The Centre describes the theme of the annual conference, which will take place on July 1st – 2nd, 2016 at the University of Sheffield, this way:
Conceptualising literacy and language is a key task in a world which is on the move, both literally and symbolically. This conference engages with the theme of Language, Literacy and Identity in order to better understand how communities , groups and individuals engage with literacy. It is concerned with exploring how literacy practices and texts affect our sense of who we are, how we relate to each other and our place within the world. We welcome papers considering literacy, language and identity across contexts, and domains of life. We are interested in how multilingual identities shape literacy practices, and in new understandings of the move to visual and digital literacies. This includes work engaging with new paradigms for literacy, including sensory and embodied approaches and the turn to the post-human in literacy research. Our approach is multi disciplinary, with a focus on language and literacy within a wide range of contexts, themes and perspectives.
For additional information about abstract guidelines, session formats, and more, visit the conference website.
Having attended twice, I am eager to return to the nurturing, generative, and innovative conversations I was fortunate to be a part of each time. If you haven’t attended before, and find yourself on the ‘other side of the pond’ — or are looking for an excuse to go — consider this as enthusiastic encouragement to do just that. Among the lessons learned, in addition to the theoretical insights and methodological challenges and triumphs shared by colleagues from the UK and beyond, is a simple but poignant recognition of the chasm that continues to exist about the knowledge literacies researchers have amply demonstrated about the rich and varied literacies landscapes of the communities where we have located our research…and the reductive assumptions about literacies embedded in young people’s classroom experiences. Gatherings like the annual conference put on by CSL provide necessary spaces for rejuvenation, recommitment to thoughtful inquiries into literacy within and beyond school walls, and ample opportunities to commune with colleagues who are truly welcoming and generous of spirit.