Introduction ‘Academic literacies’ is a relatively new empirical and theoretical field1 setting out to explore reading and writing in academia as social practice, using ethnographically-oriented methodologies and drawing on a range of critical theories. The pluralisation of ‘literacies’ signals an interest in academic reading and writing not only as diverse and situated in specific disciplinary contexts, but also as ideologically shaped, reflecting institutional structures and relations of power. This ideological concern gives rise to a transformative agenda encompassing individual writers, the conventions and practices of the academy, and the wider social relations in which all are embedded.