Our analysis of the most striking patterns in our five sample literacy narratives works because it begins to articulate a positioning of those students who choose to connect their literacy narrative with English language acquisition and with the progressive narrative. Understanding these patterns can shape and reshape how instructors assign the literacy narrative.  Indeed, there are few tasks more scholarly in nature than seeking patterns and making generalizations.  And yet, and here we stress, the tensions inherent when theorizing any “category” of the DALN population are present at all times. We argue that these tensions—between the import and immediacy of the “noticing” of categories and the glossing and omissions required to name those categories—are productive, but they do require methodologies and theories that don’t rely on a fixed meaning.  As Kathleen Stewart stresses, there is weight in repetition but also value in nuance. Or as she asserts referring to the meaning of any given pattern, “it’s a composition . . .and one that literally can’t be seen as a simple repository of systemic effects imposed on an innocent world but has to be traced through generative modalities of impulses, daydreams, ways of relating, distractions, strategies, failures, encounters, and worldings of all kinds” (“Weak Theory” 73).  Further, as Aneta Pavlenko insists, ”content cannot be analyzed in separation from context and form, and that thematization is a preliminary analytic step and cannot be confused with analysis” (167).

What we argue is important, then, is a more comprehensive understanding of individual literacy narratives.  To that end, in this section we offer a more nuanced look at two students, Medarka and Keunho, in which we pay attention specifically to what their literacy narratives offer and further “mean” in light of the global and local conditions under which they were constructed.  In order to do so, we pay attention, again, to Pavlenko’s methodology, for which she extols research to analyze the context of narrative production.

continue reading

Comments are closed.