Note: This is the paperback edition of a previously announced book.
"This book is a stimulating collection of research-based papers that focus
on academic literacy work in a particular setting—a South African
university ten years after the democratic elections of 1994. The
contributors identify and analyse issues emerging from their teaching and
integral to students’ creation and recreation of texts in the ‘real world’
setting of the University of Cape Town. Together the papers form a
carefully worked tapestry in which ‘place’ and ‘space’, 'boundaries’ and
'boundary crossing’ are threads that signify both change and continuities
in the history and politics shaping the evolving identities of students,
teachers and the institution… In the issues it raises and the questions it
can provoke this is a book of potential value to every teacher and
administrator in higher education…"
-English Academy Review
"[C]hapters offer future directions for both research and pedagogy… readers
would be foolish to ignore the relevance of this book to fundamental
questions about the function and goals of higher education globally."
-Journal of Sociolinguistics
This book is an analysis of student literacy in an academic setting, and
how this has changed due to political, economic and social factors. The
contributors, who are all engaged in academic literacy work at a South
African university, use the theoretical tradition of New Literacy Studies
as developed by theorists such as James Gee, Brian Street and Günther
Kress, and apply this to a case study of one university in the changing
context of South Africa.
The context demands an extension of this theory in new directions, as the
theoretical assumptions governing Anglophone, 'mainstream' traditions may
limit insights into academic literacy settings on the margins of these
traditions. The book probes some of these limitations by looking at the
complex interactions taking place between students' diverse language and
educational histories, their literacy practices, institutional discourses,
and the many modes involved in engaging with texts. Language is central to
all these interactions, and the book considers how they reflect or
potentially change the institution.