Community Literacy and the Rhetoric of Local Publics

SKU: 978-1-60235-056-4

Elenore Long

Reference Guide to Writing Across the Curriculum coverInformation and Pricing
978-1-60235-056-4 (paperback, $30.00, £16.00, €20.00); © 2008 by Parlor Press and the WAC Clearinghouse; 316 pages, with glossary, annotated bibliography, works cited, and index.

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Offering a comparative analysis of community-literacy studies, Community Literacy and the Rhetoric of Local Publics traces common values in diverse accounts of “ordinary people going public.” Elenore Long offers a rich theoretical framework for reviewing emergent community-literacy projects, examines pedagogies that educators can use to help students to go public in the course of their rhetorical education at college, and adapts local-public literacies to college curricula. A glossary and annotated bibliography provide the basis for further inquiry and research.

What others are saying about Community Literacy and the Rhetoric of Local Publics

Community Literacy and the Rhetoric of Local Publics is the perfect entry to the exuberant practice of literacy in community. It brings contemporary research to life—in people, stories, and purposes. And it documents the amazingly diverse ways ordinary people go public.”
—Linda Flower, Carnegie Mellon

Community Literacy and the Rhetoric of Local Publics begins to articulate a history for community literacy studies, and such a history is essential for helping us figure out where we are going with this area of inquiry. Long provides a new set of tools as well, and her local publics framework, in particular, will prove valuable to researchers and teachers alike.”
—Jeff Grabill, Michigan State

Reference Guides to Rhetoric and Composition Logo

Reference Guides to Rhetoric and Composition
Edited by Charles Bazerman
Published jointly by Parlor Press and the WAC Clearinghouse

About the Author

After completing a postdoctoral fellowship through Pittsburgh’s Community Literacy Center and Carnegie Mellon University, Elenore Long continued to direct community-literacy initiatives with Wayne Peck and Joyce Baskins. With Linda Flower and Lorraine Higgins, she published Learning to Rival: A Literate Practice for Intercultural Inquiry. They recently published a fifteen-year retrospective for the Community Literacy Journal. She currently directs the composition program and Writers’ Center at Eastern Washington University.


Common Abbreviations
1 Introduction and Overview
What This Book Doesn’t Do

2 Definitions and Distinctions
The Local Public Framework
Guiding Metaphor
Tenor of the Discourse
Rhetorical Invention

3 Locating Community Literacy Studies
Two Prior Accounts
Situating the Study of Literacy in the Public Realm
Documenting and Theorizing Local Public Discourse
Situating the Study of Participatory Democracy
Ideas about Actually Existing Democracy
Rhetorical Interventions to Support Democratic Engagement

4 An Impromptu Theater: A Local Public That Turns Its Back on Formal Institutions
Distinctive Features: Dramatic and Spontaneous
The Impromptu Theater in Context: Location, Power, and the Integrity of Community Life
Tenor of the Discourse: Edgy and Competitive, Curbed by Play
Performative Literacies
Rhetorical Invention: Practice, Modeling, and Feedback

5 The Cultural Womb and the Garden: Local Publics That
Depend on Institutions to Sponsor Them
A Cultural Womb: The Local Public in Brandt’s Literacy in American Lives
Distinctive Features: Nurtures and Prepares
The Cultural Womb in Context: Location and Cultural Agency
Tenor of the Discourse: Resourceful
Interpretative Literacies
Rhetorical Invention: Inspiration, Instruction, and Transformation
A Garden: The Local Public in Heller’s Until We Are Strong Together
Distinctive Features: Nurtures and Prepares
The Garden in Context: Location, Agency, and Maturation
Tenor of the Discourse: Literary Uplift
Belletristic Literacies
Rhetorical Invention: Precision at the Point of Utterance

6 The Link and Gate: Local Publics That Intersect with Public Institutions
A Link: The Local Public Sphere in Barton and Hamilton’s Local Literacies
Distinctive Features: Linking Networks Across Domains
The Link in Context: Location, Bottom- Up Initiative, and Agency
Tenor of the Discourse: Hybrid—a Mix of the Formal and the Everyday
Mobilizing Literacies
Rhetorical Invention: Adapting and Retooling
A Gate along a Fenceline: The Local Public in Cushman’s The Struggle and the Tools
Distinctive Features: Access, Space, and Conflict
The Gate in Context: Location and Linguistic Agency
Tenor of the Discourse: Dueling Dualities
Institutional Literacies
Rhetorical Invention: Evaluating Acquired Literacies
Transferred to New Contexts

7 The Community-Organizing Effort and the Community Think Tank: Local Publics Forged in Partnership with Formal Institutions
A Community-Organizing Effort: The Local Public in Goldblatt’s “Alinsky’s Reveille: A Community-Organizing Model for Neighborhood- Based Literacy Projects"
Distinctive Features: Complexity and Pleasure The Community-Organizing Effort in Context: Location and Legacy
Tenor of the Discourse: Bite Tempered by Sweetness
Consensus-Building Literacies
Rhetorical Invention: Transforming Problems into Issues for Action
The Community Think Tank: The Local Public Sphere in Flower’s “Intercultural Knowledge Building: The Literate Action of a Community Think Tank"
Distinctive Features: Diversity, Conflict, and Tools
The Community Think Tank in Context: Location and Legacy
Tenor of the Discourse: Prophetic—Principled and Inventive
Design and Inquiry-Driven Literacies
Rhetorical Invention: The Construction of Negotiated Meaning

8 The Shadow System: A Local Public That Defies Formal Institutions
Distinctive Features: Mimics and Shelters Difference
The Shadow System in Context: Location and Cultural Imaginary
Tenor the Discourse: Threatening and Hyperbolic
Tactical Literacies
Rhetorical Invention: Cultural Appropriation

9 Pedagogical Practices
Interpretative Pedagogies
Institutional Pedagogies
Tactical Pedagogies
Inquiry-Driven Pedagogies
Materialist Rhetoric: Realizing Practical Outcomes through Consensus
Intercultural Inquiry: Restructuring Deliberative Dialogues around Difference
Performative Pedagogies

10 Glossary
11 Annotated Bibliography
Works Cited
About the Author

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