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The revelation(s) of Asher Levi: An iconographic literacy event as a tool for the exploration of fragmented selves in new literacies studies after 9/11

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Author(s): Jeanine M. Staples

Journal: Qualitative Studies
ISSN 1903-7031

Volume: 2;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 79;
Date: 2011;
Original page

ABSTRACT
This article considers the dynamics of an iconographic literacy event that functions as a tool for explorations of literacy practices and fragmented selves, particularly in relationship to the literate lives of marginalized individuals in the post 9/11 era. The author examines what happened when a group of 10 African American women in an urban area employed new literacies in the teaching/learning spaces of their personal lives (i.e. individual homes, familiar eateries, communicative digital technologies) to explore and respond to stories in post 9/11 popular culture narratives. The study employed ethnographic methods (interviews, journaling, email and instant message writing and critical observations) with members of the inquiry over the course of two years. The author investigated critically the meeting of biography, fiction and autoethnography as a literacy event used to couch the literacies and fragmented selves of these women in the post 9/11 era. Findings regarding the nature of their post 9/11 literacies, as expressed through fragmented selves, are shared, along with implications for new literacies research and teaching. Findings show that the women’s post 9/11 literacies include a range and variation of critical sensibilities that include, but are not limited to, multiple levels of sociolinguistic integration, sociocultural criticality and heightened awarenesses.

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