In this talk, Adam Banks, Professor of Writing Rhetoric and Digital Studies at the University of Kentucky, will consider Stevie Wonder’s exploration of technologies in his pursuit of artistic independence from Motown in the early 1970s as an invocation and deployment of the Talking Book, a trope of literacy for freedom emerging from Black oral traditions. He will argue that the Talking Book offers educators and community builders a framework for a critical digital literacy that helps us understand contemporary African American engagements with technologies like Twitter and can inform work with technologies in schools and community spaces.
Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, and educated in the Cleveland Public Schools, Adam Banks received his BA in English from Cleveland State University, and his MA and PhD both in English from Penn State University. Professor Banks is currently Professor of Writing, Rhetoric, and Digital Studies (WRD) at the University of Kentucky, where he teaches courses in African American Rhetoric, digital rhetorics, community literacy, and rhetoric and composition theory. He is also the Director of WRD for 2013-14. Previously, he has been Associate Professor of Writing and Rhetoric in Syracuse University’s Writing Program. He is the author of the award-winning Race, Rhetoric, and Technology: Searching for Higher Ground, a book challenging teachers and scholars in writing and technology fields to explore the depths of Black traditions more thoroughly and calling African Americans to make technology a central area for struggle. His second book, Digital Griots: African American Rhetoric in a Multimedia Age, was released by Southern Illinois University Press’s Studies in Writing and Rhetoric series.
Click HERE for Adam Banks’ faculty page.
Click HERE for Adam Banks’ website.