Jenkins “Why Heather Can Write”

Debrief on boyd’s visit, discussion of Jenkins

  • For boyd, media literacy is about “possessing the critical knowledge to engage productively with networked situations, including the ability to control how personal information flows and interpret accessible information.” For Jenkins, media literacy is about being “active participants in these new media landscapes, finding their own voice through their participation.” What are some of the similarities and differences between these constructions of media literacy? Do you agree with these definitions?
  • Jenkins argues that the Harry Potter wars and other culture wars are “a struggle over literacy” (170). In general today, we consider alphabetic literacy (reading & writing alphabetic texts) to be a good thing, but when it comes to media literacy, there are media conglomerates and conservative christian groups trying to limit and control it. Why do you think literacy has been so contested? Why is our culture able to embrace alphabetic literacy but still struggling over media literacy?
  • How did you learn alphabetic literacy? Have you learned media literacy in the same ways?
  • What do you see as the role of participatory culture and social connection (social media perhaps?) in making someone media literate?

Homework: Media literacy response. Print these and bring them to class with you. Also, Jennifer Wade will be a guest speaker for us on Friday. I sent you an email with some info on her job and use of social media. Think of 2 questions you could ask her and write them down. Ask them in class, and you will turn these into me on Friday.


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