Stories that Speak to Us: Exhibits from the Digital Archive of Literacy Narratives

These stories together represent the contemporary Nepalese society’s ‘epistemological schizophrenia,’ a consciousness divided between the undeniable benefits of modern education and the destruction of local modes and resources of learning.sharma

The Third Eye: An Exhibit of Literacy Narratives from Nepal

by Ghanashyam Sharma

Computers and Composition Digital Press2011TextStories that Speak to Us: Exhibits from the Digital Archive of Literacy Narratives

Abstract | This chapter exhibits and discusses literacy narratives that were contributed to the DALN by seven teachers and scholars of English from Nepal, a small country in South Asia. I first develop theoretical and analytical frameworks, using which I later discuss how each of the narrators puts disparate details of his or her literacy experiences into a thematically coherent story. My intention behind creating and using those frameworks is threefold. First, I argue that multimodal literacy narratives like these should not be seen merely as “interesting” cultural artifacts that are mediated by new technologies; they should be recognized as semiotically rich scholarly texts that deserve to be researched, studied, discussed, and written about. Second, I address a number of challenges that scholars will encounter while researching, understanding and writing about such texts; some of those challenges are due to the unfamiliar cultural content, others are the result of a complex convergence of local with global discourses about literacy, and some others cause by the multimodality of the texts. Finally, I analyze the stories in order to show how narratives like these, which are at once intensely personal and socio-politically significant, gain their full rhetorical force and semiotic richness when presented in multimodal forms. I conclude by arguing that the study of such artifacts has become both viable and necessary as serious scholarly work.

About the Curator | Ghanashyam Sharma, who goes by Shyam, is Assistant Professor of Writing and Rhetoric at Stony Brook University (SUNY). As a former teacher of English language and literature at Tribhuvan University of Nepal, he is involved in supporting the Nepalese English Language Teachers Association in its professional development initiatives. As a scholar of composition, he is interested in understanding how the demographic shift due to the increasing numbers of non-native English speaking scholars in US higher education has influenced the standards and conventions of academic writing across the disciplines. His other academic and professional interests include the use of technology for enhancing collaborative learning and critical thinking in the classroom, the practice and scholarship of multimodal composition, professional development of graduate students, critical pedagogy and the politics of language, and professional networking through the use or adaptation of social media.

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Cite this Exhibit

MLA: Sharma, Ghanashyam. “The Third Eye: An Exhibit of Literacy Narratives from Nepal.” Stories That Speak to Us: Exhibits from the Digital Archive of Literacy Narratives. Ed. H. Lewis Ulman, Scott Lloyd DeWitt, & Cynthia L. Selfe. Logan, UT: Computers and Composition Digital Press, 2013. Web.

APA: Sharma, G. (2013). The Third Eye: An Exhibit of Literacy Narratives from Nepal. In H. L. Ulman, S. L. DeWitt, & C. L. Selfe (Eds.), Stories that Speak to Us: Exhibits from the Digital Archive of Literacy Narratives. Logan, UT: Computers and Composition Digital Press.

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