American by Paper: How Documents Matter in Immigrant Literacy tells the stories of documented and undocumented Portuguese-speaking immigrants in a former mill town in Massachusetts. 

It shows how papers, such as visas, passports, and greencards, shape immigrants' access to the American Dream. 

It won an honorable mention in the 2017 Conference on College Composition and Communication's Outstanding Book Award Competition.


I leave Vieira’s book feeling deeply that ours is a crazy system: Why keep piling documents on top of documents, making of them a wall to the world? Why should migrants—people—have to choose between the time-consuming work of pursuing English or caring for their families? Why make migrant lives any harder than they already are? American by Paper urges us to rethink all that we ask of those who seek a better life.
— Catherine Prendergast, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign

Relentless in its critique of literacy as a social practice and in its effort to develop a counter-narrative, American by Paper forces open a conversation that has been lingering but has not received the kind of attention it deserves.
— Juan Guerra, University of Washington

A riveting account of those pursuing the American Dream.



Table of Contents


An American With Papers

How Documents Matter in Migrants' Lives

Chapter One
Literacy and Assimilation in an Age of Papers: The View from South Mills

Chapter Two
"American by Paper": Azorean and Azorean American Literacy Lives

Chapter Three
Uncodumented in a Documentary Society: Brazilian Literacy Lives

Chapter Four
"It's Not Because of the English": Literacy Lives of the Young

Lessons Learned from Transnational Lives: Toward a Sociomaterialist Literacy


Preface: An American With Papers


Preface to American by Paper: How Documents Matter in Immigrant Literacy by Kate Vieira (University of Minnesota Press, 2016). Copyright 2016 by the Regents of the University of Minnesota.






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