Writing, Rhetoric, & Discourse 205: The History of Literacy

While literacy is viewed by many as a neutral, autonomous skill or practice, WRD205: The History of Literacy explores the ways that literacy is in fact an ideological phenomenon—and has been since the invention of writing.

We will explore the technological, cultural, and political aspects of literacy from the earliest archeological record of writing to modern information technology and digital literacy.

We will examine practices and narratives surrounding literacy, learn how both physical media and social power constrain what information gets recorded and how, and question the implications of these constraints on the ways we define and engage literacy.


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