National Writing Project

Literacy and Mobility

Date: August 17, 2017

Summary: How can looking at the movement of people, language, and things enrich our understandings of students and schools? Listen to this intriguing conversation with host Tom Fox and guest Brice Nordquist, Assistant Professor of Writing and Rhetoric at Syracuse University and author of Literacy and Mobility: Complexity, Uncertainty, and Agency at the Nexus of High School and College.


Excerpt from Show

Brice Nordquist, Assistant Professor of Writing and Rhetoric at Syracuse University:

I've always sort of been frustrated with the field, but even my own lack of engagement or lack of understanding of students' diverse and complex literacy histories before they enter college. There's this cut-off point where it's been a couple of months for these students from the time they graduate high school to the time they enter first-year writing courses typically, and a lot of times on the college level that gap is approached as this sort of monumental thing, where a default position becomes, 'well the first thing we have to do is start from square one,' or 'these students are blank slates,' or 'we have to unlearn what they've come in with.' And so I always found that frustrating and unsatisfactory....What is going on with these students, what histories are they bringing into our classrooms?"

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