Strategies and tactics in academic knowledge production by multilingual scholars

Mary Jane Curry, Theresa M Lillis


In the past decade, academic evaluation systems worldwide have markedly increased the use of mechanisms that privilege the use of English in journal publishing. In the context of these trends, this article highlights our findings from more than 12 years of research on the experiences and perspectives of 50 multilingual European scholars with writing for publication, particularly in English. We draw on de Certeau’s (1984) notions of strategies and tactics to explore key ways in which scholars manage often-competing demands and interests in writing for publication. Scholars both adopt strategies that align with official publication policies and use tactics that support scholars’ sometimes competing agendas. At different moments scholars embrace, accommodate, or resist the perceived dominance of English in knowledge production regimes and evaluation systems. We conclude by summarizing the value of drawing on the notions of strategy and tactics in an era of increasing debates over evaluation systems.


academic writing; writing for publication; scholarly publishing; knowledge production; multilingual writers.

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Copyright (c) 2019 Mary Jane Curry, Theresa M Lillis


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