Exploring the Roots of Digital and Media Literacy through Personal Narrative

Edited by Renee Hobbs
Book Cover

PB: $28.95
EAN: 978-1-4399-1158-7
Publication: Jun 16

HC: $90.50
EAN: 978-1-4399-1157-0
Publication: Jun 16

Ebook: $28.95
EAN: 978-1-4399-1159-4
Publication: Jun 16

264 pages
5.5 x 8.25
1 figure

Leading scholars reveal insights into the core concepts and historical roots of digital and media literacy education

Read the Introduction (pdf).


Exploring the Roots of Digital and Media Literacy through Personal Narrative provides a wide-ranging look at the origins, concepts, theories, and practices of the field. This unique, exciting collection of essays by a range of distinguished scholars and practitioners offers insights into the scholars and thinkers who fertilized the minds of those who helped shape the theory and practice of digital and media literacy education. Each chapter describes an individual whom the author considers to be a type of “grandparent.” By weaving together two sets of personal stories—that of the contributing author and that of the key ideas and life history of the historical figure under their scrutiny—major concepts of digital media and learning emerge.


Exploring the Roots of Digital and Media Literacy through Personal Narrative offers a unique contribution in that it features more than a dozen distinguished authors discussing their views on the history of digital and media literacy from a range of different scholarly standpoints. Mixing well-recognized authors alongside some lesser-known and highly notable voices from a range of disciplines, Hobbs’ book will tap the curiosity of readers who want to explore connections at the intersection of film/media studies, communication, and education. The individuals featured weave narratives of the integral scholars from previous generations whose work most influenced their own path. The collection offers a view on some of the earlier intellectual roots that ground the complex, multiply-defined constructs of digital literacy and media literacy." —Rebecca Reynolds, Assistant Professor of Library and Information Science in the School of Communication and Information at Rutgers University

"This book certainly provides a fresh way of introducing new readers to key intellectual thinkers, some of whom were writing about media, education, technology and culture a good while before media and communication studies emerged as distinct fields. It is also an entertaining read, with an engaging mix of individual accounts, well-chosen quotation and scholarly discussion. Both old hands and novitiates will find many points of interest in this collection." —European Journal of Communication

"Hobbs asks 16 educators working in the fields of digital and media literacy to address the central question: Who is your intellectual grandparent? ... Collectively, these accounts will help readers understand the diverse theoretical foundations on which digital and media literacy is being built, and how looking back and interacting with one’s intellectual grandparent not only provides a rationale for digital and media literacy, but also advances the field.... The book’s narrative structure encourages a rich, multi-voiced layering of insights about the value and challenges of this expansive field, and serves as a reminder that there is no single story about digital and media literacy.... (T)his book will provide inspiration, and justification for educators seeking to explore what digital and media literacy work affords them and their students. This work will surely inspire the reader to seek out new mediums, messages, and opportunities, and to tell and re-tell stories with students." —Teachers College Board

"Renee Hobbs’s collection of personal narratives from leading thinkers in digital and media literacy is not only a fascinating foray into the field; it also presents various authors’ stories of encounters with dominant theorists across multiple disciplines.... Although not a primer text on theory, this collection, by utilizing the lens of personal experience, makes an engaging text for those with even a moderate interest in theory and literacy." —Reflective Teaching

Table of Contents

Introduction 632; Renee Hobbs
1. Historical Roots of Media Literacy 632; Renee Hobbs
2. David Weinberger on Martin Heidegger 632; David Weinberger
3. Lance Strate on Marshall McLuhan 632; Lance Strate
4. Dana Polan on Roland Barthes 632; Dana Polan
5. Cynthia Lewis on Mikhail Bakhtin 632; Cynthia Lewis
6. Srividya Ramasubramanian on Gordon Allport 632; Srividya Ramasubramanian
7. Michael RobbGrieco on Michel Foucault 632; Michael RobbGrieco
8. Gianna Cappello on Theodor Adorno 632; Gianna Cappello
9. Douglas Kellner on Herbert Marcuse 632; Douglas Kellner
10. Henry Jenkins on John Fiske 632; Henry Jenkins
11. Amy Petersen Jensen on Bertolt Brecht 632; Amy Petersen Jensen
12. Donna E. Alvermann on Simone de Beauvoir 632; Donna E. Alvermann
13. Jeremiah Dyehouse on John Dewey 632; Jeremiah Dyehouse
14. Renee Hobbs on Jerome Bruner 632; Renee Hobbs
15. Vanessa Domine on Neil Postman 632; Vanessa Domine
16. Peter Gutierrez on Scott McCloud 632; Peter Gutierrez
17. Susan Moeller on Roland Barthes 632; Susan Moeller
Epilogue 632; Renee Hobbs


About the Author(s)

Renee Hobbs is Professor of Communication Studies at the Harrington School of Communication and Media, at the University of Rhode Island. She is the author of Copyright Clarity: How Fair Use Supports Digital Learning and Reading the Media: Media Literacy in High School English.