Women and Literacy: Local and Global Inquiries for a New Century

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Path-breaking research on women and literacy in the past decade established conventions and advanced innovative methods that push the making of knowledge into new spheres of inquiry. Taking these accomplishments as a point of departure, this volume emphasizes the diversity—of approaches and subjects—that characterizes the next generation of research on women and literacy. It builds on and critiques scholarship in literacy studies, composition studies, rhetorical theory, gender studies, postcolonial theory, and cultural studies to open new venues for future research. Contributors discuss what literacy is—more precisely, what literacies are—but their strongest interest is in documenting and theorizing women’s lived experience of these literacies, with particular attention to: the diversity of women’s literacies within the U.S., including but not limited to the varying relations that exist among women, literacy, economic position, class, race, sexuality, and education; relations among women, literacy, and economic contexts in the U.S. and abroad, including but not limited to changes in women’s private and domestic literacies, the evolution of technologies of literacy, and women’s experience of the commodification of literacies; and emergent roles of women and literacy in a globally interdependent world. This broad, significant work is a must-read for researchers and graduate students across the fields of literacy studies, composition studies, rhetorical theory, and gender studies.

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