Three NYRB Classics Translators on the Shortlist for the Helen and Kurt Wolff Translation Prize

The annual Helen and Kurt Wolff Translator’s Prize, which is awarded by Goethe-Institut New York, is given each spring to honor an outstanding literary translation from German into English published in the USA the previous year. We were overjoyed to see that three translators of NYRB Classics have landed on the shortlist for the 2019 prize:

Margot Bettauer Dembo, translator of The Seventh Cross by Anne Seghers

Tim Mohr, translator of Sand by Wolfgang Herrndorf

Damion Searls, translator of Anniversaries by Uwe Johnson

Warmest congratulations to all three of these wonderful translators!

The winner of the Helen and Kurt Wolff Prize will be announced this month.

 

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sharing my experiences in crafting an academic identity & inviting you to join me (Please feel free to give feedback, share your ideas and insights, and contribute to my writing!

Hello everybody,

I am excited that I have decided to share my reflections on my writing development and crafting an academic identity  over the years in my doctoral program! I hope this experience will be beneficial to you as much it will be to me! I invite you to share ideas, provide your insights, give comments on my writing and experiences please! I look forward to hearing from you!

First, I would like to start sharing some parts of my earlier writings about how I am crafting multiple cultural and academic identities:

Developing a positive identity as a professional scholar is an essential task for a doctoral student (Austin & McDaniels, 2006). Students who experience two different cultures especially with minority status, may feel caught between the dynamics of these cultures, and have a conflicting self identity, values, attitudes, beliefs, or loyalty to a particular cultural group, which may be problematic (Lee, 2006).  Doctoral students, especially international students, need to be adequately prepared to navigate the full range of roles and identities that comprise academic discourses. Situated in a social and cultural perspective, the theory of multi-literacies suggests that people participate and interact through many modes of communication (e.g., email, blogs, twitter), and engage in specific academic and professional discourses. Moje and Luke (2009) argue that academic identity is shaped by certain kinds of discourses and literacy practices; in the same manner, the ways in which we communicate, and are engaged in discourses can have an impact on how we are recognized as human beings, and how we craft our identities especially for people who experience life as minorities on the basis of racial, ethnic, religious, or other social categories (Pufall-Jones & Mistry, 2010). This paper addresses my own continual journey towards crafting an academic identity through the lenses of biliteracy and multiliteracies. Nancy Hornberger defines biliteracy as a continuum: ‘any and all instances in which communication occurs in two (or more) languages in or around writing’ (Hornberger, 1990: 213); and the notion of continuum is intended to convey that although one can identify (and name) points on the continuum, those points are not finite, static, or discrete. In this paper, I discuss the significance of biliteracy, how living in constant state of transition and overlapping cultural representations between Turkey and US significantly shapes my self-awareness between two cultures. In turn, this self-awareness shapes how I participate in academic and professional activities and discourses, that contribute to my bicultural and biliterate academic identities. 

 

Changing the perceptions about literacy and me as a literate person:

the purpose for this presentation:

I studied in an English medium university, in other words, a university that supported biliteracy.  Biliteracy, as theoretically framed by Hornberger (1989),  is  viewed as a result of overlapping interactions between its contexts (i.e., micro-macro level, oral-literate, and the monolingual-bilingual levels).  Although dimensions of bilingualism and literacy are expressed in polar opposites such as Ll versus L2, monolingual versus bilingual, oral versus literate, when biliteracy is considered, these continua are interrelated dimensions of a highly complex whole.

Starting my doctoral degree in the USA, I had to function as a biliterate person in an academic environment—I was from Turkey, but now living in the US. This made me question all my previous notions and definitions about literacy and biliteracy. In Turkey, in English as a Foreign Language (EFL) contexts—literacy technically means “reading” and “writing”. However, as a biliterate international student, I realized that communicating in another language was not only about reading and writing for academic purposes, but also involved social and cultural matters. Being biliterate meant that I had to learn about the US culture which shapes my expression, and thinking, and seeing the world. As a doctoral student, I reflected on how I function and perform in specific discourses (as   opposed to the contexts in which I use my native language), and constantly compared my literacy practices in these two cultures, the value people attached to these practices, and the ideologies that surround them.

