Decolonising Literacy

Date: 18 Nov 2020
Time: 1:00pm - 3:00pm

Event Type: Webinar

4th Brian Street Memorial Event

18th November, 2020; 1pm-3pm GMT


Literacy has been dominantly framed as an inescapable prerequisite for individuals and communities to develop, progress and modernise. Resources and policy responses, often coming from and modelled on approaches in countries of the Global North, have consequently been dedicated to the ‘literacy challenge’ in the Global South. Scant recognition of rural/urban differences has also had a major impact on adult literacy engagement.

Brian Street’s pioneering work on literacy as a social practice challenged the assumption that reading and writing are neutral skills, offering a lens to explore the transfer, imposition and/or resistance of literacy ideologies and values from one (dominant) culture to another.

For the fourth Brian Street Memorial Event, we invite academics, policy-makers and practitioners to engage in a conversation on decolonising literacy research, teaching and practice. Taking ‘decolonising literacy’ as our starting point, we explore some of the questions raised by Brian Street around power, voice, identity and literacy: ‘Where are people going if they take on one literacy rather than another literacy? How do you challenge the dominant conceptions of literacy?’ (Street, 2001:9)


 This event is co-hosted by BALID (British Association for Literacy and Development) and the UNESCO Chair in Adult Literacy and Learning for Social Transformation at the University of East Anglia