Writing and Language Studies Faculty Publications and Presentations

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Precarious Citizenship: Ambivalence, Literacy and Prisoner Reentry examines the role of literacy in the experiences of formerly incarcerated people as they navigate the process of reentry into mainstream citizenry. I argue that the unsustainability of mass incarceration has created uncertainty about the place of formerly incarcerated people in the democratic imaginary, opening for debate who deserves to participate in civic life. In response, higher education is increasingly being called upon to address the precarious citizenship of formerly incarcerated people and, I argue, serves to credential formerly incarcerated people not only for future employment but for inclusion in social life. The literacy narratives these individuals tell, however, are marked by an ambivalence toward the power of literacy as a mechanism for inclusion, as well as an ambivalence toward mainstream inclusion itself.


Copyright (c) 2023 Maggie Shelledy

Publication Title

Literacy in Composition Studies





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