Inventing the World Grant University

Chinese International Students’ Mobilities, Literacies, and Identities

by Steven Fraiberg, Xiqiao Wang, and Xiaoye You

“[C]omplex, richly textured, and illustrative of the challenges and opportunities of designing and delivering high-quality learning environments in higher education today.”

—David S. Martins, Rochester Institute of Technology

“[This] study provides invaluable insight into the cultures, struggles, strategies, motivations, and educational histories of Chinese international students . . . the authors highlight ways in which institutions seek to manage these students’ mobilities. This insight is essential for teachers and scholars of writing and literacy working in increasingly internationalized and interconnected institutions of tertiary (and secondary) education.”

—Brice Nordquist, Syracuse University

"Inventing the World Grant University . . . is deeply grounded in theory, specifically theories of 'mobile literacies,' an approach that the authors write 'centers on how literacy affords and constrains movement of actors, identities and practices across geographical and social structures.' But readers who aren’t invested in the theoretical framework can still find much of interest in the authors’ analysis of how the recent and rapid growth in the number of Chinese students on American campuses raises questions about 'who changes, how much and into what.'"
Inside Higher Education


Through an exploration of the literacy practices of undergraduate Chinese international students in the United States and China, Inventing the World Grant University demonstrates the ways in which literacies, mobilities, and transnational identities are constructed and enacted across institutional and geographic borders.

Steven Fraiberg, Xiqiao Wang, and Xiaoye You develop a mobile literacies framework for studying undergraduate Chinese international students enrolling at Western institutions, whose numbers have increased in recent years. Focusing on the literacy practices of these students at Michigan State University and at Sinoway International Education Summer School in China, Fraiberg, Wang, and You draw on a range of mobile methods to map the travel of languages, identities, ideologies, pedagogies, literacies, and underground economies across continents. Case studies of administrators’, teachers’, and students’ everyday literacy practices provide insight into the material and social structures shaping and shaped by a globalizing educational landscape.

Advocating an expansion of focus from translingualism to transliteracy and from single-site analyses to multi-site approaches, this volume situates local classroom practices in the context of the world grant university. Inventing the World Grant University contributes to scholarship in mobility, literacy, spatial theory, transnationalism, and disciplinary enculturation. It further offers insight into the opportunities and challenges of enacting culturally relevant pedagogies.


Steven Fraiberg is an assistant professor in the Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures at Michigan State University.

Xiqiao Wang is an assistant professor in the Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures at Michigan State University.

Xiaoye You is an associate professor of English and Asian Studies at the Pennsylvania State University.

Imprint: Utah State University Press

Book Details

  • Paperback Price: $31.95
  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-60732-732-5
  • Ebook Price: $25.95
  • 30-day ebook rental price: $13.00
  • EISBN: 978-1-60732-733-2
  • Publication Month: November
  • Publication Year: 2017
  • Pages: 290
  • Illustrations: 21 black and white photographs
  • Discount Type: Short
  • Author: by Steven Fraiberg, Xiqiao Wang, and Xiaoye You
  • ECommerce Code: 978-1-60732-732-5
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