Contact

Shaunna Price
Department of Special Education
785-864-0556

Lecturer to present 'Language and Learning in a Dangerous Age'

Thu, 02/20/2014

LAWRENCE — The Department of Special Education at the University of Kansas has announced that James Paul Gee, the Mary Lou Fulton Presidential Professor of Literacy Studies at Arizona State University, will give the 2014 Meyen Distinguished Lecture in Special Education

The Edward L. Meyen Distinguished Lecture was established to attract outstanding speakers to lecture for the special education department in the School of Education.

Gee's presentation, "Language and Learning in a Dangerous Age," will be at 4 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 20, at The Commons, Spooner Hall. A reception will follow.

"James Gee is the kind of scholar that inspires his colleagues to be better – to think more clearly, to write more boldly, and to use the tools of everyday life in the 21st century to mobilize learning and invent solutions to the complex problems we face in every aspect of life," said Elizabeth Kozleski, special education department chair.

Gee  has worked in psycholinguistics, discourse analysis, sociolinguistics, bilingual education and literacy. Gee is currently the Mary Lou Fulton Presidential Professor of Literacy Studies at Arizona State University and is a member of the National Academy of Education.  

Gee conceptualizes literacy in broader terms than the ability to read and write since language is by no means the only communication system available. Many types of visual images and symbols have specific significances, and so “visual literacies” and literacies of other modes, or the concept of multimodal literacy, are included in Gee’s conception of new literacies.

“After all,” he said, “we never just read or write; rather, we always read or write something in some way."

Further, Gee argues that reading and writing should be viewed as more than just “mental achievements” happening inside people’s minds; they should also be seen as “social and cultural practices with economic, historical and political implications."

So, in Gee’s view, literacies are not only multiple, but inherently connected to social practices and digital worlds. The shift to virtual learning spaces requires re-conceptualizing identity, learning and the role of universities. 

 



Matt Menzenski, a graduate student in Slavic languages & literatures, took this photo during President Obama’s speech at KU Thursday. Menzenski says he was struck by how relaxed the president was in his delivery. He missed a chance to hear former President Bill Clinton speak in his hometown in 2004, but finally got to see a sitting president this week at KU. “The opportunity to hear the president speak is just one of many great opportunities I've had at KU. So many interesting talks and events happen here all the time. I try to attend at least one a week-- it's never hard to find something interesting to go to.” Tags: University of Kansas College of Liberal Arts and Sciences KU School of Languages, Literatures & Cultures KU Dept of Slavic Languages - Friends & Alumni Barack Obama The White House #exploreKU #POTUSatKU

#KUfacts : There are 30+ tenant companies in the Bioscience & Technology Business Center at KU. http://t.co/PqeeY5r16W #growKS
Explore KU: The Bells of Mount Oread KU’s Campanile, a 120-foot-tall timepiece that tolls automatically on the hour and quarter-hour, not only sounded in the 2015 New Year at midnight with 12 mighty gongs, but also regularly rings up memories for many Jayhawks – the 277 faculty and students who gave their lives during World War II, the graduates who walk through its doors at commencement, and aspiring students who have strolled through the Lawrence campus. (See http://bit.ly/1xjjwJj). For nearly 60 years, KU’s 53-bell carillon has been tolling the sounds of peace and serenity across Mount Oread since it was installed in June 1955 inside the landmark World War II Memorial Campanile, which was dedicated in 1951. (See http://bit.ly/1BoL9jv) The carillon is also a four-octave musical instrument, which is played with a giant keyboard and foot pedals. University Carillonneur Elizabeth Egber-Berghout (http://bit.ly/14fiBPl), associate professor of carillon and organ, climbs 77 steps up a spiral staircase in the bell tower to perform recitals several times a month.


One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
26 prestigious Rhodes Scholars — more than all other Kansas colleges combined
Nearly $290 million in financial aid annually
46 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
—ALA
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times