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Title page for ETD etd-03222015-144849

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Ehret, Christian Michael
URN etd-03222015-144849
Title Movement, sensibilities, and desire: Coming to know affective dimensions of adolescents’ experiences with literacy and new media in school, on their own, and in the hospital
Degree PhD
Department Learning, Teaching and Diversity
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Dr. Kevin Leander Committee Chair
Dr. Barbara S. Stengel Committee Member
Dr. Deborah Wells Rowe Committee Member
Dr. Jay L. Lemke Committee Member
Dr. John M. Sloop Committee Member
  • affect
  • digital media
  • literacy
Date of Defense 2014-05-07
Availability unrestricted
Although making digital media involves movements of bodies, materials, and, often, mobile technologies, most literacy research on adolescents’ experiences with digital media relies on screened and sedentary perspectives rooted in representation and multimodality—perspectives that elide or distort the role of embodiment. This dissertation critiques the overemphasis on screens, texts, and representation in literacy studies across three empirical papers. Each paper addresses unique questions around literacy as an affective experience of human bodies through ethnographic and micro-ethnographic investigations in (1) a public school, (2) a southeastern community, and (3) a children’s hospital school. Paper 1 illustrates how adolescents’ physical mobilities and affective histories connect to their agency and development as producers of digital texts in urban schools. Paper 2 describes how the feeling of meaning-making with digital devices involves historically, culturally, and affectively developed sensibilities that emerge as bodies make sense of people, places and things as semiotic material. Paper 3 builds a theory of literacy moments, or the feeling of being in something while engaged in social, textual production. In its attempts at coming to know affective dimensions of social life, this dissertation also develops tension around what it means to “know” and warrant claims about moving, feeling bodies other than our own.
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