Issues in Community Literacy
In this reflection, using the work of Ellen Cushman and Paula Mathieu as a framework from which to extend, I explore how my positionality as a grad- uate student affected my experience wading into community-engaged litera- cy work. Specifically, I reflect on my time with a nonprofit organization that provides no-cost legal support and safety planning for survivors of intimate partner violence, sexual assault, and harassment. Indeed, because of the ethi- cal imperatives that thoughtful community-engaged research requires—such as reciprocity and a tactical orientation—many graduate students find them- selves occupying a precarious position. I assert that, yes, we must realize the precarious nature of graduate students doing community-engaged literacy research. However, we can also turn to useful approaches, such as tactical re- sponsivity, to help us navigate these relationships with community partners.
McCool, Megan. “When Tactical Hope Doesn’t Feel Like Enough:A Graduate Student’s Reflection on Precarityand Community-Engaged Research.” Community Literacy Journal, vol. 14, no. 2, 2020. pp. 138-143. doi:10.25148/14.2.009041.