Transnational Literacy Autobiographies as Translingual Writing  book cover
1st Edition

Transnational Literacy Autobiographies as Translingual Writing

ISBN 9780367201838
Published July 16, 2019 by Routledge
290 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

The literacy autobiography is a personal narrative reflecting on how one’s experiences of spoken and written words have contributed to their ongoing relationship with language and literacy. Transnational Literacy Autobiographies as Translingual Writing is a cutting-edge study of this engaging genre of writing in academic and professional contexts.

In this state-of-the-art collection, Suresh Canagarajah brings together 11 samples of writing by students that both document their literary journeys and pinpoint the seminal works affecting their development as translingual readers and writers. Integrating the narrative of the author, which is written as his own literacy autobiography, with a close analysis of these texts, this book:

  • presents a case for the literacy autobiography as an archetypal genre that prepares writers for the conventions and processes required in other genres of writing;
  • demonstrates the serious epistemological and rhetorical implications behind the genre of literacy autobiography among migrant scholars and students;
  • effectively translates theoretical publications on language diversity for classroom purposes, providing a transferable teaching approach to translingual writing;
  • analyzes the tropes of transnational writers and their craft in "meshing" translingual resources in their writing;
  • demonstrates how transnationalism and translingualism are interconnected, guiding readers toward an understanding of codemeshing not as a cosmetic addition to texts but motivated toward resolving inescapable personal and social dilemmas.

Written and edited by one of the most highly regarded linguists of his generation, this book is key reading for scholars and students of applied linguistics, TESOL, and literacy studies, as well as tutors of writing and composition worldwide.

Table of Contents


Part I: கற்பனை: An invitation

Part I preface

Chapter 1: Literacy Autobiographies in Transnational Space

Chapter 2: The Shaping of Literacy Autobiographies

Chapter 3: Emergence of the Translingual Subject

Chapter 4: Negotiation Strategies in Transnational Literacy

Chapter 5: Dispositions of Transnational Literacies

Chapter 6: கற்றது கை மண்ணளவு கல்லாதது உலகளவு

Part II: An Illustrative Set of Literacy Autobiographies

Part II preface

Chapter 7: Writing toward Beauty - Ruth Parrish Sauder

Chapter 8: Rediscovering Heritage Identity through Literacy - Bendi Tso

Chapter 9: Writing with a Chinese Heart - Lifeng Miao

Chapter 10: Image and Learning: The Story of My Literacy - Jialei Jiang

Chapter 11: The Mermaid’s Immortal Soul: Myth, Disillusionment, and the Birth of a Translingual Identity - Randi Anderson

Chapter 12: Negotiating Contrasting Languages and Rhetorics - Jingjing Lai

Chapter 13: Beyond Contrastive Rhetoric: My First and Second Language Literacy Development - Shuo Zhao

Chapter 14: Shuttling between Three Languages and Rhetorics - Xiaoqing Ge

Chapter 15: Reconstructing Voice: A Personal Journey - Eunjeong Lee

Chapter 16: Buenos Aires mon Amour: Memories from Learning to Become a Pluriliterate Teacher - Natalia A. Guzman

Chapter 17: Recreation and Education: Exploring my Embodied Engagement in English and Korean Literacies - Michael Chesnut


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Suresh Canagarajah is Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of Applied Linguistics, English, and Asian Studies, and is Director of the Migration Studies Project in the Departments of Applied Linguistics and English at Pennsylvania State University, USA.


"This is an amazing collection of literacy autobiographies by a group of multilingual language users and a critical engagement with them by Canagarajah, coming directly out of practice but with wide-ranging theoretical and methodological implications. There is nothing like it out there, and this volume will really push the boundaries and be a key milestone for literacy studies, translingual writing and language in education."

Li Wei, University College London, UK

"At once a treatise on language and writing pedagogy, a collection of translingual and transnational literacy autoethnographies, and a textbook, this is a remarkable publishing feat that, in and through its multifaceted character, demonstrates both the challenges and value of transnational and translingual writing and its teaching."

Bruce Horner, University of Louisville, USA