Literacy Studies formed in 2004 as an interdisciplinary working group of the Humanities Institute, under the direction of Harvey J. Graff, Ohio Eminent Scholar in Literacy Studies and Professor of English and History. The intent was to foster a campus-wide conversation and collaborative investigation into the nature of literacy, bringing together historical, contextual, comparative, and critical perspectives and modes of understanding.

The group began its work by inviting distinguished scholars of literacy to share their insights and ideas. They also organized cross-disciplinary forums around central questions, such as the roles of literacy in science and health. The aim overall was to explore ideas about and approaches to literacy and literacy studies at The Ohio State University, where interests and strengths range widely. These initial efforts kindled new institutional and intellectual relationships between different disciplinary clusters and their faculty, staff, and students, from the arts, humanities, and sciences, to education, medicine, engineering, and law.

LiteracyStudies@OSU, now a University-wide initiative supported by the College of Arts and Sciences, the Humanities Institute, and the Department of English, is recognized nationally and internationally as a model of interdisciplinary program development. 


LiteracyStudies@OSU initiatives are the result of shared interests and collaborative efforts. The goal is to enable conversation and cooperation across departments, across campus, and beyond. Participation is helping to increase awareness of the complexities of literacy in diverse media and cultural contexts. The dialogue also gives rise to new initiatives and activities, such as the new Literacy in Translation Series.