Sacred encounters: literacy beyond cardboard words

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University of New Brunswick


This dissertation is an autobiographical/narrative study of literacy encounters in home and school spaces. I search and re-search, visit and re-visit, examine and re-examine, specific narrative moments, collected artefacts, and personal journals through the posthumanist concepts of entanglements, materiality, muchness, and an infinity of touch. As the re-searcher, I consider the entanglements of my literate play within sacred literacy spaces as a child, educator, mother, curriculum developer, elementary school principal, literacy coordinator, and university instructor held in my heartmindbodytimespacematterings. My aim is to tease out literate pedagogies of possibilities, working toward a reconceptualization of literacy teaching/learning that engages educators in an appreciative study of literacy learning, one that values children's and educators' literate resources, their agencies, histories, and passionate engagements with a broad range of texts. I seek to understand how a broadened definition of texts evokes and provokes, energizes and anchors learners of all ages within ethico-onto-epistemological entanglements. The implication of my research is that each literate encounter I rewrite, reveals what is being produced as beings, materials, technologies, time, and space, intra-actively produced literacies and literate subjects. This re-search reveals how standardized practices risk silencing educators' attention to the ethico-onto-epistemological entanglements essential to creating relationships, knowledges, worlds, and literacies. How might valuing the web of relations expand affirmative and creative possibilities for learners in classrooms?