English Department colloquium is Friday

English Department colloquium is Friday

Dr. Erica Frisicaro will give a presentation on "Square Pegs, Round Whole? New Literacies and the Structure of English Studies" at the next event in the English Department's 2006-2007 colloquium series.

The presentation will be held from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Friday, March 9, in the O'Shaughnessy Room (Room 108) of the O'Shaughnessy-Frey Library Center. Light refreshments will be served.

For more than a century, the field of English has served as the dominant force in the dissemination and investigation of literacy skills within the American educational system. The standards and practices engendered through English education have determined, in large part, what it means to be perceived as either functionally or culturally "literate" in American culture.

Yet advancements in the production, distribution and function of electronic communications technologies over the past 20 years have served to destabilize many of the central concepts or paradigms that traditionally have framed the scope and shape of English as a discipline. Such technologies have changed irrevocably the nature of reading and writing in contemporary settings, the definition of what constitutes both texts and genres, and even what it means to be an "author" or a member of an "audience" – concepts fundamental to the work performed by both faculty and students in the discipline.

Drawing upon research of student literacy practices and developments in technological literacy, this presentation will examine the implications of what might be defined as "new literacies" – new approaches to reading, writing and textuality resulting from the proliferation of electronic texts on the field and its practices.

The remaining colloquium event for the 2006-2007 academic year will be held Friday, April 20. At this session, Dr. Joan Piorkowski will give a presentation titled "Drama of the Ordinary: Writing about the Sachsenhausen SS." An abstract of Piorkowski's presentation will be released in a future issue of the Bulletin Today.

Questions about the colloquium series can be directed to the English Department, (651) 962-5600.