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“Widening the Angles of Literacy Research: Honoring Untold Stories Using Contrapuntal Approaches”

Literacy Research Association 71st Annual Conference
December 1 - 4, 2021

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. An important part of LRA’s mission is to support the professional development of emerging and established scholars, and to advocate for research-informed improvements in education. We seek high-quality research and discussions of important theoretical and methodological issues. Only original work related to literacy that has not been presented or published elsewhere may be proposed for the conference. Also, proposals should not be simultaneously submitted elsewhere.

2021 Conference Chair:

David B. Yaden, Jr.

2021 Conference Associate Chair:

Doris Walker-Dalhouse

The theme of the Literacy Research Association’s 71st Conference - “Widening the Angles of Literacy Research: Honoring Untold Stories Using Contrapuntal Approaches” draws its inspiration from the oeuvre of the late Palestinian activist and language scholar Edward Said as well as the current work of Carla O’Connor, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Education at the University of Michigan. O’Connor’s phrase “wide angle view” and Said’s description of “contrapuntal stories” refer to the complexity of the lived experience particularly of persons of color that is seldom evident in typical research reports which tend to tell only “one story”—usually from the researcher’s point of view—about an individual or group, rather than narrating the multiple, intersectional identities which create the richness and potentialities of any person or community. The 2021 theme is meant to encourage the LRA research community to counter, as O’Connor claims, the “misrecognition” that so often occurs when describing a research population by only static variables such as race, ethnicity, income, gender, occupation, test scores, etc. Thus, by taking “wide angle views” or “contrapuntal” approaches which illuminate all the various stories that give insight into any person’s, families’, or communities’ multimodal literacy behaviors, greater insight is provided as to how to enhance the potentialities toward more equitable, inclusive and just participation in society for all persons.