Event flyer with orange and blue and white angular background with the text Trans-[language, literacies, modal, national]: A prefix to unfix theory, research, and practice. Descriptive text of the symposium and event information (speakers, time, date, location) appear below.

Trans-[Language, Literacies, Modal, National] Symposium

Jody Shipka and Dylan Dryer

October 6, 2017


The rise of translangauge, transliteracies, transmodal, and transnational perspectives in scholarship on language, writing, literacy and semiotics indexes a double movement. On the one hand, trans- signals a rejection of containers, of the fixing of (and bounded fixation with) research inside a classroom, discipline, national language, mode, or nation-state. On the other hand, trans- can contest the unity of such containers, challenging representations of a language, mode, discipline, nation, community as singular, coherent, and homogeneous. Trans- then signals diversity within and across, two sides of a more rhizomatic, dialogic, and historical coin. In this symposium, we will explore this double movement and consider what’s at stake in the different terms that have been so prefixed.

Recordings of all of these events can be accessed on our CWS Mediaspace page. Please contact us if you don't have UIUC log-in credentials (required to access Mediaspace), and we can be in touch with you for alternative forms of access.

Opening Remarks: 12.00p-12.20p

Opening remarks for the symposium will be delivered by Paul Prior.

Plenary: Dylan Dryer, The State of the Prefix: Two Considerations, Three Examples, and Four Proposals: 12.20p-1.10p

Without underplaying threats to trans-ing posed by monolingualist ideologies or "single/standard language / mode norms " (Horner, Selfe, & Lockridge)  this talk identifies internal curricular, methodological, and linguistic undertows dragging down our ability to 'unfix' research and practice in systematic ways.  

Plenary: Jody Shipka, Transmodality and the Multipart Rhetorical Event : 1.25p-2.15p

In this talk, I advocate for a renewed interest in processes of making as a way to highlight the distributed, embodied, transmodal aspects of all communicative practice.

Panel A: 2.30p-3.25p

Below are brief descriptions for Panel A       

Mark Pacheco, A Pedagogy of the Possible: Translanguaging in the "English-Only" Classroom Community of Practice

This talk examines how the use of multiple languages affords and constrains emerging bilingual students' participation in two elementary classrooms.

Nathan Phillips, Transdisciplinary Tensions in Tracing Youth Transliteracies: An Exploration of Research/Practice

I will consider extended efforts in collaboration with Chicago youth-serving organizations to trace youth’s transliteracies with an attention to transdisciplinary tensions in researchpractice partnerships.

Natalia Smirnov, Transliterate Engagements: Infrastructuring Civic and Language Practices Across Contexts and Time

This talk will explore conceptual and relational connotations of the trans- prefix for studying learning and literacies and offer the lens of "infrastructuring" for researching and developing civic and language learning and activity across spaces, technologies, and lifespans.

Panel B: 2.30p-3.25p

Below are brief descriptions for Panel B.   

Anna Smith, Objects in (Cyber)Space: Engaging in Transliteracies Inquiry into the Elasticity of “Likeness”

In this talk, I will pose a series of questions about tracing “likeness” (Silverstein, 2005) that have emerged in taking up a transliteracies inquiry framework (Stornaiuolo, Smith & Phillips, 2017) to study the learning of educators across an openly networked, productioncentered, participatory learning community

Steve Fraiberg, Inventing the World Grant University: Tracing Transliteracies of Transnational Students Across Global Eduscapes

Drawing on a case study of a Chinese international student, this talk argues for a shift from activity to mobility systems to study situated practices of multilingual (translingual) and multimodal (transmodal) activity.

Synthesis Section with Reflection: 4.35p-5.00p

Autumn West and María Carvajal Regidor's remarks will kick off open group discussion of the day’s talks.