The dynamics of academic knowledge making in a multilingual world: chronotypes of production

Lillis, Theresa and Curry, Mary Jane (2022). The dynamics of academic knowledge making in a multilingual world: chronotypes of production. Journal of English for Research and Publication Purposes, 3(1) pp. 109–142.



The use of ‘text history’ and ‘text trajectory’ constitutes an epistemological break from historically static approaches to the study of academic writing for publication. However, there is a need to further develop dynamic approaches to professional academic text production in ways which are robustly grounded in scholars’ lived practices. The paper briefly reviews the use of ‘text history’ and ‘text trajectory’, signalling their value and some limitations, and offers a heuristic foregrounding the importance of chronotope (Bakhtin, 1981 [1935]; Blommaert, 2018), ‘text cluster’, and multi/translingual practice. Drawing on a range of data relating to 12 multilingual scholars in four national sites from the longitudinal study Professional Academic Writing in a Global Context– interviews, observations, curriculum vitae – the paper foregrounds three key chronotopic dimensions in the dynamics of textual academic knowledge making: micro time, specific moments of text production; meso time trajectories of texts; and macro time, text production practices over scholars’ life trajectories. The paper challenges the widely repeated and taken-for-granted mantra that English is currently the (only) language of science and academic knowledge production and, as such, seeks to contribute to strategies of ‘delinking’ (Mignolo, 2007) in the field of academic writing studies.

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