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Chasing Literacy

Reading and Writing in an Age of Acceleration

By Daniel Keller

Publication Year: 2014

Arguing that composition should renew its interest in reading pedagogy and research, Chasing Literacy offers writing instructors and literacy scholars a framework for understanding and responding to the challenges posed by the proliferation of interactive and multimodal communication technologies in the twenty-first century.

Employing case-study research of student reading practices, Keller explores reading-writing connections in new media contexts. He identifies a culture of acceleration—a gathering of social, educational, economic, and technological forces that reinforce the values of speed, efficiency, and change—and challenges educators to balance new “faster” literacies with traditional “slower” literacies. In addition, Keller details four significant features of contemporary literacy that emerged from his research: accumulation and curricular choices; literacy perceptions; speeds of rhetoric; and speeds of reading.

Chasing Literacy outlines a new reading pedagogy that will help students gain versatile, dexterous approaches to both reading and writing and makes a significant contribution to this emerging area of interest in composition theory and practice.

Published by: Utah State University Press


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Title Page, Copyright

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pp. i-iv


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pp. v-vi

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pp. vii-x

I have many people to thank, not only those who supported the development of the book you have in front of you, but also those who gave so much support to me as I pursued an education and then an academic career. During my years at Southern Illinois...

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pp. 1-15

Chasing Literacy argues that composition should renew its interest in reading pedagogy and research. Composition scholars have recognized how the proliferation of interactive and multimodal communication technologies has changed what it means to write in the twenty-first century. However, the counterpart to...

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1. Locating Reading in Composition Studies

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pp. 16-38

David and Diana could not have been more different as high school students: David struggled in many of his classes, especially when it came to reading. He passed with average grades, and he had to work to achieve those average grades. In classes that involved reading, David was quiet and lacked confidence....

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2. Perceptions of Literacy

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pp. 39-66

Composition prides itself on being student-centered. Much of our rhetoric and our practice focuses on “meeting students where they are,” keeping up with changes occurring in literacy practices outside of formal education, and including students’ literacies in our classrooms to create a more interactive, hybrid...

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3. Reading in a Culture of Acceleration

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pp. 67-98

Lauren read “tons of magazines”: the print and online versions of Cosmopolitan, Time, Tennis, and Entertainment Weekly. Every day she sent dozens of text messages and checked in with her social networking profiles. She consulted “various websites about sports, about health tips and working out, learning better ways...

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4. Directing Attention: Multitasking, Foraging, Oscillating

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pp. 99-126

David has a multimedia coffee table. On the couch, he’s within reach of a cell phone, iPod, Superman comic, Car and Driver magazine, the newspaper, John Grisham’s Bleachers, an Xbox wireless controller, and the remote to a big-screen TV. I can barely see the glass top of the table underneath the layers of...

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5. Reading-Writing Connections

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pp. 127-152

Julia once again took time after school to talk to me about the high school, her students, and her teaching experiences. As she moved stacks of student papers on her desk, one stack tumbled and sheets fanned out, black print on white paper. Scanning the fallen stack, I saw the usual: essays about Shakespeare and Hemingway,...

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pp. 153-169

What does it mean to be a reader in the twenty-first century? One goal of this book has been to gain more insight into the challenges and opportunities for literacy learners in a time of accumulation and acceleration. As literacies accumulate, readers encounter both an increasing number of texts and wide variation...


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pp. 170-173


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pp. 174-184

About the Author

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pp. 185-186


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pp. 187-193

E-ISBN-13: 9780874219333
E-ISBN-10: 0874219337
Print-ISBN-13: 9780874219326
Print-ISBN-10: 0874219329

Page Count: 203
Illustrations: 15
Publication Year: 2014

OCLC Number: 876736163
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Chasing Literacy

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Information technology.
  • Reading.
  • Literacy.
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