When people can ‘check in’ to a location virtually even as they text a friend to see where she is, look at an online review, and chat with present companions–and engage in these activities simultaneously–we might ask what constitutes their ‘site’? As the idea of being ‘in’ a space becomes increasingly fluid, digital tools and online spaces challenge traditional notions of field sites and necessitate a shift in how we might study and engage in literacies now. In this #literacies chat, we consider some of the scholarship implications of studying and engaging in literacies in and across multiple online contexts.
Multi-sited scholarship collapses global/local distinctions and offers a broader sense of research as mobile and intersectional. It can be characterized by the movement of people, ideas, and commodities as researchers follow “chains, paths, threads, conjunctions, or juxtapositions of locations” (Marcus, 1998, p. 90). We ask in this chat how literacy practitioners and researchers may follow the ways in which people, objects, symbols, metaphors, or practices move within and across online spaces. This movement is central to social practices and cultural processes; moreover, it may take place across great distance and serve to link disparate entities. We will draw on our own multi-sited #literacies scholarship in Space2Cre8 (Stornaiuolo & Hall, 2014; Stornaiuolo, Higgs, & Hull, 2013) and fan-based online affinity spaces (Curwood, Magnifico, & Lammers, 2013; Magnifico, Curwood, & Lammers, 2015) as we ask fellow practitioners and researchers to consider how literacy researchers can effectively, rigorously, and ethically account for the pathways and the movements inherent within online spaces in their methods.
Guiding Questions for our Chat:
Q1. How do we define “sites” of literacy practice? What does it mean to do ‘multi-sited’ #literacies scholarship?
Q2. What needs to be different in #literacies scholarship to account for the multi-sited nature of literacies?
Q3. What needs to be different in a research studies’ design & data collection to account for the multi-sited nature of #literacies?
Q4. If you’ve tried multi-sited #literacies data collection & analysis, what tools did you use? Why did you choose those?
Q5. What theories & ideas have helped you think about doing #literacies scholarship in multiple sites?
Q6. Are there different ethical considerations in single-site & multi-site #literacies scholarship?