Date of Graduation

5-2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in English (MA)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

English

Advisor

Patrick J. Slattery

Committee Member

David A. Jolliffe

Second Committee Member

Elias D. Barajas

Abstract

The following research report on literacy practices presents an analysis of the data collected over the course of four months at Owl Creek middle school in Northwest Arkansas. Following a qualitative research protocol, I interacted with middle school students who participated in the Razorback Writers after-school literacy outreach program sponsored by the University of Arkansas. This report details the two major literacy practices encouraged in this after school program - the collective read-aloud sessions focusing on the graphic novel I Kill Giants, and the students' creation of their own graphic novels, which were developed in group workshops. In the following pages, I examine the events and relationships that emerged during the group reading sessions and creative workshops, and I try to identify the implicit and explicit assumptions about literacy that became apparent in these sessions. Moreover, I explore the ways in which these practices express several theories of literacy, specifically 1) language socialization, 2) the New London Group's theory of Design and multiliteracies pedagogy, and 3) university-sponsored literacy outreach. Thus, this study also provides a report of how these theories function - together and separately - in the Razorback Writers classroom.