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“Available Discourses as Inscription”

No matter how colorful we are, as groups or as individuals physically apart, we are inscripted by the sign systems and discourses which are available for use in our culture. These discourses, whether expressed in language, art or some other sign system are writ large, giving us particular identities as well as agencies. The theme of the conference, “Literacy Research for Expanding Meaningfulness,” as well as the title of this piece of art, “Available Discourses as Inscription,” are simultaneously meant to have readers/viewers consider both the limiting aspects of discourses as well as their future potential as a semiotic tool for reshaping education and educational research.
--Dr. Jerome C. Harste, artist, LRA Past President, Recipient of the 2013 Oscar Causey Award, and member of the Reading Hall of Fame

Literacy Research for Expanding Meaningfulness

Literacy Research Association 67th Annual Conference
Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina, Tampa, FL, November 29-December 2, 2017

The Literacy Research Association, a non-profit professional organization, is comprised of individuals who share an interest in advancing literacy theory, research, and practice. We are a community that engages in research and dialogue pertaining to literacy and related topics. We support the professional development of emerging and established scholars. We advocate research-informed improvements in education. We seek high-quality research and discussions of important theoretical or methodological issues. Only original work related to literacy not presented or published elsewhere may be proposed for the conference.

The theme of the 2017 conference is Literacy Research for Expanding Meaningfulness. A casualty of an era of literacy education shaped by standardization, testing, and commercialization is attention to both the breadth of development in becoming literate and the multiple functions of literacy in everyday lives and across time. This theme invites conversations on how literacies are or might be implicated—beyond conventional notions of competence and achievement—in the building of more agentive, fulfilling lives for individuals and communities. We welcome proposals for studies that bring into focus the nature and attainment of meaningful literacies. We encourage sessions examining, for instance, the intersections of literate practices and personal well-being, relational development, problem solving, or the identification of new problems of personal and social significance. How do particular theoretical perspectives and methodologies influence our sense of complexity around notions of meaningful literacies and development and their visibility? How might research be leveraged to disrupt conversations around policy, curriculum, and instruction that reduce literacy to a narrow set of measureable skills?