Translingual Writing as Resistance against the Writingworld’s Monoglossic Doxa 

Dr. Amir Kalan
(McGill University)
February 10th, 2023
Online Only (Zoom)
Please register here.

Amir Kalan is Assistant Professor in the Department of Integrated Studies in Education (DISE) at McGill University. In his work, he attempts to create a sociology of writing that can help researchers and educators better understand sociocultural, political, and power-relational aspects of writing. He is particularly interested in learning about the experiences of minoritized and racialized students in multicultural and multilingual contexts

Official language and literacy curricula are often presented as technical suggestions for teaching and learning. In contrast with this framing of curriculum, in this presentation, I discuss how official language and literacy education is first and foremost an instrument in discourse control through monoglossic textual practices in centralized educational structures. Official pedagogical and assessment practices are mainly interested in homogenizing society by the means of discursive assimilation of minoritized students, including immigrants that need to adopt the language of their host nations. In order to illustrate how learners of additional languages resist this assimilation process, I discuss an ethnographic study of the writing practices of three plurilingual writers in Toronto, Canada. I focus on the translingual practices that the participants engaged with and show how those practices enriched their writing processes and products. I will explain how these writers’ translanguaging was a complex process with five dimensions: (1) lexical, (2) syntactic, (3) rhetorical, (4) conceptual, and (5) presentational (how to share and disseminate texts). I will highlight how translingual writing helped the writers maintain their intellectual identities by creating discursive continuity in their writing trajectories.