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Sunset and Palm Trees


Wednesday, December 7 - Saturday, December 10, 2022

The Dolphin Beach Resort, St. Pete Beach

Investing in Literacy: Examining Who Profits from Literacy Curriculum, Research, Policy, and Practice


Program Chair: Dr. Brittany Adams, SUNY Cortland

Program Co-Chair: Dr. Angela M. Kohnen, University of Florida


As we approach the quarter point of the 21st century, profit, literacy education, and literacy itself are more entwined than ever before. In 2021, the American Reading Forum grappled with literacy and agency. This year, we invite our community to re-focus those conversations around ideas of profit. The idea that the literate individual automatically profits from literacy learning has been explored in our community for decades (e.g, Gee, 1996; Heath, 1983; Street, 1984). If the “autonomous” model of literacy assumes that all literacy acquisition is value-added and the “ideological” model raises questions of power, we extend Street’s (1984; 2005) inquiry to questions of profit. Considering “profit” as both a noun (a gain) and a verb (deriving benefit), we see questions of who profits from literacy and literacy education swirling around nearly every aspect of our work.

With these tensions in mind, we invite discussions of questions such as: Who profits or benefits from literacy education, research, and policy? What resources are taken up and why? This theme will appeal to stakeholders interested in literacy policy, research, and practice in p-20 contexts. Given the theme’s conceptual contouring that all literacy teaching and research is, to a certain extent, a conversation around profit, we hope the conference theme will appeal both to stakeholders who explicitly centralize these issues in their work and challenge other stakeholders to consider the conspicuous and subversive ways in which their work shapes and is shaped by ideas around profit.

We invite and support complicated conversations on the role and influence (dare we say necessity?) of profit in literacy research, policy, and practice.


See the full call for proposals>>

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