Live Fieldnotes

We have all read and talked quite a bit about how to take double-entry fieldnotes. You may have already had to make tough choices about how to best record fieldnotes at your field site—e.g., is it too intrusive to bring a laptop? is there somewhere to rest your notebook while you write?

As you contemplate how to best take fieldnotes and develop a system that works best for you, consider ideas from Tricia Wang about “live fieldnotes”—where you rely on social media (e.g., Instagram) and other technology to capture specific moments in the field. Wang writes extensively about this process and provides lots of great examples in her post for Ethnography Matters


Essay Two Groups (Billips)

Group 1:  Jordan, Riley, Mary, Charlie

Group 2:  Thompson, Lucy, Taryn, Alex

Group 3:  Collin, Landon, Scout, Aimee

Definitions of Literacy

As you know, trying to define literacy today (or literacies) can be a complicated task. But then again, we still need boundaries: literacy cannot mean anything we want it to mean. While defining literacy is not the only task you are being asked to do in your CLN, it will be important that you provide a definition—and as we’ve discussed, this definition may be one that you borrow from someone else or some combination of others’ ideas as well as your own.

In addition to Voss’ and Gee’s definitions of literacy/literacies, you might be interested to check out some of these definitions, most from the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) or their affiliates. NCTE has been studying and writing about literacy for decades, and while they are not the group that sets national education or literacy policies or standards in the United States, they intend for their research to inform those policies and standards.

But speaking of groups that do set national policies and standards, you may want to check out this definition from The National Assessment of Adult Literacy, sponsored by the National Center for Education Statistics You may also want to look at this (admittedly somewhat dated, 2003) report about American adults’ literacy in the 21st century


Hey, everyone! Welcome to FYS 1002: First Year Seminar, Expository Writing. The poet Theodore Roethke once wrote that we “learn by going where [we] have to go.” This semester, we are going both global and local, abroad and home, reading work by writers from the United States and around the world. We’ll turn our critical eyes on ourselves to examine who we are as learners and as users and producers of texts. We’ll work and write in groups and conduct primary research to examine questions about culture, such as How do our previous cultural experiences shape our understandings of literacy and texts? How do rituals and customs transform and sustain cultures? How are cultural values expressed, and how do we question them? What counts/is valued as work? How are gender, race, class, and other social markers involved in identity and language?

This website will serve as shared space this semester for students in all FYS 1002 courses (taught by Dr. Hauman or Dr. Billips). This is where you will find the syllabus, the daily schedule, assignment sheets, occasional updates, links to each other’s blogs (eventually), and more. Sometimes the blog posts on this main page will be co-authored by Dr. Hauman and Dr. Billips, and other times only one of us will write and publish a post. FYS 1002 classes won’t use Moodle this semester, but we will post a link to this website in our designated Moodle space just in case you forget the URL (we recommend you bookmark it).

We look forward to you all bringing your unique interests, passions, and curiosities to bear on all of the work we do, and we hope that will include your suggestions about ways we might alter and improve proposed readings and activities. No doubt, throughout this semester, you all will be reading and discussing interesting, relevant topics and texts in other classes and on your own; share those with the rest of us! We’d like for us all to support one another and play a part in creating a classroom environment that is characterized by rigorous, creative intellectual pursuits.