Dr. Jennifer Rowsell

Professor (PhD), Canada Research Chair in Multiliteracies, Department of Teacher Education

Available for Graduate Advisement

Jennifer Rowsell

St. Catharines, ON
Office: WH 376
905 688 5550 x6121

My research examines ways of broadening notions of literacy as a multimodal, embodied practice.

Approaching literacy as participatory, design-based, and about social inclusion, my current research initiatives include: partnering professionals in creative arts and design sectors with teachers to teach communicational and literacy skills to K-12 students; using visual methods to conduct longitudinal work with families about their literacy practices; and, research on digital, haptically driven literacy practices.

Hauge, C., Rowsell, J., Raby, R., & Turner, J. (2017). Child and Youth Engagement, Civic Literacies and Digital Ecologies. Social Justice Research Institute Annual Thematic Symposium. Brock University, St. Catharines, ON. October 10-11th 2017.

Given the massive shifts in both communication technologies and political climate that have defined the last decade, we hosted a symposium that explored how these changes affect young people at the local and global level. We proposed that young people are engaging in conversations and actions facilitated by digital networks that significantly impact local and global politics, social environments, and ways of living.  Child and Youth Engagement, Civic Literacies and Digital Ecologies explored these concerns from an interdisciplinary vantage point.

This symposium asked: What new concerns regarding globalization, power, and equity have emerged for scholars working in the traditions of young people’s digital engagements, activism, multiliteracies and The New London Group, given the exponential rise in access to participatory media and the intensive prominence of global networks, flows, and relationships in shaping the lives of young people? How have the concerns laid out by the New London Group and other scholars working in multiliteracies and digital engagements impacted how we make sense of, understand, and support young people doing social justice work in digital networks?

In addition to a photography exhibit by Wendy Ewald and Dr. Peter Vietgen, scholars from Canada and the United States presented on these topics:

  • Participatory methods and research on and with young people
  • The impact of and young people’s relationship to globalization and global activism
  • Young people producing social justice, activist and participatory digital projects
  • The exponential rise in access to participatory media and prominence of global networks, flows and relationships in shaping the lives of young people
  • Issues of multiliteracies, pedagogy, and teaching and learning in the context of global digital networks
  • Social, political and pedagogical issues emerging from global digital youth movements
  • Theoretical concerns that highlight young lives including affect, new materialisms, and relationality
  • Issues of power including gender, race, class, sexuality, ability and location as they manifest in digital literacy, media activism, and other global and/or networked spaces inhabited by young people

For more information, please visit: https://sjrisymposium2017.weebly.com

Digital Literacy Department Editor – The Reading Teacher: http://ila.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/hub/journal/10.1002/(ISSN)1936-2714/

Co-Editor of the Routledge Handbook of Literacy Studies with Dr. Kate Pahl, University of Sheffield: http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415816243

Co-Editor of the Routledge Expanding Literacies in Education Series with Dr. Cynthia Lewis, University of Minnesota:  https://www.routledge.com/education/series/ELIE

Research Coordinator: Jennifer Turner

2017-2021. Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Insight Grant. Maker Literacies. Principal Investigator: Jennifer Rowsell. Maker Literacies aims to shape primary, middle, and high school student learners as makers, bolstering confidence in agentic ways of learning and emphasizing concrete pedagogical strategies to work with multimodality.  Researchers, educators, and professionals will work together to suggest new teaching approaches and ways of understanding and playing with modes (documentary film-making, coding, photography, game design, comic book planning and animation). For more information, please visit: https://www.makerliteracies.com

2017-2020. Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Partnership Development Grant. Reimaging Literacy Education: Being literate in the twenty-first century. Principal Investigator: Linda Laidlaw, University of Alberta; Co-Applicant & Partner: Jennifer Rowsell.

2016 – 2018. European Commission H2020 Programme: Research and Innovation Staff Exchange. Maker Spaces in the Early Years: Enhancing Digital Literacy and Creativity (MakEY). Principal Investigator: Jackie Marsh, University of Sheffield. International Partner: Jennifer Rowsell and larger European Team.

