ENGLISH 508 - Discourse and Rhetoric
Winter 2017, Section 001 - Literacies in American Life
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is (see other Sections below)
Subject: English Language and Literature (ENGLISH)
Department: LSA English Language & Literature
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With permission of department.
Advisory Prerequisites:
ENGLISH 506. Graduate standing.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:


If you can read this, are you literate?

As scholars have come to see literacy not merely as a simple autonomous skill but as a complex social practice, they have increasingly sought to understand how people both acquire and make use of literacy in a variety of settings, from school to social groups to the workplace to the public sphere, in environments both physical and digital.

In this course, we will examine various ways that literacy has been taught and practiced in America, considering recent theoretical, historical, and ethnographic scholarship in rhetoric, writing, and literacy studies. What does it mean to be able to read or write in a given era? Is literacy a public or private good? How do marginalized groups acquire literacy within and outside of institutional settings? How do ordinary citizens make use of literacy in their daily lives? How do people adapt to new technologies of literacy—and what does this mean for the teaching of literacy in the new millennium?

This course is open to students in any discipline with an interest in the history or future of literacy, and students will have wide latitude in developing a class project in line with their scholarly and professional interests.

David Gold is an Associate Professor of English, Education, and Women’s Studies, and a faculty member in the Joint PhD Program in English and Education. For more information, contact him at dpg@umich.edu or visit his website at pe1404.com.


ENGLISH 508 - Discourse and Rhetoric
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
 In Person
TuTh 5:30PM - 7:00PM

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