Writing Programs as Distributed Networks: A Materialist Approach to University-Community Media Literacy

Michelle Comstock


This article addresses how community-university digital media literacy projects are redefining literacy, literate practices, and institutions. Using Actor-Network Theory (ANT), which emphasizes the organizing process itself, I analyze the shifting definitions of literacy within one particular university-community collaboration. My analysis demonstrates the importance of creating writer and producer identities for all project participants and developing networks of responsibility and sustainability through the distribution of expertise among university and community institutions. In order to sustain such collaborations and university-community networks, literacy workers and writing programs must challenge static forms of participation and expertise, as well as monolithic notions of literacy, and become more responsive to concrete literacy needs within our communities.


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Publication of the Community Literacy Journal is made possible through the generous support of the English Department and the Writing and Rhetoric Program at Florida International University. The CLJ is a journal of the Conference on Community Writing.