Community Literacies Collaboratory
On May 6th, the Brown Chair in English Literacy Initiative launched a new center, the Community Literacies Collaboratory. That international virtual event introduced attendees to the CLC’s website.
One of the initial programs that the CLC is hosting is The Literacy Exchange, through which community literacy facilitators can offer workshops on “literacy research methods and methodology, writing workshops and presentations on applied literacies programs, as well as trainings on incorporating various kinds of literature into K-12 classrooms, creating after-school youth literacy programs and doing adult literacy work.”
The Literacy Exchange, in conjunction with the Fayetteville Public Library, has already offered two workshops, “Planning Writing Projects” and “Contemplative Writing,” which were led by Beth Godbee, founder of Heart-Head-Hands: Everyday Living for Justice.
Another program being offered is the Possibilities Hub, through which the Community Literacies Collaboratory funds “seminars, reading groups or a series of talks that explore a topic through and/or about literacy to expand individual and communal capacity to understand what literacy work can be and do today.”
The first Possibilities Hub seminar, “Abolitionist Study Group: Literacies Toward Freedom,” took place this past spring as part of the Brown Chair’s programming for the 2022 National African American Read-In. Seminar participants discussed topics including the history of prisons and policing in the U.S., reform and/vs. abolition, queer and Black feminist approaches to abolition, disability justice, carceral connections between psych wards and nursing facilities, and abolition in practice.
A third CLC-sponsored program is Outside-the-Box, which “invites community literacies workers to write thought-provoking, accessible, brief policy memos, reports or essays on a timely issue within literacy learning and practice.” These texts will be used to inform the public on how to develop or enhance literacy-focused activities “across a wide range of contexts.” Those whose texts are accepted for publication will be compensated for their work.
The Community Literacies Collaboratory will also, on Oct. 27-29, hold its first biennial symposium, “Tracing the Stream: The Geographies of Black Feminist Literacies, Rhetorics, and Pedagogies.” Co-convened with Carmen Kynard, the Lillian Radford Chair of Rhetoric and Composition and a professor of English at Texas Christian University, the symposium “will (re)consider challenging and necessary questions about what it means (or could mean) to study, teach and activate the Black feminist literacies and rhetorical tradition in 2022 and beyond.”
The symposium will be held in conjunction with a graduate seminar that Professor Eric Darnell Pritchard, the Brown Chair in English Literacy for the University of Arkansas, is offering in Fall 2022.
Finally, the CRC will be calling for grant proposals twice a year: Sept. 30th and Feb. 28th. More details on how to apply will be provided on the website by the end of the summer.
The Literacy Exchange