Beyond Literacy: Exploring a Post-Literate Future


This course will explore the nature of literacy and the possibility of a “post-literate” future.

The rise of literacy (reading and writing) was transformational not only for how we communicate and preserve ideas but also for how we think. However, as a literate people we have difficulty imagining both the oral cultures that preceded us (and still exist in other cultures) as well as the possibility of something beyond literacy.

This course will explore the nature of oral cultures, the transformations enabled by literacy and speculate about the concept of rich human communication beyond traditional literacy (e.g. “post-literacy”) that might evolve from advances in computing, biotechnology or other, as yet unimagined, developments.

Students will examine and enhance their learning skills through a series of assignments and in-class activities. These skills will be applied in the exploration of literacy and the future of literacy as part of research investigations and class discussions. The course focuses on the development of both individual skills and team based learning.

The seminar aims to engage students in a way that will significant enhance their success as students as they progress through their program. It will also reinforce the foundations of lifelong learning.