This article problematizes the place of critical literacies (CLs) in contemporary language education. In doing so, we ask: Where do we place critique within the curriculum in neoconservative times? What is left to teachers in their commitment to educate critical citizens? Do critical literacies suffice? To respond to these questions, we bring a set of contemporary snapshots, unveiling all the anguish brought up by the complex politics of “us” versus “them”. Some understandings of CLs within the field are then reviewed, preparing the terrain for the reading of ourselves in relation to our theories and practices. To (in)conclude, we outline a few orientations which seek to relocate CLs beyond the dichotomic view of the micro versus macro as a formative strategy in dealing with our frustrations in such dark times.
Critical Literacies; language education; politics; teacher education