News Releases
California State University, Sacramento

Posted: September 27, 1999

Conference to Explore Literacy in Modern America

Reading and writing just aren't enough anymore.

For modern Americans to be literate, says CSUS English professor Sheree Meyer, they must understand television and other media, be able to access electronic information, and recognize differences in cultures.

To explore how college professors are meeting this challenge, Meyer has organized the state's first "multiple literacies" conference. The two-day event will be Friday Oct. 22 and Saturday, Oct. 23 at California State University, Sacramento's University Union.

"Our understanding of literacy has expanded dramatically, to include ever more complicated sets of skills," explains Meyer. "For instance, we are being inundated with new tools for accessing information, and we have plenty of students who can use the technology. But they don't necessarily know how to critically assess the information and use it."

The conference's keynote address will be at noon, Saturday by San Francisco State University professor Kate Kinsella, who specializes in education for diverse student bodies.

Other presentations by faculty and students from throughout the CSU system will be on such topics as environmental literacy, the Internet's impact on higher education, information competence, and community technology partnerships. There will even be a session on "oral signatures," in which participants will sing and recite poetry as they examine one type of literacy that has been vital in numerous cultures.

Registration is $40 and $50 after Oct. 15. Registration for only the Saturday luncheon and keynote address is $20. More information is available by contacting Sheree Meyer at (916) 278-6431 or, or by visiting


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