Paul Kei Matsuda

Applied Linguistics Speaker Series

The Applied Linguistics Speakers Series Announces A Special Two-Person, One Day Event:


Mary Hamilton & David Barton


At 2:00 PM, hear from Mary Hamilton:  


How Does the Global Get Into the Local?:  Literacy Policy, Complexity and the Politics of Representation


How do representations of literacy and literacy learners bridge current discourses of globalization with local educational practice? In this session, Hamilton will explore this topic using examples from an historical policy study that has traced the reshaping of the field of adult literacy since the 1970s. She will complement these examples with contemporary data exploring the effects of performance indicators in UK educational institutions. Theoretical tools from literacy studies and from science and technology studies are used in the analysis, revealing both continuities and differences in the construction of adults as citizens and learners across different policy periods.


Mary Hamilton is Professor of Adult Learning and Literacy in the Department of Educational Research at Lancaster University; Associate Director of the Lancaster Literacy Research Centre and a founder member of the Research and Practice in Adult Literacy group. Her current research is in literacy policy and governance, Actor Network Theory, practitioner enquiry, academic literacies and change. Her co-authored publications include Local Literacies (with David Barton);  Powerful Literacies (with Jim Crowther and Lynn Tett) and Changing Faces of Adult Literacy, Language and Numeracy: A Critical History of Policy and Practice (with Yvonne Hillier).


At 3:30 PM, hear from David Barton:  


How People Develop New Vernacular Literacy Practices on the Web Through Participation and Deliberate Learning


People’s everyday literacy practices or ‘local literacies’ have been researched extensively in physical settings,  revealing the dynamics of this vernacular world of voluntary, self-generated writing which is learned informally, circulated locally and not regulated by the institutional strictures of education or the workplace. This paper turns to the internet and examines the ‘ordinary’ writing which people do in Web 2.0 spaces, reporting on the writing done on the photo-sharing website Flickr. This is based on detailed examination of photo sites complemented by online interviews with multilingual Flickr users. The paper focuses on what people say about their learning of new practices on the internet. It also addresses issues of language choice online and the need to redefine the concepts of ‘local’ and ‘vernacular’. The paper shows how people learn to create new global identities as they participate in a multilingual, multi-modal online space, combining languages in new ways and making the internet their own.


David Barton is Professor of Language and Literacy in the Department of Linguistics at Lancaster University and Director of the Lancaster Literacy Research Centre. He is also Visiting Professor II at the University of Stavanger, Norway. Recent publications, with others, include The anthropology of writing, Continuum, 2010; Literacy, Lives and Learning, Routledge, 2007; Improving learning in college, Routledge 2009. He is also editor of the Routledge Literacies book series..


Date: Monday, 12.14.2009                     

Time: 2:00-4:30 P.M., with 30 minutes of refreshments and Q&A

Location:  Coor L1-20


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Last update: January 6, 2008