Cover

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Title Page, Copyright, Dediction

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Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Preface: An American with Papers

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pp. ix-xii

It is 2011, three years after primary data collection in “South Mills,” the pseudonym I have given my hometown for this book. I am preparing to bring my three-year-old daughter to visit her family in Brazil. As the date for our trip gets closer, I have to think of our visas. ...

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Acknowledgements

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pp. xiii-xiv

I am deeply grateful to the communities and families of the South Mills region for supporting this project. Those who opened their lives to me for the purposes of this book often did so at great risk, with the belief that sharing their stories could serve a larger good. ...

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Introduction: How Documents Matter in Migrants' Lives

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pp. 1-22

José is a Brazilian man who, at the time of our interview in 2008, had lived undocumented in the United States for twenty years. As a nurse in Brazil, he struggled to support his family, ultimately making the difficult decision to leave his wife and infant son for the United States in the hopes that his remittances from abroad could sustain them. ...

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1. Literacy and Assimilation in an Age of Papers: The View from South Mills

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pp. 23-56

“You have understood, by now, that we are without papers,” said Sandra, her gaze lighting on my digital recorder and then meeting my eyes. We were sitting at her kitchen table on a warm summer day in 2008, having come to the end of our first interview. ...

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2. "American by Paper": Azorean and Azorean American Literacy Lives

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pp. 57-82

My Aunt Tequila, with whom I lived during my field research, is “a paper person.”1 I would often come back to my aunt’s house after an interview or observation to find her seated at the large table on the porch, surrounded by newspapers, magazine articles, scratch paper, her calendar. ...

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3. Undocumented in a Documentary Society: Brazilian Literacy Lives

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pp. 83-110

Juliana, a Brazilian woman in her mid-forties, had been refused a visa on five separate occasions at an American consulate in Brazil, an eight-hour bus ride from her home. She wanted to travel to the United States to join her husband, from whom she had been separated since their son was a baby, for fourteen years. ...

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4. "It's Not Because of the English": Literacy Lives of the Young

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pp. 111-140

Simone, an undocumented college student, worried that her unauthorized status would be found out when she registered for her major’s required internship. Jocélia, also undocumented, put her childhood dream of studying English in college on hold, since she was not eligible for school loans. ...

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Conclusion Lessons Learned from Transnational Lives: Toward a Sociomaterialist Literacy

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pp. 141-154

I interviewed Rafael, a young undocumented Brazilian man, in my rental car in the parking lot of St. Mary’s Catholic Church, still crowded after the evening Brazilian mass. It was raining, painting the already gray city a deeper shade of grit, but Rafael was cheerful, playful even. ...

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Epilogue

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pp. 155-160

My aunt writes the following for inclusion in this book: “I also thought about my name, Maria do Carmo Tavares Pereira. . . . At the airport, they took our names apart. I became Maria Pereira.” Later, she became “Tequila,” a nickname coworkers gave her and that stuck, so that by the time we, the nieces and nephews, came along, we called her Aunt Tequila, or Tiqui. ...

Notes

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pp. 161-174

Bibliography

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pp. 175-188

Index

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pp. 189-193

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About the Author

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A former elementary and high school ESL teacher, Kate Vieira is assistant professor of English in the program in Composition and Rhetoric at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.