Transliteracy is a unified way to think about literacy past, present and future.
It is defined as:
The ability to read, write and interact across a range of platforms, tools and media from signing and orality through handwriting, print, TV, radio and film, to digital social networks.
I developed the concept of transliteracy in 2006-8 with colleagues at the Institute of Creative Technologies, De Montfort University and it has since been taken up by researchers around the world. I’m currently working on the application of transliteracy to technobiophilia, “the innate attraction to life and lifelike processes as they appear in technology”
The meaning of transliteracy is still evolving, but the original 2007 definition, quoted above, along with the source for its inspiration, can be found in the first published paper on the subject at First Monday.
There’s a lively discussion about #transliteracy on Twitter.
In recent years I’ve given keynote talks on transliteracy to
- Presidency University. Kolkata, India
- Université de la Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris3, France
- SUNY Empire State College, Saratoga, New York.
When I’m explaining transliteracy I like to begin with this amusing video which reminds us that the book is quite a new idea:From YouTube notes: “Helpdesk support back in the day of the middle age with English subtitles. Original taken from the show “Øystein og jeg” on Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK)in 2001. With Øystein Backe (helper)and Rune Gokstad (desperate monk). Written by Knut Nærum.” 2007
There are numerous transliteracy resources and debates available online. Probably the best way to stay current is to follow #transliteracy on Twitter. Scoop-it and Google also turn up interesting activity. The Transliteracy Research Group has an archived website containing many excellent posts and links.
The first published article on transliteracy is the widely-cited Transliteracy: Crossing divides, First Monday, Volume 12 Number 12 – 3 December 2007, Thomas, S. with Joseph, C., Laccetti, J., Mason, B., Mills, S., Perril, S., and Pullinger, K. http://www.uic.edu/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/2060/1908
See also my lecture at the Institute of Creative Technologies, De Montfort University. October 24th, 2008
- Fernanda Bonacho. 2010. ‘Biblioteca de livros digitais’: the privileged space of a transliterate experience for children reading online. In Proceedings of the third workshop on Research advances in large digital book repositories and complementary media (BooksOnline ’10). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 39-42. DOI=10.1145/1871854.1871868 http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1871854.1871868
- Refuting Inertness or My Response to “Where Are the Others?” Buffy Hamilton, 18 October 2009
- Digital and Media Literacies as Cultural Capital in a Democratic Society, Buffy Hamilton, 7 October 2009
- Are Americans Too Stupid to Think? – Thoughts On Literacy Gina Haskett 6 October 2009 http://www.blogher.com/are-americans-too-stupid-think-thoughts-literacy
- Libraries and Transliteracy Slideshow, Librarian By Day, 1 October 2009, http://librarianbyday.net/2009/10/libraries-and-transliteracy-slideshow/
- Will transliteracy make all this research obsolete? Children’s Mobile Libraries, 23 September 2009 http://childrensmobilelibraries.blogspot.com/2009/09/will-transliteracy-make-all-this.html
- Webber, S. IFLA report: Libraries promoting twenty-first century literacies (1) Information Literacy Weblog, 24 August 2009 http://information-literacy.blogspot.com/2009/08/ifla-report-libraries-promoting-twenty.html
- Andretta, S. Transliteracy: Take a Walk on the Wild Side, Keynote at the IFLA/ World Library and Information Conference , Milan, Italy, 2009 http://www.ifla.org/files/hq/papers/ifla75/94-andretta-en.pdf
- Transliteracy: A Trend of Amplified Organization, KnowledgeWorks Foundation 2020 Forecast: Creating the Future of Learning, 2009 http://www.futureofed.org/trend/Transliteracy.aspx
