Transient Literacies in Action: Composing with the Mobile Surround

  • Literacy, Digital Research, Student Writing, Technology, Pedagogy

By Stacey Pigg
Copy edited by Don Donahue. Cover design by Than Saffel. Book design by Mike Palmquist.

CoverDrawing on qualitative fieldwork across a coffeehouse and learning commons, Transient Literacies in Action traces how 22 writers practice transient literacies with their phones and laptops while engaging in composing activities that range from seminar papers to amateur video game production. Reading across these cases, the book offers a glimpse into how composers navigate complicated atmospheres of ambient sociability, in which they integrate multiple social channels simultaneously by monitoring, participating in, and disengaging from social contact. Their movements to navigate intersecting social resources, in turn, produce new models of attention that depart from linear, hierarchical models. Based on this phenomenological insight into contemporary composing experience, the book concludes by arguing for more emphasis on embodied movements and orientations to supplement popular metacognitive approaches to writing learning.

Table of Contents

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Front Matter


Chapter 1. Introducing Transient Literacies in Action

Chapter 2. Sharing Resources in Places We Move Through

Chapter 3. Orienting to the Mobile Surround

Chapter 4. Composing Social Potential: Ambient Sociability and Mediated Contact

Chapter 5. Attention as a Thing Composed

Chapter 6. Conclusion – Reorienting to the Realities of Mobile Composing



About the Author

Stacey Pigg is Associate Professor and the Director of the Professional Writing Program at North Carolina State University, where she researches digital and networked writing practices that shape work, learning, and engagement. She teaches courses in rhetoric, professional communication, and digital writing and is a core faculty member in NC State's Communication, Rhetoric, and Digital Media Ph.D. program. Her scholarship has been published in journals such as College Composition and Communication, Computers and Writing, IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication, Rhetoric Society Quarterly, Technical Communication, Technical Communication Quarterly, and Written Communication. Her scholarship has received a Nell Ann Pickett award for best article in Technical Communication Quarterly, as well as a NEH Summer Stipend.

Publication Information: Pigg, Stacey. (2020). Transient Literacies in Action: Composing with the Mobile Surround. #writing. The WAC Clearinghouse; University Press of Colorado.

Online Publication Date: August 19, 2020
Print Publication Date: January 2021

ISBN: 978-1-64215-101-5 (PDF) | 978-1-64215-102-2 (ePub) | 978-1-64642-144-2 (pbk.)
DOI: 10.37514/WRI-B.2020.1015

Contact Information:
Stacey Pigg:


Series Editor: Cheryl E. Ball, Wayne State University

Acrobat Reader DownloadThis book is available in whole and in part in Adobe's Portable Document Format (PDF). is also available in a low-cost print edition from our publishing partner, the University Press of Colorado.

Copyright © 2020 Stacey Pigg. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License. 188 pages, with notes, illustrations, and bibliography. Available in print direct from University Press of Colorado, or at any online or brick-and-mortar bookstore. Available in digital format for no charge on this page at the WAC Clearinghouse. You may view this book. You may print personal copies of this book. You may link to this page. You may not reproduce this book on another website.