 

How am I Redefining literacy?

When I was asked to define “literacy” in a doctoral course, at first I could not understand why the term needed to be redefined I understood it from a cognitive perspective as I had learned it in Turkey—reading and writing–and separated it from its social context. However, I realized from different class readings and discussions with participants from varied multi-cultural environments that different cultures value different literacy skills and that literacy cannot be divorced from the culture in which it is embedded. In Gee’s (1996) words, “people do not read and write to engage in abstract processes; rather they read and write particular texts of particular types, in particular ways because they hold particular values”.  The way certain societies use a range of texts, including multimodal, can differ across cultures and their related contexts. My identity as an junior scholar began to emerge as I read and interacted with others about what literacy is, my own biliterate assumptions about language, and the possibilities of crafting an academic identity that was social, cultural, and multimodal.

Why do I embrace multiliteracies / multimodality as a research interest?

Brian Street (1984)  argued that literacy practices depend on the context, and they are already embedded in an ideology and cannot be isolated or treated as neutral. Therefore, it made more sense to me to embrace “multimodality” and “multiliteracies” to frame my own research interests.

Multimodality refers to many modes that comprise the way people communicate, and multiliteracies refers to “the many and varied ways that people read and write in their lives” (Purcell-Gates, 2002, p. 376).  A theory of multiliteracies considers agendas that advocate social change.  Because my aim is to provide equal and democratic education for all, a theory of multiliteracies has a potential of cultivating biliterate identities by tapping in people’s cultural capital or “funds of knowledge” (Molls et al., 1992), while multimodality allows me to express meaning across modes (not just reading and writing). Thus, I can empower biliterate identities for myself as well as others.

 

Crafting my identity through conferences

When thinking about crafting my identity as a scholar, I have noted several understandings about theory and practice that have shaped my journey. Sociolinguists like Street and Gee suggest that literacies are more than a means for sharing information; they are intimately connected with identity, or what Gee calls Discourse. Discourses are identity kits that include not only spoken and written language and other means of symbolic expression, but also aspects of identity like dress, body language, and actions that signal underlying beliefs and values of a community. As such, I understand the multiplicity of cultural identities that are expressed through literacies, and my attendance at professional conferences. I have participated in local, national, and international conferences; each has its own discourse communities. Besides conveying the content of my presentation, I learn how scholars interact with participants through spoken language, when I should respond to speakers, and what types of questions participants ask.  I also notice other communication such as dressing, gestures, and manners. I learn how people from diverse cultures negotiate different discourses and respect each other, thereby portray confident profiles in these intercultural and academic spaces.

 

A second way my academic identity is shaped is through my participation in scholarly organizations including Alpha Upsilon Alpha Honor Society (AUA), International Reading Association, Georgia TESOL, Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages Inc. (TESOL), American Educational Research Association (AERA), and Middle East Institute. For me, scholarship is fundamentally social. At GSU, AUA, which is a leadership organization, allows me to participate in a community of learners who provide me with a truly socialized environment for my scholarship.  My active engagement with these professional communities reinforces my professional identity. For example, I review conference proposals, [YY2] and develop what Bonny Norton calls an “imagined identity” as a future editor of a well-known journal[YY3] . Also, my developing relationships with my academic advisor and faculty, friends, family, and academic networking sites online provide me the support for navigating through different cultures and forming a scholarly identity.

