“What is Literacy?” with guest Kim Donehower


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When people think of literacy, they usually refer to simple reading and writing. They regard it as a mechanical skill that is mostly about deciphering letters on a page. But, in fact, literacy is a lot more complicated than that. It involves culture, power, and the opinion of others. It is defined by communities and can be used as a weapon to disregard the marginalized. On this episode of Why? Radio, we’ll discuss what literacy means, investigate its many competing definitions, and explore how it plays into stereotypes.

Kim Donehower is a Professor of English at the University of North Dakota. She is the coauthor of Rural Literacies, and co-editor of  Rereading Appalachia and Reclaiming the Rural

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4 thoughts on ““What is Literacy?” with guest Kim Donehower

  1. Sweet. It is wonderful to hear a husband speak so respectfully about his wife and her scholarship. UND, ND, and the students are very fortunate to have a couple of scholars like the two of you, Professors Donehower & Weinstein, to bring these philosophical discussions to your audiences and present the information in an exciting, truthful dialogue.

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