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Call for Work: Portfolio: Literacy Narratives

Greetings:

As incoming editor of College Composition and Communication, I am deeply invested in fostering rich dialogue and debate about the current trajectories of our field. The current editor, Kathleen Blake Yancey, has offered us some wonderful special issues, and I plan to follow in her footsteps.

In addition, however, I would also like to launch a "special cluster," experimenting with a new section called "Portfolio," which would bring together a variety of reflections and even experimental writing on a topic of interest to the field. Like any good portfolio, it would be a sampler, but would also include reflective statements about the process of composing itself. Such a section would build, I hope, on the publication of "vignettes," or more personal reflections, that Professor Yancey has introduced to the journal.

For the first Portfolio (September 2015), I'd like to pull together a series of reflections on the state of the "literacy narrative" and the place of narrativized knowledge in our field. The literacy narrative is enjoying something of a renaissance, particularly in digital composing spaces and pedagogies. At their best, literacy narratives provide a space not just for reflection on individual (or potentially collective) attainments, but on the construction of literacy as an object of study, the sociopolitical dimensions of literate activity, and the epistemological trajectories of literacy education. Indeed, some of our field's powerful turns toward storytelling have resulted in the production and dissemination of literacy narratives that are aimed at a particular kind of advocacy--both in terms of building our disciplinarity and promoting our views of writing instruction outside the academy.

I invite contributors to craft their own literacy narratives, substantively engaging scholarly conversations in the field, to reflect on this evolving genre. Ideally, your literacy narrative (and "your" here can be singular or plural) will be about 2,000 words in length and will push the boundaries of our understanding of literate activity, perhaps using multimodality (within the parameters of print) to articulate your own coming into literacy, individually or collectively.  Perhaps your literacy narrative will question the value of the genre itself or will gesture toward advocacy.

All literacy narratives will be vetted by the editorial board for final selection.

Please let me know if you have any questions and plan to participate. If you wish to contribute something for consideration, please send your draft to me by November 1, 2014; final drafts would be due by February 1, 2015.  A tight turn-around, but keep in mind that these are relatively short pieces. I do hope you will submit something! Email me at ccceditors@gmail.com for further information and to submit drafts.

Jonathan Alexander
Professor of English
University of California, Irvine

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