Navigate this Exhibit

This exhibit of literacy narratives offers both raw data — our participants’ full-length literacy narratives and interviews, available here and on the Digital Archive of Literacy Narratives (DALN) — and our analysis and discussion of those narratives. The exhibit contains links that require you to have an Internet connection to access material online. Alternatively, you can download the full text for off-line reading as a linear, media-rich PDF or text-only PDF. Please use Adobe Reader 9.0 or later for an optimal reading/viewing/listening experience. Download the free reader here. Preview on Mac will not load the videos.

"Multilingual Literacy Landscapes" can be read and experienced in multiple ways, including the along the lines of the traditional text argument that David Bloome points out as a standard reading in the introduction to this digital collection. If you are using the online exhibit, you can click the "continue reading" links at the bottom of each page to move through the text following the traditional structure of a critical inquiry — introduction, methodology ("Mapping"), results ("Landmarks" and "Panorama"), and conclusion. The hyperlinks throughout the exhibit are internal and either connect you to other sections of the exhibit or to additional materials that may be of interest. We also invite you to be a bit "unruly" in your process of experiencing these literacy narratives and to engage with the exhibit according to your interests by using the tabs on the top of the page to wander around.

As designers of this exhibit of multilingual and multimodal literacy narratives and interviews, we attempted to build according to our two guiding principles: to ensure that the richness of the voices and storytelling of our multilingual students could be experienced through the video and audio presentation of their materials and to convey the feel of landscape, with its continual tension between bordered constraints and unruly freedoms, as the conceptual metaphor undergirding the piece. In addition to including the full video literacy narratives and interviews as raw data, we chose to excerpt pieces of the video for students quotes throughout the text, rather than to simply retell their words in print, thereby losing the nuance of voice and gesture in the process. In the interest of accessibility, the videos are captioned, but our decision to use the captions was complicated by a desire to not detract the attention of viewers from the sounds, tones, movements, and expressions of the students in their videos, having been reminded through this work of the communicative power of those elements.

In the process of composing a digital text, we found ourselves reminded of how tied we are, as teachers and writers, to print text. We continually had our literacy landscapes conceptual metaphor in mind and attempted to reinforce it through our selection of images for the page headers, but as is probably evident in this piece, we could not escape our need to "write" the argument in print text or escape the limitations of our design and coding skills. We are continually learning from the students whose work is shared here and the students in our writing classes today about how to envision and understand digital composing in new ways.

The exhibit has been tested with Mozilla Firefox 3.6 (free download here), Safari 5.03 (free download here), and Google Chrome 9.05 (free download here). Internet Explore 8 users may experience difficulties loading the videos.

The CCDP is committed to working toward the goal of making projects as accessible as possible for all readers. Readers who cannot access this project in any of the above formats can request an alternative format by contacting Suzanne Blum Malley (sbmalley [at] or Alanna Frost ([frosta [at]

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