Negotiating Place and Space through Digital Literacies

Research and Practice

Edited by:
Damiana Pyles, Appalachian State University
Ryan Rish, University at Buffalo
Heather Pleasants, University of Alabama
Julie Warner, Coastal Savannah Writing Project

A volume in the series: Digital Media and Learning. Editor(s): Danielle Herro, Clemson University. Remi Kalir, University of Colorado, Denver.

Call for Book Chapters

Digital literacy practices have often been celebrated as means of transcending the constraints of the physical world through the production of new social spaces (Avila & Zacher Pandya, 2013; Pleasants & Salter, 2014). Soja’s (2010) trialectic of the social, the spatial, and the historical provide a helpful heuristic in examining the ways that the materiality of place is an important anchor to determining the “so what” of work that involves digital media and literacies. At the same time, as a field we are coming to understand that “place matters to literacy because the meanings of our language and actions are always materially and socially placed in the world” (Mills & Comber, 2013, p. 1). Additionally, we recognize that these places are made up of elements that Massey (2005) calls throwntogetherness in which “places pose in particular form the question of our living together” (p. 151), and we would contend, of our learning together as well. “Place, in other words, does - as many argue - change us, not through some visceral belonging (some barely changing rootedness, as so many would have it) but through the practising of place, the negotiation of intersecting trajectories; place as an arena where negotiation is forced upon us” (Massey, 2005, p. 154, author’s italics). Therefore, in this special issue, we consider how space/place, identities, and the role of digital literacies create opportunities for individuals and communities to negotiate living, being, and learning together in ways that have been under-explored or unexplored.

In this book, the editors encourage manuscripts that consider how social, cultural, historical, and political literacies are brought to bear on a range of places that traverse the urban, rural, and suburban/exurban, with emphasis placed on the ways digital technology is used to create identities and do work within social, digital, and material worlds. In particular, we are looking for chapters that explore agentive work in digital literacies from a variety of identities or subjectivities that disrupt “metronormativity” (Herring, 2010) or urban centrism (and other -isms) on the way to more authentic engagement with their communities and others. Considering these themes across intersections of differences (including, but not limited to race, class, gender, sexuality, ability, and language) and places, we argue that studies of digital literacies have great potential for informing how the investigations of place, space, and mobilities within national and across transnational contexts can be conducted in regard to the throwntogetherness of people, spaces/places, and texts.

Seeking chapters that respond to the following questions:

• What are examples of agentive work that is situated in places that broaden our understandings and conceptualizations of space, e.g., suburban, urban, exurban, rural, etc?

• How do particular digital literacy practices challenge or complicate monolithic or binary notions of place, identity, and/or issues relevant to people’s communities or themselves?

• What are examples of “authentic engagement” where people are actively engaged in their communities, defined broadly, in ways to move beyond the surface, especially in work that highlights agentive work with communities or groups that are not often discussed? How are relationships built and maintained, and what does it mean to show up and do the work authentically?

• In what ways do digital spaces and tools provide opportunities for people to understand, transgress, and/or reimagine their material, historical, and lived realities of identities, places and/or social imaginaries?

• How do people (re)create narratives about themselves, their places and spaces, and their communities in ways that counter spatial and political injustices, such as lack of control of their own mobility for transnational youth resettling in the U.S.?

• What role does aesthetics play in digital literacy when it comes to digital literacies, with different people, places, or spaces?

• How might the affordances of technology (digital and/or multimodal means of representation) support people’s ability to speak to and interrogate their own social/cultural, spatial, and historical contexts?

Target Audience:
Our target audience includes teacher educators, educational researchers, and practitioners, and we welcome manuscripts that are grounded in strong theory with practical applications.

Book chapters must be original and not published as journal articles or other venues. We encourage a focus on practical, theoretical, research/studies, or leadership issues/instances with digital media and/or technologies across learning and social contexts, though ideally chapters should not be only practitioner or only theoretical. Chapters should be accessible to a wide audience and must include a strong theoretical perspective (no reports, book reviews, etc).

Details for Abstract Submissions:
Interested authors should first submit an abstract of no more than 500 words in length providing a general overview of the proposed chapter including: purpose/objective, theoretical framework or perspective, research (if applicable), findings/anticipated findings, and scholarly significance of chapter. Please submit your abstract directly to: Damiana Pyles ( Details for submitting full chapters will be sent to authors with acceptance notices.

Details for Accepted Abstract Submissions:
Details for submitting full chapters will be sent to authors with acceptance notices. If accepted, book chapters will be between 15 and 20 pages, Times New Roman 12 font, 1.5 line spacing, 1- inch margins - including all references, figures/tables/charts. All formatting must adhere to the Sixth Edition of APA.

Important Dates:
Deadline for abstract submission: September 15, 2017
Acceptance notice: October 15, 2017
Book chapters due: January 15, 2018 send directly to
*Peer review of chapters: February 1 - April 1, 2018
Final revised book chapter due: June 5, 2018
Book published: Fall 2018

All deadlines are firm and non-negotiable.

*All contributing authors must agree to review one other chapter; each chapter will receive a total of two reviews.

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