Deborah Brandt is professor emerita of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she taught undergraduate writing and graduate courses in literacy studies. Her research focuses on how everyday people experience changing demands on their literacy and literacy learning. Her publications include the award winning Literacy in American Lives (Cambridge University Press 2001) and, most recently, The Rise of Writing: Redefining Mass Literacy  (Cambridge University Press 2015).



The Rise of Writing: Understanding the New Demands on Our Literacy

This presentation focuses on the escalating demands that are being put on people’s writing skills as nations compete with each other in a global knowledge economy.  As writing becomes a dominant form of labor in many developed and developing societies, it begins to change relationships between reading and writing in people’s daily lives and changes the way people think about and value literacy.  How does a societal shift in time and energy toward writing affect the ways that people develop their literacy and understand its worth?  How does the ascendancy of a writing-based literacy create tensions in institutions (like schools) that have been organized around a reading-based literacy?  What are the implications for researchers, teachers and students? 



Facilitating Transfer: Students in Transition

When considering transfer in the context of composition, what likely comes to mind is how we can best help students carry over knowledge and skills acquired in our current classroom and apply these to the next. When, as instructors, we take up the call to "teach to transfer," most often, we are compelled to give attention to how our courses support students as they move on to the next series of courses. Whole programs may even choose to develop curriculum based on this particular notion of transfer. However, in this series of breakout courses, we will engage an alternative concept of transfer, taking seriously the idea that our first responsibility may not be to help students transfer to but, rather, from. That is, even as we consider how our current courses feed into and support students as they move forward, we want also to underscore the importance of developing curriculum and pedagogy, where in students have ample opportunities to transfer and apply previously acquired literacies, knowledge and skills so that they might better intersect these with the new and unfamiliar. In these breakout sessions, we explore more deeply the idea of “facilitating transfer," highlighting the important role that our language arts and composition classrooms serve in facilitating this process.

2016 Conference Program

Luncheon and Keynote Speaker                1:30-3:00pm             Centre Stage             (Seating is limited)

Breakout Sessions                                     3:00-4:00pm             SC 206c, g, & h.



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