Leading writers, theorists to converge at York

What does it mean to be literate in the digital age? Living Literacies, a conference on the philosophy of literacy, will explore this question with some of the leading writers and theorists of our time at York University, Nov. 14-16.

Susan Sontag, George Steiner, Camille Paglia, Jean Baudrillard, Hurricane Carter and Gayatri Spivak are among the international cast joining Canadian writers, performers, teachers, activists, and technologists in a once-in-a-lifetime gathering to generate a new awareness of the responsibilities of communication in the global information age.

“Literacy is a lifeline; the link to a full life experience, but the range of literacies today is much greater and more demanding of our abilities to discern and decipher,” said conference organizer Bruce Powe, novelist, poet, and author of the inspired treatise on Canadian identity, Canada of Light. “We need to re-engage the practice of literacy at all levels to help shape this new environment.”

The conference is organized jointly by York University and Frontier College, Canada’s historic national movement of volunteers, who take literacy training into the home, the farm, the workplace and the prison. It is funded by the National Literacy Secretariat in the Ministry of Human Resources Development Canada, with support from CHUM City, Canadian Learning Television, Book Television, The Globe and Mail, Penguin Books, and the York University Bookstore.

The conference will convene on Thursday, Nov. 14 at 9:30am in Burton Auditorium. Tickets, registration information and a complete program are available at www.livingliteracies.ca. For further details check the Media Relations Web site: http://www.yorku.ca/ycom/release/archive/102402.htm.