Azure Stewart

azureDegrees: Communications – Digital Media, BA, CSU Sacramento, 2005
Education – Instructional Technology, MA, San Francisco State University, 2007
Education – Teaching and Learning, Ph.D. Candidate, UC Santa Barbara

Program of Study: Teaching and Learning, Ph.D. Candidate, University of California, Santa Barbara

Research Interests: The emergence of the 21st century has created the demand for collaborative work amongst actors (students and teachers) in and through different contexts. As a result, literacy cannot be considered as a skill, but as social practice in that reading and writing are situationally specific. This process of constructing situationally specific literacies creates an ideological view (Street 1984) of literacy in that there are particular epistemological perspectives that are required to engage in actions of learning to read and write within a discipline. Thus, literacy, from this perspective, is a socially constructed and situated process in that members of particular groups construct historical ideologies and grounded communicative practices (Cook-Gumperz 1986; 2006) that define what counts as literacy.

Drawing on interactional ethnography (Green, J. L., Dixon, C. & Zaharlick, A. 2003), I’m undertaking an ethnographic analysis of a History of Opera course for non- majors. Specifically, the purpose of this study is to examine the academic literacies of a History of Opera course for non-majors. In particular, I am exploring the social practices that are context specific; the particular ways of knowing, being and doing of musicology as an academic discipline. These social practices include particular demands for engaging in ways of learning, reading, and writing of texts (oral and written). Therefore, I am examining discursive events to uncover the demands for students to become academically literate in a non-majors course. The following are overarching questions of the dissertation: 1) What are the proposed and required literate practices of students in a non-major’s History of Opera Course taught by a Musicologist? 2) What are these practices in a non-majors class? 3) How, and in what ways, did the instructor’s discourse make visible ways of acknowledging, working, and adapting to, and recognizing, students’ background knowledge of music or related disciplines, 4) How and in what ways does the instructor construct opportunities for learning to be literate for non-majors?