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Bauerlein is such a funny guy. My B.A. in Lit would like for me to be convinced that his literacy practices are the adult ones, but rigor happens with time and resources spent professionalizing. Teen practices like texting are unlikely to have this; literary studies have a head start. But I don't want to reinvoke the reading/writing deathmatch that is so easy to take. The better track looks forward by considering relevancy. For students surrounded by gutted factory buildings and agrarian secession, many academic and literary practices are irrelevant. So digital literacies are one alternative, right? Or are they? Web 2.0 and mobile networks are equally foreign--and unimportant--for the digitally isolated. Yancey's point doesn't rest with "pop communication" that's causing such a fuss. She “merely” asks academia to look outside itself, begin studying the broader definitions of writing happening outside the classroom. Students don't value (or often recognize) their literacy practices exterior to the classroom, even though they sense quite well that our curriculum prepares them for a past that has less and less currency.


I think you're right about Yancey's larger point: we need to look outside the classroom. And I would like to make the even larger point that the humanities need to figure out how to be more relevant and digital literacy (digital humanities) is one way, perhaps, to do this. The report has its odd moments, though. Yancey herself introduces the reading/writing deathmatch when writes the following:

"Writing has never been accorded the cultural respect or the support that reading has enjoyed, in part because through reading, society could control its citizens, whereas through writing, citizens might exercise their own control."

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