The limits of translingualism

In search of complementary forms of resistance


  • Anna Kristina Hultgren Open University
  • Julia Molinari Open University


Academic writing, inequality, translingual writing, structure-agency, resistance


Academic publishing has undergone profound changes in recent years with ever-increasing inequalities between different groups of scholars (Global South vs Global North; Junior vs Established; Male vs Female, etc.). To counter some of this imbalance, recent theoretical developments in Socio- and Applied Linguistics have turned to translingual writing – here understood broadly as communicative innovations aimed at diversifying the academic register and moving away from the sole use of standard English. While recognizing translingual writing as a powerful and important subversion strategy, in this paper, we join others calling for mobilizing sociological theories that pay attention to structure as well as agency. We suggest that despite its many merits, translingual writing is ill-equipped to overturn the wealth, might and power of the current global academic publishing regime, which works inherently to maintain the status quo and to curb creative innovation. We conclude by advocating complementary forms of resistance to challenge and disrupt entrenched systemic inequalities.

Discussions of research and pedagogical practices


2022-12-14 — Updated on 2022-12-20


How to Cite

Hultgren, A. K., & Molinari, J. (2022). The limits of translingualism: In search of complementary forms of resistance. Apples - Journal of Applied Language Studies, 16(3), 48–68. (Original work published December 14, 2022)