 

Shaping an academic writerly identity for publications:

Membership in organizations and taking opportunities that my advisor and other professors offer is a third way that help me shape an academic identity as a writer. For example, annually, we as members of AUA host an writing retreat to  develop identities as scholarly writers. We are writing a manuscript that focuses on how AUA is cohesively aligned to doctoral requirements and serves as a vital support to students in the areas of scholarship, leadership, and service. I also work with my advisor and other professors on research and write towards publication. For example, I am the Media Facilitator for Global Conversation in Literacy Research (GCLR) research team[YY4] . In this role I edit and moderate seminars and write biographies for the website. In April 2014, I will moderate Brian Street’s seminar. This is a huge honor and contributes to shaping my academic and professional identity. Moreover, I write my own blog where I communicate with other professionals and receive feedback.  I agree with Kirkup (2010) that “blogging [YY5] could play a useful role in professional development ” (p. 76). I reach an immediate audience from all around the world. I also participate in several ESL communities online where I share my resources. I realize that professional identities can be reinforced not only with real people in immediate, local educational settings, but also with virtual people in global platforms such as ELT and literacy communities online. In brief, I rely on multiple individuals for support beyond my academic advisors or peers. Participation in these discourse communities as a writer enriches my life, knowledge, and personal capacity but also that of those who are involved in the exchanges as well.

Improving my identity as a global and local worker through academic and personal connections:

Advisor support was associated with a stronger sense of belonging and academic self-concept (Cutin et al., 2013). My advisors often dispensed professional and socializing advice, and even emotional support for me. My constructive relationships with them have been key aspects of satisfaction in the doctoral program, and the development of my professional identity. They treated me as a junior colleague, not as a student. I was fortunate to work with two academic advisors who come from different cultural backgrounds, Korea and Bahamas, as they contributed to my local and global perspectives as a candidate teacher educator. For example, one of the advices that I received was to define myself and other non-native speakers as multilingual people rather than learners or teachers of English as a Second Language. I understood what my advisor meant when I read about the deficit perspectives associated with the term English as a Second Language. I realized that accepting English as my second language did not help gain more competent view of myself as a candidate teacher educator who would teach in English in a context different than my home culture. I questioned the dichotomies of non-native versus native speaker (Canagarajah, 2007). I decided that acquiring a multilingual identity was crucial for my success in America, which was part of the global community (Yi, 2013).

My second advisor taught me how I should recognize the power of language in both local and global contexts such as home and school if my goal was to contribute to democratic education (Tinker Sachs, upcoming). I understood that being successful cannot be achieved only by developing local identities but also by being shaped as a global worker. For example, one inspiring conversation with her took place when she described how she visited local communities such as immigrant parents, listened to their problems, identified what was powerful about them by being a good observer, and brought their stories to classroom, leaving the deficit lenses behind.  I also learned that appreciation of differences in the local context does not mean that I needed to ignore global-mindedness in the world. I have a global identity as well because I recognized some similarities in various local communities. For example, I support culturally responsive pedagogies and curriculum like my two advisors and many other professors in the world. This recognition help improve my sense of belonging in academic communities. I have the ability to participate in a local conversation at one urban school in the US because I know, read and learn more about their culture. At the same time, I can take part in an international community, or a group with international perspectives, and share my ideas for the goal of social justice as I did in one of my classes this semester.

Apart from academic connections, my personal relationships reinforced my academic and cultural identity. I am married with an American, which helped better understanding of the target culture because I had a chance of discussing my confusions, tensions, or conflicts between Turkish and American culture with my husband. In addition, my personal connection with friends supports my journey. For example, I belong to a Facebook group whose members are all Ph.D students at the same program that I am enrolled at my university. In this “Critical friends group” (Franzak, 2002), we share our resources, ask each other questions, and give advice on how to progress with our schedule or the academic program. The theoretical foundation for Critical Friends Groups is that teachers belonging to a group learn to collaborate by participating in professional development activities such as examining student and teacher work (Franzak, 2002). Although we don’t review our academic work in this group, we still support each other by communicating about the issues of coursework, schedules, assignments, and any other subject related with social and academic life. In other words, through this critical group, I found a safe place where my voice joined with others to work through my own academic and social identity crisis.

