Literacies, visual or otherwise

On Wednesday 12th November gave a talk on “Literacies, visual or otherwise” for the Visual Methods Research Group at Bradford University. This research seminar was my first attempt at expanding some of the material in my previous work on Visual Literacy. An attempt to consider other areas and especially where the term “literacy” has been applied in approaches to learning and teaching an Higher Education. I will consider how this term has been applied to other forms of literacy, technology, information and media.

My concern is that the application of literacy to these areas has not been properly thought out. As part of my PhD thesis I developed a “critique of visual literacy” – more on this in later posts – where I argued that this state of affairs carries with it many contradictions and emphases, making this distinction, “visual literacy”, problematic.

I am now embarked upon a journey to see if the same contradictions occur in these other areas. Can competence in the use of language, as in literacy, be applied to these other areas in a meaningful and useful way. If, for example, we take literacy to indicate types of competence in the acquisition and use of language, then can similar competencies be identified in these other areas?

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