possibilities for shared meanings; and Curation as a way to think about identity, community and the digital, throughout the lifecourse.

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