Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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Contents

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Acknowledgments

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pp. vii-x

First and foremost, I thank Carol Mattingly, Lisa Arnold, and Vanessa Kraemer Sohan for reading more versions of this text than I’m sure any of us care to remember. Their feedback was essential, and this book would not exist without them. Thanks also to Kristine Priddy for her belief in...

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1. Introduction

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pp. 1-14

This book traces two rhetorics of literacy crisis—the immigrant and Appalachian literacy crises that became the focus of public discourse between 1910 and 1935—considering in particular the very different educational enterprises each sparked. Both the Americanization movement...

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2. Literacy, Crisis, and Educational Responses

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pp. 15-38

Literacy as a social ideal is intimately tied to a rhetoric of crisis. The meaning of “literacy” has been defined against its absence: to be literate is to have an ability, a skill, a knowledge that others lack. The value of literacy is determined by the social location and volume of this absence; as the site...

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3. Developing Pedagogies for Illiterate Adults

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pp. 39-76

The Moonlight Schools, one of the first organizations that set out to teach a broad scope of reading and writing to adults, began with basic literacy and moved into increasingly complex reading and writing tasks. Many short-term efforts had previously been created to teach specific groups of...

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4. The Politics of Americanization

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pp. 77-104

To date, research on the history of education has focused heavily on pedagogical practices and theoretical frameworks—that is, activities within the classroom and within academic discourse as represented in scholarly journals. Little research has focused on how literacy education practices...

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5. Professionalizing Adult Education

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pp. 105-141

Between 1910 and 1930, the Addresses and Proceedings of the NEA’s annual meetings document increasing awareness of and concern for the education of illiterates. However, the overwhelming focus of attention during this period was not who should be taught or what they should...

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6. Implications and Conclusions

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pp. 142-160

The Moonlight Schools and Americanizers responded to a public discourse of literacy crisis that framed illiteracy as a threat to American identity. In particular, both immigrants and Appalachians were imagined as unable to participate in “literate society” and thus unsuitable for democratic citizenship...

Notes

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pp. 161-168

References

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pp. 169-180

Index

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pp. 181-185

Author Biography, Back Cover

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