Literacies that Move and Matter : Nexus Analysis for Contemporary Childhoods book cover
1st Edition

Literacies that Move and Matter
Nexus Analysis for Contemporary Childhoods

ISBN 9780367211578
Published July 15, 2020 by Routledge
286 Pages 58 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Expanding the definition and use of literacies beyond verbal and written communication, this book examines contemporary literacies through action-focused analysis of bodies, places, and media. Nexus analysis examines how people enact and mobilize meanings that are largely unspoken. Wohlwend demonstrates how nexus analysis can be used as a tool to critically analyze and understand action in everyday settings, to provide a deeper understanding of how meanings are produced from a mix of modes in daily social and cultural contexts. Organized in three sections—Engaging Nexus, Navigating Nexus, and Changing Nexus—this book provides a roadmap to applying nexus analysis to literacy research, and offers tools to enable readers to compare methods across contexts.

Designed to help readers understand the theoretical and methodological assumptions and goals of nexus analysis in classroom and literacy research, this book provides a comprehensive understanding of the theory, framework, and foundations of nexus analysis, by using multimodal examples such as films and media, artifacts, live action performances, and more. Each chapter features consistent sections on key ideas and methods, and a description of procedures for replication and application.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Getting Coffee and Getting Started: Exploring Sites of Engagement

Chapter 2. Recognizing Literacies in Action: Learning to See Nexus

Chapter 3. Chasing Action Around a Playground: Finding What Matters in a Nexus

Chapter 4. Reading Activity: Locating Literacy Nexus

Chapter 5. Making Space: Analyzing Interaction as Multimodal

Chapter 6. Fashioning Selves: Analyzing Belonging as Embodied

Chapter 7. Storying Artifacts: Analyzing Meanings as Emplaced

Chapter 8. Improvising and Imagining Otherwise: Reimagining Nexus

Chapter 9. Keeping it Messy: Reassembling Nexus

Appendix A. Research Studies Mapped to Chapters, Methods, and Publications

Appendix B. Glossary of Key Terms

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Karen Wohlwend is Professor of Literacy, Culture, and Language Education at Indiana University, USA.


"In this brilliant new book, Karen Wohlwend draws on two decades of her scholarship to provide us with a rare, behind-the-scenes look at the conceptual and methodological tools of nexus analysis. Wohlwend guides readers through how to understand, track, and change educational literacies across time, space, and contexts. Literacies that Move and Matter shows us the versatility of nexus analysis to intervene in the most complex global practices of our times."


—Rebecca Rogers, Curators’ Distinguished Research Professor, University of Missouri-St. Louis

"If a nexus is both a series of connections, and a central point, then Karen Wohlwend’s most recent book is truly a nexus of ‘literacies that move and matter.’  As a series of connections, these chapters bring together a vast range of experiences, texts, data, technologies, encounters, and theories in ways that invite us to see connections and movements that we might never have considered across our personal and professional lives.  Simultaneously, nexus as central engages us with what matters, what makes sense, and how meanings are constructed.  This essential book is for both novice and experienced researchers who want to engage, navigate, change, and reassemble the nexus that surrounds early childhood being, becoming, and literacy."

—Catherine Compton-Lilly, John C. Hungerpiller Professor, University of South Carolina Columbia, USA

"Literacies that Move and Matter serves as an analytical playground and learning space for new and experienced researchers. As we have come to appreciate over the years, Wohlwend is a remarkable researcher of micro-interactions between children and literacy tools. In this pedagogical book, she helps readers understand the theoretical underpinnings, overlaps, and nuances of analytical tools such as nexus analysis, multimodal analysis, mediated action analysis, and critical discourse analysis. Each chapter is rich of examples and inquiries for readers to participate in ‘trying-out’ these methods for themselves. Literacies that Move and Matter is a text, much like Wohlwend’s other books, that researchers will keep close by for years as they engage ethnographically with people and literacies."

—Candace R. Kuby, University of Missouri, USA

"Karen Wohlwend offers an incisive and much needed expansion of the conceptualization of literacies—moving them beyond verbal and written communication. She thoughtfully takes up nexus analysis and offers a clear and useable roadmap for conducting this kind of analytic work. Scholars interested in deepening their understanding of how to analyze data in ways that attends to materiality will be particularly interested in this book. Further, students of discourse analysis will find Wohlwend’s book to deepen and expand their conceptualizations of what counts as ‘language’ and ‘analyzable data.’

—Jessica Nina Lester, Associate Professor, Indiana University, USA