Book Review

Stephen Apkon's The Age of the Image: Redefining Literacy in a World of Screens (2013)

Estefany Palacio

The Age of the Image: Redefining Literacy in a World of Screens. By Stephen Apkon. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2013. 263 pp. $15.00 (paper)

The videos below present a review of Stephen Apkon's The Age of the Image: Redefining Literacy in a World of Screens. Apkon takes the reader on a comprehensive path of understanding the evolution of literacy from its beginnings in written communication up to its current state with visuals and digital content as literacy is being redefined by the new forms of media that are taking over communication practices. The book is presented in eight chapters, beginning with historical background about the evolution of communication practices, literacy, and audience, including our interaction with content and content creation platforms; the presence (or lack thereof) of technology and visual literacy in our classrooms; and the future of education with digital technologies. Apkon shares his vision by providing historical context related to the status of literacy's evolution, and scientific information on how audience's minds respond to visual content, along with a comprehensive "grammar" guide to creating successful visuals. This book was written in order to present an approachable and relatable view of literacy as influenced by new media, and argues that a redefinition of literacy will benefit society, especially younger generations who are beginning to interact with visual media as a form of writing. Apkon's book is a guide to understanding the different elements that surround individuals' interaction with "written" content, both as audience members and authors, regardless of the medium, making it a great read for students of rhetoric, film, and photography.

Book Review Part 1


Book Review Part 2


Book Review Part 3


Link to recording transcript


Apkon, Stephen. (2013). The age of the image: Redefining literacy in a world of screens. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

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Serafini, Frank, & Gee, Elisabeth. (2017). Remixing multiliteracies: Theory and practice from New London to New Times. New York: Teachers College Press.