Peripheral multilingual scholars confronting epistemic exclusion in global academic knowledge production: a positive case study

Ingrid Piller, Jie Zhang, Jia Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)
44 Downloads (Pure)


The decolonization of knowledge is increasingly high on the agenda of applied and sociolinguistics. This article contributes to this agenda by examining how peripheral multilingual scholars confront their linguistic and epistemic exclusion from global knowledge production. Based on the product of such a challenge – a Chinese-centric special issue of Multilingua, a global academic Q1 journal, devoted to crisis communication during the COVID-19 pandemic and committed to furthering intercultural dialogue in research – we explore the decades-long knowledge production process behind that product and so provide a look into the “black box” of academic networking and publishing. Advocating for collaborative autoethnography as an inherently inclusive method, we focus on enabling academic and personal networks, textual scaffolding, and linguistic and epistemic brokerage. The article closes with three aspects of linguistic and epistemic citizenship that are central to inclusion, namely recognition of the value of peripheral knowledges, recognition of a collaborative ethics of care, and recognition of shared responsibility.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)639-662
Number of pages24
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 25 Nov 2022

Bibliographical note

Copyright de Gruyter 2022. Article originally published in Multilingua, vol. 41, no. 6, 2022, pp. 639-662. The original article can be found at Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • center-periphery relationships in academic publishing
  • collaborative autoethnography
  • decolonization of knowledge
  • English as a global language of knowledge production
  • epistemic justice
  • language challenges of COVID-19 pandemic


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