The Center for Writing Studies

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Navigation: Quick Links

Rafters and skylights in the English Building

Colloquium Archive

Harvey Graff

Name: Harvey Graff, The Ohio State University

Presentation Title: "Lessons from the History of Literacy/Literacy Studies at OSU"

Date: April 21, 2005


Slicing into literacy’s past and future…I ask if matters relating to literacy, its conditions, its relationships to lives and its lessons, and especially our understandings, have changed? Have we learned from our experience over times long and short? In asking such questions, I try to read “signs of the times.” I will speak in part to such questions as:

In addition, as time allows, I will also reflect on the unusual opportunity that I confront as the founding Ohio Eminent Scholar in Literacy Studies and Professor of English and History at The Ohio State University—a transformed location especially for a social historian (even if an unusually interdisciplinary historian).
Revisioning/reimagining myself and my contributions professional and academic-institutional provides an opportunity to foster, promote and even “institutionalize” a different and fresh, historically grounded but also expansive, critical, and comparative approach to literacy and its study. This might be construed in terms of simultaneously deconstructing and reconstructing literacy studies.