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Literacy As Snake Oil : Beyond the Quick Fix (New Literacies and Digital Epistemologies, Vol. 1)


reviewed by Julie Nora — 2003

coverTitle: Literacy As Snake Oil : Beyond the Quick Fix (New Literacies and Digital Epistemologies, Vol. 1)
Author(s): Joanne Larson (Editor)
Publisher: Peter Lang Publishing, New York
ISBN: 0820450219, Pages: 160, Year: 2002
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Literacy as Snake Oil: Beyond the Quick Fix kicks off the series New Literacies and Digital Epistemologies , a series which aims to “contribute to the struggle to understand and develop effective principles and responses to deep and far-reaching social, economic, political, and technological changes since the 1950s” (introduction).  General editors of the series are Colin Lankshear, Michele Knobel, Chris Bigum, and Michael Peters.  The volume represents a good beginning to reaching that goal.   The title of this volume returns us to the 1800s, when the drug industry in the United States flourished, with medicines being mass-produced and marketed for the first time.  At this time, medicines were sold in traveling circus-like shows, and often claimed to cure everything from the most benign to the gravest ailments.  While some medicines had real medicinal value, some were just hard liquor labeled as medicine.  Others were laced with toxic ingredients.  It was difficult for patients to tell which medicines were good and which were useless or even dangerous, as many medicines... (preview truncated at 150 words.)


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 105 Number 1, 2003, p. 27-30
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 10932, Date Accessed: 12/18/2017 1:40:17 PM

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About the Author
  • Julie Nora
    Education Alliance, Brown University
    E-mail Author
    JULIE NORA currently works at the Education Alliance at Brown University. Her work focuses primarily on bilingual education and the education of linguistic and culturally diverse students. She has taught ESOL at middle school, university, and adult education levels in California and Rhode Island. Her research interests include socio-cultural contexts of learning and language development.
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