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Reading Youth Writing

Hoechsmann, Michael / Low, Bronwen E.

Reading Youth Writing

«New» Literacies, Cultural Studies and Education

Series: New Literacies and Digital Epistemologies - Volume 26

Year of Publication: 2008

New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, Oxford, Wien, 2008. VIII, 179 pp.
ISBN 978-1-4331-0177-9 pb.  (Softcover)

Weight: 0.270 kg, 0.595 lbs

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Book synopsis

This book aims to provide new insights into the complexities of theorizing contemporary adolescent literacies. It proposes a theoretical approach to understanding youth cultural production which addresses several lacunae in the field of new literacy research. Through a series of examinations of youth «writing» both inside and outside of school, the book builds an approach to the study of contemporary youth expression that draws on the theoretical and methodological insights of cultural studies. The voices of youth are central, and both the content and form of what they have to say ground the project.
Reading Youth Writing is intended for a cross-disciplinary academic audience: it will be of particular interest to scholars and both undergraduate and graduate students in the fields of education, new literacy, cultural studies, communications and media studies, rhetoric and composition studies, sociology, and sociolinguistics. Since the content is based on youth cultural production in a period of economic and cultural globalization, the book has relevance to a broad international audience.

About the author(s)/editor(s)

The Authors: Michael Hoechsmann is Assistant Professor of Media and Technology in the Department of Integrated Studies in Education at McGill University. His research interests are in the area of youth, media and cultural studies. Over a four year period (1998-2002), he was the Director of Education of Young People’s Press, a news service for youth ages 14-24. He played a key role in this award-winning organization, conducting workshops in several hundred youth organizations and schools, overseeing news production for the Toronto Star, Canwest and Scripps Howard news agencies, and providing leadership in the creation of electronic publications and writing pedagogy documents.
Bronwen E. Low is Assistant Professor of Curriculum Studies in the Department of Integrated Studies in Education at McGill University. In her research, she explores the implications and challenges of popular youth culture for curriculum theory, literacy studies, and pedagogy. She previously worked in an urban arts magnet high school in upstate New York, co-developing and researching a performance poetry curriculum in conjunction with a creative writing teacher and a local poet and arts educator. She has also worked with youth as a writing group leader in community centers and women’s shelters. She is currently collaborating with several community-based organizations who engage urban youth through hip-hop culture. She previously taught at the University of Rochester.


«With Reading Youth Writing, Low and Hoechsmann track cutting-edge literacy activities in and out of school... Written with verve and wit, this book is both guide and inspiration in its insightful analyses of young writers’ flourishing, challenging work – which needs to be read, as it is read here, not through rose-coloured glasses but by critically engaging the hip-hop, YouTube cultural reworkings of writers who may yet prove a promising citizenry... We are indebted to Hoechsmann and Low’s research.» (John Willinsky, Stanford University)
«I keep wondering why someone hasn’t already written a book like ‘Reading Youth Writing’! Youth writing/youth production is such an important component of youth culture, and issues of voice in particular are critical. But I am delighted that it is Michael Hoechsmann and Bronwen E. Low who have finally taken on this project. Here they bring together their individual and collective experiences as community activists and media specialists. But they are also academics who are committed to a pedagogy of change. Reading Youth Writing tells a story that will change the landscape of how those who work with and for young people in such areas as communication, cultural studies, education and youth studies think about youth as producers.» (Claudia Mitchell, James McGill Professor, McGill University)


New Literacies and Digital Epistemologies. Vol. 26
General Editors: Colin Lankshear, Michele Knobel and Michael Peters