“Trans~Resistance”: Translingual Literacies as Resistance to Epistemic Racism and Raciolinguistic Discourses in Schools

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Translingual students’ identities transcend multiple languages and cultural allegiances. Sociolinguistics widely discusses the linguistic and racial oppressions these students face in schools due to epistemic racism, which is often observed in the tension between their multilingual and multimodal communicative styles and language perspectives rooted in monolingual and monocultural ideologies. This paper expands on the literature that denounces epistemic racism, uses Raciolinguistics and New Literacy Studies as theoretical frameworks, and reports on the following inquiries: What are the characteristics of delegitimizing school stakeholders who become agents of epistemic racism in their interactions with translingual students? How do translingual students reject these agents’ marginalization? Critical focus groups, semi-structured and arts-based interviews, and emplaced observations were used to collect data, centering the identities and voices of participants. Two key findings emerged. First, school stakeholders with various roles, social power, and degree of impact epitomize epistemic racism through ideological discourses. Second, “Translinguals” resist through novel concepts for which I have coined the terms "Covert and Overt Transresistance,” enacted by the means of resisting transliteracies. The theoretical, research, and practical implications of these findings, along with recommendations for future research, are discussed.

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