Multisemiotics, Race, and Academic Literacies

Trajectories of Non-white Academic Writing Faculty in Canadian Postsecondary Education




racialized faculty, raciolinguistics, academic writing, academic literacies, duoethnography


This study examines the trajectories of two multilingual, racialized academic writing faculty, presenting how we brought our Southern onto-epistemologies (e.g., Santos, 2016) to curriculum, teaching, and assessment. Although plurilingualism has become a significant dimension of Canadian higher education (Marshall, 2020), monolingual norms that emphasize native-like competence continue to be a mainstream discourse in many academic writing courses. Building on the recent raciolinguistic critique (Rosa & Flores, 2017) of the lack of discussion of racism in academic literacies discourse, we acknowledge that academic literacies continues to force plurilingual, international students into a white subject position. Acknowledging the tension between the monolingual ideal and multilingual realities, we explore how two plurilingual, non-white faculty challenge an academic writing tradition that is constructed by the white listening subject.  By co-creating duoethnographic narratives that provide insight into our complex biographical journeys as cycles of becoming (Thibault, 2020), our story shows how teaching academic writing is not simply teaching a skillset but involves constant negotiation between students’ and teachers’ lived experiences. Through this process, we conceive of teaching academic literacies as both an ideological construct and a multisemiotic process that involves multiple histories and meaning-making resources across diverse time and place scales.




How to Cite

dos Santos, P., & Sohn, B.- gi. (2023). Multisemiotics, Race, and Academic Literacies: Trajectories of Non-white Academic Writing Faculty in Canadian Postsecondary Education. TESL Canada Journal, 40(1), 41–60.