“This Meeting at This Tree”: Reimagining the Town Hall Session Journal Article uri icon



  • Much of the language at academic conferences is purely metaphorical, so it is important to understand the cultural–historical significance of the metaphors used in constructing organizational gatherings, especially the metaphor invoked by the town hall meeting. Town halls/meetings were spaces where members gathered for democratic rule in a particular geopolitical space that was stolen, settled, and colonized. They often excluded women, indigenous people, and people of color. In using this name, then, Literacy Research Association (LRA) engages in settler colonialism in as far as it is considered townish and aspires to recreate the metaphorical essence of town meetings. However, the historic interconnectedness of LRA, the town hall, and settler colonialism can be upended. In fact, LRA can reimagine the entire concept of the town hall and create new metaphors upon which to base the gatherings. This article departs from the idea of the town hall, and it also departs from the traditional structure of academic papers. Specifically, this article highlights position statements written by five scholars who embody numerous social and individual identities. In each statement, the scholars discuss their ideas for the future of LRA—their concerns and their hopes. Additionally, the article includes symbolic sketches of LRA members to represent the people who are often muted within the organization. Essentially, we, the authors, begin an imagining process as we speculate on what LRA meetings can look like when marginalized voices speak out not only about their questions and concerns but also about their solutions.

publication date

  • November 1, 2019

has restriction

  • bronze

Date in CU Experts

  • October 21, 2020 4:17 AM

Full Author List

  • Toliver SR; Jones SP; Jiménez L; Player G; Rumenapp JC; Munoz J

author count

  • 6

Other Profiles

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 2381-3369

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2381-3377

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 45

end page

  • 63


  • 68


  • 1