By Dr. Linda Flower PhD
Community Literacy and the Rhetoric of Public Engagement explores the severe perform of intercultural inquiry and rhetorical problem-solving that encourages city writers and faculty mentors alike to take literate motion. writer Linda Flower files an leading edge scan in group literacy, the group Literacy middle in Pittsburgh, and posits a robust and distinctively rhetorical version of group engagement and pedagogy for either marginalized and privileged writers and audio system. additionally, she articulates a thought of neighborhood publics and explores the transformative strength of different discourses and counter-public performances.
In providing a complete pedagogy for literate motion, the quantity deals innovations for speaking and taking part throughout difference, for conducting an intercultural inquiry that attracts out located wisdom and rival interpretations of shared difficulties, and for writing and talking to suggest for private and public transformation. Flower describes the competing scripts for social engagement, empowerment, public deliberation, and business enterprise that represent the interdisciplinary debate over versions of social engagement.
Extending the group Literacy Center’s preliminary imaginative and prescient of group literacy first released a decade in the past, Community Literacy and the Rhetoric of Public Engagement makes an immense contribution to theoretical conversations concerning the nature of the general public sphere whereas delivering sensible guideline in how every body can communicate publicly for values and visions of swap.
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Extra info for Community Literacy and the Rhetoric of Public Engagement
It began at the CLC with the magnetic, if yet to be deﬁned vision of Wayne Peck that drew a community ﬁgure (Joyce Baskins) and an academic researcher-rhetorician (me) into what would be best described as an experimental journey. Coming back to Pittsburgh from divinity studies at Harvard, Wayne Peck had deliberately chosen to be a minister and community house director in this urban neighborhood. Ten years later, he had used a PhD in rhetoric at Carnegie Mellon University to study the rhetoric of community advocacy, looking at the kinds of arguments that lead to action (1991).
It would not reference elite organizations like the opera society (in the way a service-learning center might), but it does include institutions like the eighty-year-old Community House. indd 22 4/24/08 10:27:04 AM What Is Community Literacy? 23 tall windows and ﬁreplaces framed with dark wood mantels was built as a settlement house in 1916 like Jane Addams’s Hull House in Chicago. It was a place where at diﬀerent times in its long history, immigrant mothers came for milk, health care, and respite, where mill families could get cheap meals, where kids grew up in its “programs,” where young black men played midnight basketball in the gym, where grass-roots groups met in the Community House rooms, and where blue-haired Presbyterian ladies—old Northsiders, too, and longtime members of the adjoined church—felt connected to the neighborhood across class and cultural diﬀerences.
Such a community did not take action as a group but expected its participants (from mentors and teens to families, public oﬃcials, and academics) to return to their own spheres enabled to think and act diﬀerently in ways appropriate to their situation. I like to imagine this deliberative space as positioned at a crossroads (under the signpost of community literacy) that identiﬁed this space with a search for social justice, an ethic of love and solidarity, and a faith in the power of (or at least willingness to take a chance on) intercultural inquiry.