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Critical perspectives from sunny Savannah

We recently attended the 7th Annual International Critical Media Literacy conference in Savannah, Georgia. A small, but powerful event that brings together educators and activists from diverse fields including education, English, TESL, communications/media, and librarians, to name but a few.

There were two librarians presenting this year - one more than last year! And there is definitely room for more. A critical information literacy (#critlib) approach would bring much to the critical media literacy conversation. Our chapter on this very topic was recently published in Angela Pashia and Jessica Critten’s collection Critical Approaches to Credit-Bearing Information Literacy Courses.

The conference was expanded to two full days this year, thanks to the hard work of William Reynolds and Georgia Southern University, as well as The Action Coalition for Media Education. This provided for two keynote speakers, in addition to more opportunities to learn from one another. A great example was Jeff Share’s closing session that brought a more informal, participatory dynamic, where the group could freely exchange ideas, closing thoughts, and comments for future directions. Two days also ensured we could enjoy the decidedly warmer weather of Georgia, which was about a 40 degree improvement on Illinois.

We had the honor of coordinating a panel discussing practical classroom approaches to media and information literacy, participating with Ralph Beliveau, Julie Frechette, and Jeff Share. No one will be surprised to hear that they had thoughtful and incisive comments to make on the topic.

If you missed the conference, sometime in the next few weeks you can browse the contents on the ICML website. The call for papers usually goes out in October/November every year.

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