A festschrift provides an ideal opportunity for revisiting an influential concept associated to the festschrift recipient and re-evaluating it from a present-day perspective. In Brian Street’s festschrift, the concept of ‘Academic Literacies’ is an obvious choice, as it has substantially influenced research and teaching practices in the UK and internationally. The concept emerged in the 1990s and became widely known through Lea and Street’s (1998) seminal paper. Informed by New Literacy Studies (Street, 1984), Academic Literacies sees reading and writing at university as social practices that are shaped by ideologies, identities and institutional power relations. The impact of Lea and Street’s paper is obvious through the fact that it reached more than 2000 citations and remains, 20 years after publication, one of the most widely read articles in Studies in Higher Education. The concept of Academic Literacies has shaped the work of writing researchers and practitioners worldwide, as is evidenced in numerous publications over the years, some of which clearly demonstrate its application in international contexts.