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For Summer A: T/TH, 5:00-7:30MSTU 5199A –

Instructor: Dr. Kristine Kerr

Drawing on research from new media, communication studies, adolescent literacies, youth culture, and multimodality, this course aims to connect understandings of youths’ communicative practices across formal and informal settings. That is, the concept of digital literacies functions as a lens through which to examine how adolescents’ engagements with digital media shapes their communicative practices across out-of-school, non-traditional, virtual, and community-based contexts. We will be engaging abroad conceptualization of literacies – as socially situated, multiple, and multimodal practices that are informed by the contexts in which they are engaged. Central to this definition is the recognition that the relationships between literacies and technologies have been evolving significantly in the last decade such that the very notions of communication, representation, and meaning making are being transformed. In addition to inquiring deeply into the contexts in which reading and writing occur in youths’ practices, we will also explore the possibilities of new literacies that emerge when media and new technologies are present. Finally, this course will be a space to explore what it means for youth to communicate and represent themselves in this increasingly digital age.

The following questions will guide our collective inquiry in this course:

  • What are the relationships between literacies and media/technologies in adolescents’ lives?
  • What new spaces for self-authoring and representation are made possible with the advent of the emerging digital landscape?
  • What are the implications of adolescents’ literacies and multimodality for contexts of education and educational research?

For more info, email Kristine Kerr (

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