Gudrun Marci-Boehncke

Gudrun Marci-Boehncke

It is generally assumed that the new digital media foster global participatory cultures, in which users are also producers (the “ProdUser”, Axel Bruns). I would like to discuss the extent to which this has actually happened by focusing on the case of literary culture. Has digitization indeed helped to establish a global market for children’s literature? And what impact does literary education have on the global community? I will first question the extent to which technical preconditions for global participation have indeed been met. I will then criticize the ways in which (higher) education erects barriers to full participation in the digital world. Thirdly, I will take political strictures into account. Censorship still imposes serious restrictions on global media markets, as we can observe in Russia, China and, recently, even in Hungary. In conclusion, I will discuss some best practices in using the new digital media for creating a new type of participatory, global literary education, that manage to transcend the substantial restrictions discussed. I will argue all throughout this paper that digital media do not necessarily pose a threat to, but actually open up new opportunities for, the acquisition of reading skills and literary competence in an increasingly transnational, transcultural world.

Gudrun Marci-Boehncke is professor of modern German literature, with a special interest in the acquisition of reading skills and media competence, at the Technical University of Dortmund, Germany. She has published widely on the acquisition of literary competence in relation to media competence from early childhood to adolescence. She also focuses on the perspectives and potentials of professionals like teachers and librarians. She is director of the Research Centre Youth – Media – Education, and a member of many different (inter-)national scientific organizations, ranging from communication research and media pedagogies to the didactics of children’s literature.

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