Now a University-wide program, Literacy Studies originated in 2004 as a working group of the Humanities Institute. Led by Harvey J. Graff (English and History) with colleagues from across the College of Arts and Sciences and professional schools, the aim is to expand awareness, encourage study, and promote research through a variety of events, initiatives, and working group activities, from the lecture series and other public forums to the Graduate Interdisciplinary Specialization in Literacy Studies, History of the Book, and the Interdisciplinary Seminar in Literacy Studies for graduate students.

2016-2017 Lecture Series


ANDREW HACKER, on the math myth, Friday, September 16, 2016, 12:00 noon, Cockins Hall 240

Andrew Hacker, Professor Emeritus at Queens College, CUNY, is a political scientist and public intellectual. His 2012 New York Times op-ed questioning mathematics requirements led to The Math Myth and Other STEM Delusions (2016). His visit is co-sponsored by the Department of Mathematics and the College of Education and Human Ecology.

FREDRIK TYDAL, on books as “weapons in the war of ideas,” Thursday, October 6, 2016, 4:00 p.m., 090 Eighteenth Avenue Library

Fredrik Tydal, post-doctoral fellow at University of Virginia, Charlottesville, received his Ph.D. at Uppsala University, Sweden. He will talk about the Armed Services Editions, paperback books printed by the Council on Books in Wartime for distribution within the American military during World War II. His visit is co-sponsored by Project Narrative, Department of English.

KOLLEEN GUY, on teaching cultural history as history of literacy, Monday, October 31, 2016, 3:30 p.m., 311 Denney Hall

Kolleen Guy is Associate Professor of History at University of Texas, San Antonio. Her area of specialization is modern European political and social history. Guy teaches European cultural history through a history of literacy. Her talk will explore an experiment in service learning with literacy as the object of service in a course on cultural history. 

KATE VIEIRA, on immigrant literacies, March 30, 2016, 4:00 p.m. 311 Denney Hall

Kate Vieira is Assistant Professor of English, Composition and Rhetoric at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and author of American by Paper: How Documents Matter in Immigrant Literacy (2016). Her research focuses on the social history of literacy and migration. She will talk about how migrants experience literacy.

For more information about these and other events, open the LiteracyStudies@OSU calendar.

Interdisciplinary Seminar in Literacy Studies

Cross- and interdisciplinary activities and relationships play an important role in the experiences of students whose academic interests, research plans, or professional goals involve or concern literacy. The Interdisciplinary Seminar in Literacy Studies for graduate students, or GradSem as it has come to be known, formed in 2005 to meet this objective. The GradSem includes students at every stage of study from across the University who meet monthly for lunch and a student-organized program and discussion. For more information about the GradSem, contact Michael Harwick at

Graduate Interdisciplinary Specialization in Literacy Studies

Similar to a graduate-level minor, the Graduate Interdisciplinary Specialization in Literacy Studies curriculum involves the perspective of multiple disciplines. The goals and opportunities include studying the acquisition, uses, practices, and consequences of literacy, and its place in relation to other modes of communication. The principal courses are Introduction to Graduate Studies in Literacy and History of Literacy.

For more information, visit LiteracyStudies@OSU.