Next class – Wed Aug 12 – Literacy and Crisis

Wednesday, August 12 – The information age: The “crisis” of literacy and “literacy” in times of crisis

Lecture: Dan Perkel and Megan Finn

Today we’ll be returning to some old themes and re-thinking them in new contexts with examples from Dan Perkel’s and Megan Finn’s research. In doing so, we play with some terms that are generally thought of rather uncritically as positive and negative: literacy and crisis. The new technologies of the information age are said to provide important ways to attack the purported problems with both.

All of the readings are optional, though we’d encourage you to follow the instructions of the first bullet and spend ten minutes looking again at the beginning of the Warschauer reading.

The chapters by Klinenberg and Fradkin are critical readings in how we think about crisis in society and raise questions as to how we are prone to seeing more information as the solution to disaster and crisis.

We will have an in-class activity and discussion and if you’re in class to participate, you’ll get the day’s quiz points.

Optional material:

  • Re-read– it was assigned for Monday–the first page and a half of Warschauer, M. (2003). Dissecting the “Digital Divide”: A Case Study in Egypt. The Information Society, 19(4), 297-304.
  • Klinenberg, Eric. 1997. Introduction and Chapter 1. pp 1-36 in Fighting for Air. Metropolitan Books: New York.
  • Fradkin, Philip L. 2005. “The Culture of Disasters” pp 263-288 in The Great Earthquake and Firestorms of 1906. University of California Press: Berkeley.

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