“You Have to Knock at the Door for the Door Get Open”: Alternative Literacy Narratives and the Development of Textual Agency in Writing by Newly Literate Adults

Lauren Rosenberg


This article is part of a project that involves case studies of four adults who attend an informal literacy center. I examine people’s motivations to write when their main purpose is not to gain a degree or other credentials. Here I focus on one study member and how she uses writing to gain textual agency. By composing narratives that investigate her social positioning, this woman rewrites her own story. I demonstrate how her texts and interview comments reveal a strong desire to connect with public audiences so that other people might follow her model of speaking out to change culture.

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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.