Call for Papers for a Special Issue: The Interplay of Textual and Interactional Resources in Collective Literacy Practices in Nordic Classrooms


Nordic Journal of Literacy Research


Call for Papers for a Special Issue


The Interplay of Textual and Interactional Resources
in Collective Literacy Practices in Nordic Classrooms




Reviews of Nordic Journal of Literacy Research

Submission Deadline for Proposals: January 15, 2016

Submission Deadline for Papers: May 30, 2016


Guest Editors

Carina Hermansson, Umeå University, Sweden

Eva Hultin, Dalarna University, Sweden

Marie Tanner, Karlstad University, Sweden


NJLR Editors

Atle Skaftun, Oddny Judith Solheim and Per Henning Uppstad



In this special issue of the Nordic Journal of Literacy Research, the focus is directed toward interactional conditions in the classroom in relation to literacy practices in schools. More precisely, we invite contributions investigating the quality and the complexity of conditions for participation in different collective reading and writing practices in schools. Three possible points of departure for this issue are: 1) the examination of different ways that classroom communication can become a resource in collective text work; 2) conversely, the investigation of how different kinds of texts become resources for classroom interaction; and 3) the understanding of interactional conditions, foregrounding how different classroom resources work together in a process of mutual ongoing transformation. The overall aim of this special issue is, therefore, to highlight, from diverse theoretical perspectives andmethodological approaches, the dynamic interplay between texts and interaction in teachers’ and students’ collective work in their everyday social practices in classrooms.


It is particularly timely for educational literacy research to address this theme from both societal and literacy research perspectives. There is a societal consensus, in democratic countries all over the world, on the importance of young people acquiring literacy skills and competences in order to be able to participate in working life and in democratic life as adults, a consensus expressed, for instance, in educational documents such as national curricula and syllabi and transnational educational programs. However, in recent decades, these societal literacy aspirations have been engulfed by a global educational discourse stressing the need for accountability through testing in order to secure the realization of educational goals (Ball, 2012; Hursh, 2007). The attention that international tests such as PISA and PIRLS receive in research and mass media can be understood as examples of the impact of this educational discourse in these areas. Test results have become important currencies in the global competition between nations in a new knowledge economy. In this discourse, the individual and his/her accomplishments and results are foregrounded while collective cooperation is backgrounded.


However, the emphasis on students’ individual literacy acquisition is in many ways in opposition to 30 years of research that has established the fundamentally social foundations of literacy (Brice Heath 1983; Street 2005; Barton 1994; Haas Dyson 1997; among others). Primarily drawing on socio-cultural understandings of literacy and learning, this research emphasizes communicative and social uses of literacy against a backdrop of a changing media landscape. These aspects are salient not least in schools, which, as a basic feature, are characterized by learning situations in a socially diverse and rich environment.


We, the Guest Editors of the Nordic Journal of Literacy Research, believe that a special issue of NJLR comprised of research that explores interactional conditions through the analysis of different aspects of collective literacy events in different schools’ literacy practices has the potential to make an important contribution to the literature.  This is the case both for describing and exploring contemporary literacy practices in school and for providing a platform for the future development of the field. The prospective contributions may take a variety of methodological approaches that recognize the broad range of different kinds of texts that come into play as traditional school literacies are partly transformed and challenged in interaction with various human and non-human factors; for example, when new forms of media work their way into the classroom (Lankshear & Knobel, 2011). Such an issue will have value to scholars of literacy seeking to come to terms with the scope and diversity of the field.




We therefore invite contributions to a special issue of NJLR comprised of research on interactional conditions in collective literacy activities in classrooms. Our particular interest is in studies that offer interpretations of and challenges to existing types of literacy research in Nordic classrooms. Such studies will not only reflect the current state of the field, but will also have the potential to stimulate and guide future research efforts.


With this initiative, we encourage submissions that offer illumination of and insight into literacy concepts, literacy practices, and/or methodological streams. To foster coherence within the field, papers would address literacy practices as heterogeneous and plural phenomena which are socially, culturally and historically situated.


Submission process and deadlines

The broad scope of this special issue will require the editorial team to assume a processual role. To this end we encourage prospective contributors to submit an abstract to guest editors by January 15, 2016. Abstracts should be a maximum of 500 words single spacing, excluding references, and not less than 12-point font. The guest editors will then provide feedback on the abstract. We strongly encourage contributors to use the abstract process; however, we will consider papers that are submitted without being preceded by an abstract.


Send full paper submission to the guest editors by email to The deadline for full paper submissions is May 30, 2016 (see Authors guidelines

You will get feedback from the guest editors before submission to for independent double blind review. The deadline for online submission is May 30, 2016 ( Publication will be in September 2016.


For questions about submission to the special issue, contact the NJLR editorial team: Atle Skaftun,; Oddny Judith Solheim, and Per Henning Uppstad,