It is a stretch from Hodges' model to the visual literacies that allow visual culture to be read, theorised and practised through "writing, letters, graphic novel, storytelling" and yet I'm sure there is a connection.
In 2012 I was able to attend a workshop on visual methodologies in Newcastle (UK). The speakers there took me out of my comfort zone; children's drawings, video, self-generated data, photographs. How much of health (digital, ...) literacy is visual? That preceding sentence itself bears closer examination. Is this a legitimate question? What do how and much mean in this context? What is the measure that provides the much? Where are the values? These may be initially intangible but social media and the portrayal of images, files, dialogue, what is personal and confidential could suddenly undermine values. What of the outcomes and the dependencies between literacy forms that can confound us? How are we to respond to critics of the many literacies that are proposed?
In health and social care dementia can amount to storytelling by proxy, but this is subtraction. Taking away, diminishing identity while also acknowledging the need to assure individual stories and narratives. There is a need to try to anchor identity in an accessible form across the senses and media. So much of health and social care is invisible: knowledge lies and is found in all its forms. It may be fragmented and fragmentary. Practitioners seek to illuminate. The matter of where, when, why and how to cast the light. Increasingly the patient must navigate their own course, be independent in their illness. Even if vision is physically limited, visual literacy is still demanded. The unique, personal sense of seeing. Policy dictates people see, the sick see and they recover through self-care, coping strategies, personal resources.
Concepts are increasingly a visual currency; reflection, reflective practice, the exchange of ideas across disciplines and much more. What is very interesting in this call is the invitation for cross-over presentations. Looking back to the 2012 workshop I am reminded about the frequent lack of overarching ideas or theory to encompass things like health communication or literacies.
Does this matter?
Jones, P. (1996). An overarching theory of health communication? Health Informatics Journal, March, 2:(1), 28-34. http://jhi.sagepub.com/content/2/1/28.abstract
(My source: Inter-Disciplinary.Net )
Call for Participation 2016
Wednesday 6th July – Friday 8th July 2016
Mansfield College, Oxford
Concepts like picture, visual art, and realism circulate in newspapers, galleries, and museums as if they were as obvious and natural as words like dog, cat, and goldfish. – James Elkins
~ Is there such a thing as visual literacy in your experience and/or discipline?
~What are the current debates in your experience and field?
~What are the various elements that are a part of visual literacy in your experience?
~What are the modes and nodes of interdisciplinary connections to visual literacy in your field?
~How will the concept of visual literacy be described in the next decade in your discipline?
~What are the forms of representation and realization of visual literacy in your field?
~What are the current debates and issues around the notion of ‘practice’ in your field?
~What are the current ‘tools, approaches and applications’ of visual literacy in your field?
~What are the current interdisciplinary connections to the ‘tools, approaches and applications’ of visual literacy in your field?
~What are the ‘insiders views’ visual literacy? (That is from the perspective of artists, taggers, digital natives, digital or visual immigrants)
~What are the modes of visual literacy analysis in your field?
~What are the ‘tools’ of visual literacy analysis in your field?
~What are the current debates around analysis in your field?
~What are the current debates and forms of analysis in the areas of art history, fine arts, creative arts, multimodality, cinema, television, drama and IT?
Visualities Research Group, Newcastle Univ.