Being an integrated scholar through academic and personal connections:

When I started my doctoral degree, education was only one part of my life; but now I understand that becoming a real scholar is living  the scholarship in every aspect of life: personal, social, and academic. Accordingly, I have begun to see myself as an integrated scholar, which means that I maintain professionalism in every aspect of my life, and dedicate myself to a course of life-long learning, and advance the role of institutions that I work for in educating, serving, and inspiring the others.

 

Conclusion 

In conclusion, I will continue trying on multiple professional selves to see how well they fit me. I acknowledge that becoming an educator and a role model for future scholars in my field is an evolving process. Identity formation is evolving and fluid as well. My aim is to be responsible, imaginative, insightful, rigorous, and committed in my social and academic roles. In light of research in how universities define the professions and multiple identities (Brint, 1994), hopefully, this paper will support and extend scholarship in the area of international students’ bicultural self-efficacy.

References

Austin, A. E., & McDaniels, M. (2006). Using doctoral education to prepare faculty to work within Boyer’s four domains of scholarship. In J. M. Braxton (Ed.), Analyzing faculty work and rewards: Using Boyer’s four domains of scholarship. New Directions for Institutional Research, No. 129. (pp. 51-65). San Francisco: Jossey Bass.

Brint, S. (1994). In an age of experts: The changing role of professionals in politics and public life. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.

Canagarajah, A. S. (2007). Lingua Frannca English, multilingual communities, and language acquisition. Modern Language Journal, 91: 923-939.

Franzak, J. K. (2002). Developing a teacher identity: The impact of critical friends practice on the student teacher. English Education, 34(4), 258-280.

Gee, J. P. (1996). Social linguistics and literacies: Ideology in Discourses. (2nd Ed.). London: Taylor & Francis.

Hornberger, N. (1989).  Continua of biliteracy. Review of Educational Research, 59 (3),                   271-296.

Kirkup, G. (2010). Academic blogging: academic practice and academic identity. London Review Of Education, 8(1), 75-84.

Moje, E. B., & Luke, A. (2009). Literacy and identity: Examining the metaphors in history and contemporary research. Reading Research Quarterly, 44(4), 415–437.

Moll, L.C., Amanti, C., Neff, D., & Gonzalez, N. (1992). Funds of knowledge for teaching: Using a qualitative approach to connect homes and classrooms. Theory Into Practice, (31)2, 132–141.

Norton, B. (2001). Non-participation, imagined communities, and the language classroom. In M. Breen (Ed.), Learner contributions to language learning: New directions in research (pp. 159-171). Harlow, England: Pearson Education.

Pufall-Jones, E., & Mistry, J. (2010). Navigating across cultures: Narrative constructions of lived experiences. Journal Of Ethnographic & Qualitative Research, 4(3), 151-167.

Purcell-Gates, V. (2002). Multiple literacies.. In B.J. Guzzetti (Ed.). Literacy in America: An encyclopedia of history, theory and practice. (pp. 376-380). Santa Barbara, CA: ABC CLIO.

Street, B. V. (1984). Literacy in theory and practice. NY: Cambridge University press. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Tinker Sachs, G. (forthcoming). You are one of us. Forging the development of dialogic communities of practice in the Bahamas. In C. Leung, J. Richards & C. Lassonde (Eds.), International collaboration in literacy research practice, (Chapter 13). Information Age Publishing.

Yi, Y. (2013). Adolescent multilingual writer’s negotiation of multiple identities and access to academic writing: A case study of a Jogi Yuhak student in an American high school. Canadian Modern Language Review, 69(2), 207-231.

 

SANITY & TALLULAH by Molly Brooks / #SanityandTallulah

SANITY & TALLULAH by Molly Brooks is finally out on bookstore shelves! Released last week from Disney Hyperion, this is a brand new, sci-fi, graphic novel, middle grade readers will enjoy. 

