In this book, Bronwyn T. Williams explores how perceptions of agency—whether a person perceives and feels able to read and write successfully in a given context—are critical in terms of how people perform their literate identities. Drawing on interviews and observations with students in several countries, he examines the intersections of the social and the personal in relation to how and, crucially, why people engage successfully or struggle painfully in literacy practices and what factors and forces they regard as enabling or constraining their actions. Recognizing such moments and patterns can help teachers and researchers rethink their approaches to teaching to facilitate students’ sense of agency as writers and readers.

chapter 1|13 pages


Perceiving Agency in Literacy Practices

chapter 2|23 pages

A Feeling for Literacy

Emotions and Dispositions

chapter 3|21 pages

We Are Our Stories

Literacy, Memory, and Narrative

chapter 4|24 pages

Writing for the World

Motivation, Control, and Meaning

chapter 5|20 pages

Respect and Response

Literacy, Relationships, and Community

chapter 6|21 pages

Strange New Worlds

Rhetorical Knowledge

chapter 7|19 pages

A Sense of Where You Are

Literacy, Place, and Mobility

chapter 8|19 pages

The Stuff That Literacy Practices Are Made Of


chapter 9|19 pages

Metamorphosis Hurts

Literacy, Transformation, and Resistance