bernstein

Conference Recap: Society for the Study of Midwestern Literature Annual Symposium 2013

After a brief hiatus to recover from my last blogging venture on the Reading Wars and knowledge structures, I hope this post will be the beginning of a productive summer of weekly blogging.

On May 9, I presented at the Society for the Study of Midwestern Literature Annual Symposium. This was my first foray into literary criticism since my undergraduate work, which was over five years ago. Having studied linguistics for two years and then education another two, I found SSML, a humanities conference, to be quite different from my experiences at social science conferences. I was prepared for some of the differences, but others were a surprise. This information may be helpful especially for young scholars and grad students. Here are a few of the key differences:

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Traditional Academic Feuds in Literacy Studies Part 6: Power and Weak Grammar

Note: This is the sixth part of a multi-part series which (eventually) will become a term paper for a class seminar on literacy.

After my last post, I started discussing the issue of Integration with some colleagues in linguistics via Twitter (in case you haven’t heard, we’re trying to start #lingchat). There are three Tweets I would like to respond to because they raise problems and objections to my analysis that are productive. Thankfully, Purdue’s OWL has already provided a resource on how to cite Tweets. Unfortunately, they’ve only done it for MLA, so I’m extrapolating an APA citation below.

Aside: I want to personally thank my Twitter colleagues @grvsmth, @NemaVeze, and @wgi_pr31ea for raising questions on this matter. Our discussions have been both productive and instructive for me. And while I argue against some of their claims here, I have great respect for their views and scholarship.

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Traditional Academic Feuds in Literacy Studies Part 2: The Reading Wars

Note: This is the second part of a multi-part series which (eventually) will become a term paper for a class seminar on literacy.

In my last post, I argued that the Reading Wars illustrate the horizontal knowledge structure of Literacy Studies. In the tradition of Christie & Macken-Horarik (2007), I will now explain the conceptual basis for classifying Literacy Studies as a horizontal knowledge structure by analyzing the McKenna et al. and Edelsky (M-E) discourse.

In the table below, I provide representative examples from the M-E discourse that illustrate the features of a horizontal knowledge structure. I have numbered each feature for ease of explanation later. For the sake of clarity, I refer to McKenna’s first article as “McKenna et al., 1990a” and their rejoinder “McKenna et al., 1990b.” Citations from quotes are not linked. They can be found at McKenna et al., 1990a; Edelsky, and McKenna et al, 1990b.
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Traditional Academic Feuds in Literacy Studies Part I: Knowledge Structures

Note: This is the first part of a multi-part series which (eventually) will become a term paper for a class seminar on literacy.

The Reading Wars of the 1990s were documented by the exchanges between Edelsky and McKenna, Robinson, & Miller in Educational Researcher.  This theoretical conflict between Whole Language and Traditional Literacy represents what I call a “traditional academic feud.” A traditional academic feud is a social phenomenon in an academic field of study where two or more groups theorize about or describe a single phenomenon in categorically different ways. That a traditional academic feud eventually achieved “war” status is a curious phenomenon–but perhaps no more curious than the fact that academic feuds occur in the first place. In this series, I plan to explain 1) why the academic feud of the Reading Wars occurred, 2) why the feud escalated to a war, and 3) why a similar feud developed recently in the reading comprehension field, and  (if I am brave enough) 4) how we might avoid wars and have more productive feuds in Literacy Studies. (more…)