ABOUT THE BOOK

Written & Illustrated by: Molly Brooks
Published by: Disney Hyperion
Released on: October 16th, 2018
Ages: 8 & up
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A copy of this book as provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest review

Sanity Jones and Tallulah Vega are best friends on Wilnick, the dilapidated space station they call home at the end of the galaxy. So naturally, when gifted scientist Sanity uses her lab skills and energy allowance to create a definitely-illegal-but-impossibly-cute three-headed kitten, she has to show Tallulah. But Princess, Sparkle, Destroyer of Worlds is a bit of a handful, and it isn’t long before the kitten escapes to wreak havoc on the space station. The girls will have to turn Wilnick upside down to find her, but not before causing the whole place to evacuate! Can they save their home before it’s too late?
Readers will be over the moon for this rollicking space adventure by debut author Molly Brooks.

An out of this world debut! This is a fun, fast paced, diverse read with engaging illustrations. Part of what makes this graphic novel so appealing is it’s mix of sci-fi, adventure, and and mystery. Brooks does a wonderful job at intertwining all these elements together to create a story that middle grade readers will enjoy. 

Set on a dilapidated space station, this story quickly gets interesting when best friends Sanity and Tallulah, create a three headed cat named Princess, Sparkle, Destroyer of the Worlds. When she gets loose, things quickly go from bad to worse. Not only were they not suppose to create this cute three headed cat,  these two best friends need to find her before she destroys the station. In the middle of all the chaos, they also discover something else that is causing more problems than Princess Sparkle, Destroyer of the Worlds is. Hopefully they can stop it before it’s too late.

I loved that there are two intelligent girls at the heart of this story. Tallulah and Sanity not only have a strong friendship, they have a diverse support group of family and friends on the space station that help them. The mystery added a fun twist to this story. With the rise of popularity when it comes to graphic novels. this one worth adding to any middle school library / classrooms, I’m looking forward to reading more of Sanity and Tallulah’s out of this world adventures. 

Becca's BookoplAthon 48 Hour Round Sign Up

So I’m signing up for Becca’s BookoplAthon, of the 48 Hour Round, taking place July 11th-12th, and you can find the twitter with information here. I’m not going to be doing it at the same time, though, I’m going to be using my midnight start and stop, because I’m around half a day behind England’s time, so I didn’t want to start that early.Changed my mind, I’m going to participate alongside, so I’ll start around 5 pm ish.

So we’ve only gotten 2 prompts, and I don’t know how much I’m going to read, but here’s what I’ve got if I have time for both of the prompts.

Paranormal/Magical Realism: I Come With Knives by S.A. Hunt Dark Song by Christine Feehan Burn the Dark by S.A. Hunt-I just got my copy, so I’m going to be reading it!
Chance Card: I did a poll on twitter, and here’s the results:

So The Pale Dreamer by Samantha Shannon. I’ll either try to fit The Bone Season with another prompt and read them back to back, or I’ll read this book at the end and then read The Bone Season separately. Whichever!

We don’t have the prompts for the other 3 sections, but we’ll get them every half day. Can’t wait to start reading! What about you guys? Happy reading!

I’m just going to add each prompt as we get them here, so they’re all together!

Representation/Reader Recommendation: I picked 4 books that had representation to them, and did a poll on twitter as to what I should read next, doubling up these prompts. Here’s the results:

So On The Come Up by Angie Thomas. Depending on how the prompts go, I might actually split it up and have Representation be Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa. Because I want to read it, it’s all ready to go on my post where it fills another prompt, so I’d love to read it! Also, I know I spelled of wrong in the title, because I was in a hurry. Opps. And if you look below, you see I managed to get Deathless Divide on this TBR, so yeah!

Mystery/Thriller: The Persuasion by Iris Johansen. I love her books, and this book was a Wheel of TBR pick, from the first round, so I’m glad to pick it up!

Gifted Book: Deathless Divide by Justina Ireland. I haven’t been gifted a book in years, the family doesn’t want to support my book collection. So I bent it a bit to be an ARC that I received, and I went with Deathless Divide because it works for a another reading challenge, as well as a Wheel of TBR pick!