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Invited plenary talk for the Graduate School of Education Annual Research Conference: The Edwardian Postcard: how studying a revolutionary social networking literacy practice of the early twentieth century can illuminate contemporary research

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk


The Edwardian Postcard is a revelatory area of literacy research. Historically, research into writing practices has tended to concentrate on the literary productions and the records of the elite. Contemporary research into social media practices in contrast celebrates the potential value of examining everyday communications, in relation to issues such as informal learning and performance of identity. The Edwardian Postcard was experienced in its time as a revolutionary communicative tool, being extremely fast (with several deliveries a day), cheap and with new multimodal affordances. I will explain how this practice had much in common with contemporary social media and how we can use it to interrogate issues such as public/private communications; relations between communications technologies; multimodal writing practices and, above all, methodologies and principles of literacy research.

External organisation (External collaborations)

NameThe University of Exeter