Sue - thank you for a very engaging lecture; you really made me stop and think several times. 7,000 years of no writing? Aboriginals sending YouTube videos to communicate. Tribes that exist without writing and reading - really forced me to reconsider my definition of transliteracy.
If we include signing, then that is an area where I am not literate. I taught a student whose parents were both deaf. This student's first language was signing. When she wrote, she would often neglect to include connecting words like 'the' because they don't exist in signing.
I would consider myself only marginally transliterate. I can read and write in English; I speak only English (some very limited highschool French and enough Spanish to say hello and order a beer at the resort!). I recently learned to include audio and images in my writing through the use of i-movie and felt I had significantly grown in my literacy skills. It has actually opened a whole new door leading to numerous ideas for 'literary' projects (after I get through this masters!)
We do tend to think of transliteracy as our ability to read, write and to use new media (computers, cell phones) but perhaps it has made us smug and to forget the value of previous literacies.
Maybe this is silly, but I was wondering if you would include intuition as a form of literacy?
I have often felt that I need to sharpen my skills in listening to my intuition. As an example, I can think of many instances when I forgot to bring something with me to work; when I arrived at work I would discover I forgot the item and then I would realize that the nagging 'something' that I ignored on my way out the door was trying to remind me but I ignored it.
Some people would argue this was a default of my brain at that moment, in that it was not bringing a memory forward. Others would argue about the source of the "intuition."
Either way, is it possible that 'intuition' is a literacy we have lost touch with because we have become so dependent on language and writing?