- Thomas, S., Joseph,C., Laccetti,J., Mason,B., Perril,S., and Pullinger,K. (2008) Transliteracy as a Unifying Perspective in The Handbook of Research on Social Software and Developing Community Ontologies, eds. Hatzipanagos.S. and Warburton,S. London: IGI Global ISBN: 978-1-60566-208-4
- White, C, (2008) Transliteracy – Scenography, Scenography International, Issue 11 http://www.scenography-international.com/journal/issue%2011/white.pdf
- Vinall-Cox, J. (2008) WebTools for Learners http://joanvinallcox.wordpress.com/2008/12/23/webtools-for-teachers-12232008/
- Biggs, S. (2008) Transculturation, transliteracy and generative poetics http://hosted.simonbiggs.easynet.co.uk/texts/trans.htm
- Gallix, A. 24 September 2008 Is e-literature just one big anti-climax? The Guardian http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/booksblog/2008/sep/24/ebooks
- Walsh, J. & Burt, K. 14 September 2008 Books special: Can intelligent literature survive in the digital age? The Independent on Sunday http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/features/books-special-can-intelligent-literature-survive-in-the-digital-age-926545.html
- Word Spy http://www.wordspy.com/words/transliteracy.asp
- Ware, Ianto. “Andrew Keen Vs the Emos: Youth, Publishing, and Transliteracy.” M/C Journal 11.4 (Aug. 2008). 14 Oct. 2008 http://journal.media-culture.org.au/index.php/mcjournal/article/view/41
- Mason, B and Thomas, S. A Million Penguins Research Report, 2008, Institute of Creative Technologies, De Montfort University http://www.ioct.dmu.ac.uk/projects/millionpenguinsanalysis.html
- Fearn, H., 14 August 2008. Grappling with the digital divide. Times Higher Education. http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?sectioncode=26&storycode=403135 Students are increasingly ‘transliterate’, communicating across a range of technologies. Can academics keep up? Hannah Fearn asks
- Fearn, H. 28 February 2008, Threads that twist and tangle Hannah Fearn, Times Higher Education. http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?sectioncode=26&storycode=400746 Are students’ disparaging comments online just harmless gossip or defamatory remarks that can tarnish universities and academics? Hannah Fearn teases out the strands
- Transliteracy; crossing divides, Common Sense, 8 January 2008 http://kapma.wordpress.com/2008/01/08/transliteracy-crossing-divides/
- Hugill, A. (2008) The Digital Musician. New York: Routledge. pp.122-123 (first mention of transliteracy in a book) http://www.hum.dmu.ac.uk/blogs/part/2008/08/andrew_hugill_on_transliteracy.html
- Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transliteracy
- Thomas, S. with Joseph, C., Laccetti, J., Mason, B., Mills, S., Perril, S., and Pullinger, K. Transliteracy: Crossing divides, First Monday, Volume 12 Number 12 – 3 December 2007 http://www.uic.edu/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/2060/1908
- Thomas, S. and Mason, B. L. 2007. Tags, networks, narrative: exploring the use of social software for the study of narrative in digital contexts. In Proceedings of the 18th Conference on Hypertext and Hypermedia (Manchester, UK, September 10 – 12, 2007). HT ’07. ACM, New York, NY, 39-40
- Page, R. (2007) Digital Narratives: Transliteracy Colloquium
- Transliteracy Research Blog http://www.transliteracy.com May 2006 onwards
- Thomas, S. 28 October 2005, Del.icio.us way to talk Times Higher Education Supplement http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?sectioncode=26&storycode=199400 To become transliterate, publishers need to start a dialogue with e-learners, Sue Thomas says
- Thomas, Sue, ‘Transliteracy – reading in the digital age’ Higher Education Academy English Subject Centre Newsletter, November 2005 http://www.english.heacademy.ac.uk/explore/publications/newsletters/newsissue9/thomas.htm Report on the ‘Transliteracies’ Conference held at the University of California at Santa Barbara on June 7– 8, 2005.
- Transliteracies Project Research in the Technological, Social, and Cultural Practices of Online Reading, University of California at Santa Barbara, 2005 onwards http://transliteracies.english.ucsb.edu/