2016 – 2018. Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Insight Development Grant. Poor Kids and the Digital Zoo: What Cultural and Digital Mobilities Exist for Children and Young People in Two Post-Industrial Urban Locations? Principal Investigator: Diane Collier. Co-Investigator: Mia Perry. Collaborator: Jennifer Rowsell

2015 – 2020. Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Partnership Development Grant. 21st Century Literacies: Research and Development of a ‘Cloud Curriculum’. Principal Investigator: Kathy Hibbert, Western University. Co-Applicants & Partners: Bill Cope, Mary Kalantzis, and Jennifer Rowsell.

2014 – 2019. Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Insight Grant. Making/Re-Making Families: A Visual, Longitudinal and Cross-Cultural exploration of Family Practices, Family Photographs, and Stories. Principal Investigator: Andrea Doucet. Co-Investigators: Diane Collier and Jennifer Rowsell.

Authored Book

Pahl, K. & Rowsell, J. (In Process). Living Literacies. Boston, MA: MIT Press.

Edited Book

Kucirkova, N., Rowsell, J., & Falloon, G. (Eds.). (In Preparation). The Routledge International Handbook of Learning with Technology in Early Childhood. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.

Bloome, D., Leung, C, Castanheira, M. L., & Rowsell, J. (Eds.). (In Preparation). Re-Theorizing Literacy Practices: Complex Social and Cultural Contexts. New York, NY: Routledge.

Zaidi, R. & Rowsell, J. (Eds). (2017). Literacy Lives in Transcultural Times. In the Expanding Literacies in Education Series. New York, NY: Routledge.

Journal Special Issues

Doucet, A., Cook, N. & Rowsell, J. (Eds.) (In Preparation). Visual Research and Social Justice. Studies in Social Justice11(2). December 2017.

Abrams, S. S., Rowsell, J., & Merchant, G. (Eds.) (2017). Virtual Convergence: Creating Synergies between Research on Virtual Worlds and Videogames. Teachers College Record, 119(11). November 2017.

Kuby, C., & Rowsell, J. (Eds.) (2017). Early Literacy and the Posthuman: Pedagogies and Methodologies. The Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, 17(3), 285-462.

Rowsell, J. (Ed.) (2017). The Art and Craft of Literacy Pedagogy: Profiling Community Arts Zone. Pedagogies: An International Journal, 12(1), 1-143.

Journal Articles

Leander, K. M., Aziz, S., Botsakis, S., Ehret, C., Landry, D., & Rowsell, J. (2017). Integrative research review: Readings and experiences of multimodality. Literacy Research: Theory, Method, and Practice, 65(1). Published online first. DOI: 10.1177/2381336917719247

Dénommé-Welch, S. & Rowsell, J. (2017). Epistemologies of silence. Brock Education Journal, 27(1), 3-9.

Griffin, S., Rowsell, J., Winters, K. L., Vietgen, P., McLauchlan, D., McQueen-Fuentes, G. (2017). A Reason to Respond: Finding Agency through the Arts. International Journal of Education and the Arts, 18(25), 1-24.

Rowsell, J., Morrell, E., & Alvermann, D. (2017). Confronting the Digital Divide: Debunking Brave New World Discourses. The Reading Teacher, 71(2), 157-165.

Rowsell, J. (2017). Passing Through: Reflecting on the Journey through Community Arts Zone. Pedagogies: An International Journal, 12(1), 1-3.

Rowsell, J., & McQueen-Fuentes, G. (2017). Moving Parts in Imagined Spaces: Community Arts Zone’s Movement Project. Pedagogies: An International Journal, 12(1), 74-89.

Rowsell, J. & Vietgen, P. (2017). Embracing the Unknown in Community Arts Zone Visual Arts. Pedagogies: An International Journal, 12(1), 90-107.

Rowsell, J., & Wohlwend, K. E. (2016). Free Play or Tight Spaces? Mapping Participatory Literacies in Apps. The Reading Teacher, 70(2), 197-205.

Rowsell, J., Burke, A., Flewitt, R., Liao, H-T., Lin, A., Marsh, J., Mills, K., Prinsloo, M., Rowe, D., & Wohlwend, K. (2016). Humanizing digital literacies: A road trip in search of wisdom and insight. Digital Literacy Column. The Reading Teacher, 70(1), 121-129.