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.

part I|153 pages

A teacher’s literacy autobiography

chapter I|13 pages


கற்பனை: an invitation
BySuresh Canagarajah

chapter 1|20 pages

Literacy autobiographies in transnational space

BySuresh Canagarajah

chapter 2|13 pages

The shaping of literacy autobiographies

BySuresh Canagarajah

chapter 3|20 pages

Emergence of the translingual subject

BySuresh Canagarajah

chapter 4|27 pages

Negotiation strategies in transnational literacy

BySuresh Canagarajah

chapter 5|28 pages

Dispositions of transnational literacies

BySuresh Canagarajah

part II|121 pages

Students’ literacy autobiographies

chapter II|2 pages


BySuresh Canagarajah

chapter 7|16 pages

Writing toward beauty

ByRuth Parrish Sauder

chapter 8|6 pages

Rediscovering heritage identity through literacy

ByBendi Tso

chapter 9|9 pages

Writing with a Chinese heart

ByLifeng Miao

chapter 10|8 pages

Image and learning

The story of my literacy
ByJialei Jiang

chapter 11|20 pages

The mermaid’s immortal soul

Myth, disillusionment, and the birth of a translingual identity
ByRandi Anderson

chapter 12|10 pages

Negotiating contrasting languages and rhetorics

ByJingjing Lai

chapter 13|7 pages

Beyond contrastive rhetoric

My first and second language literacy development
ByShuo Zhao

chapter 14|7 pages

Shuttling between three languages and rhetorics

ByXiaoqing Ge

chapter 15|11 pages

Reconstructing voice

A personal journey
ByEunjeong Lee

chapter 16|9 pages

Buenos Aires Mon Amour

Memories from learning to become a pluriliterate teacher
ByNatalia Guzman

chapter 17|14 pages

Recreation and education

Exploring my embodied engagement in English and Korean literacies
ByMichael Chesnut