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Reclaiming Literacies: Competing Textual Practices in a Digital Higher Education

Teaching in Higher Education Volume 18, Number 1, ISSN 1356-2517


This essay examines the implications of the ubiquitous use of the term "digital literacies" in higher education and its increasing alignment with institutional and organisational imperatives. It suggests that the term has been stripped of its provenance and association with disciplinary knowledge production and textual practice. Instead it is called into service rhetorically in order to promote competency-based agendas both in and outside the academy. The piece also points to a tendency to position teachers in deficit with regard to their technological capabilities and pay scant attention to their own disciplinary and scholarly practices in a digital world. It concludes that there is a case for building on established theoretical and conceptual frameworks from literacy studies if we wish to integrate advantages of the digital landscape with thoughtful teaching practice. (Contains 2 figures.)


Lea, M.R. (2013). Reclaiming Literacies: Competing Textual Practices in a Digital Higher Education. Teaching in Higher Education, 18(1), 106-118. Retrieved October 18, 2019 from .

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