Friday, December 16, 2005

A must-read from the latest Written Communication

At the top of my list of articles to read:

Lillis, Theresa, and Mary Jane Curry. "Professional Academic Writing by Multilingual Scholars: Interactions With Literacy Brokers in the Production of English-Medium Texts." Written Communication 23.1 (2006): 3-35.

Authors' Abstract:
Scholars around the world are under increasing pressure to publish their research in the medium of English. However, little empirical research has explored how the global premium of English influences the academic text production of scholars working outside of English-speaking countries. This article draws on a longitudinal text-oriented ethnographic study of psychology scholars in Hungary, Slovakia, Spain, and Portugal to follow the trajectories of texts from local research and writing contexts to English-medium publications. Our findings indicate that a significant number of mediators, "literacy brokers," who are involved in the production of such texts, influence the texts in different and important ways. We illustrate in broad terms the nature and extent of literacy brokering in English-medium publications and characterize and exemplify brokers’ different orientations. We explore what kind of brokering is evident in the production of a specific group of English-medium publications—articles written and published in English-medium international journals—by focusing on three text histories. We conclude by discussing what a focus on brokering can tell us about practices surrounding academic knowledge production.

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