45-minute Webcast

Mimicry & Plagiarism: A Place for Copying in Learning

Writing X Tech | The Writing Mindset

Mimesis refers to the ability to copy. Mimicry is the practice of imitating gestures, speech or actions of individuals, or the imitation of one group by another which affects cultural change. The Western academic tradition is celebrated for its emphasis on deep and meaningful learning, while strongly discouraging students from copying.

However, this pervasive stance against copying invites further analysis, particularly at this time of increasing transnational education when many Western universities – especially those with offshore campuses – draw in large numbers of international students, including students from around Asia who often struggle to master academic writing as well as English skills.

Join us for a discussion about the importance of mimicry and modeling for supporting students move into unfamiliar discursive communities. The practice of “copying to learn” can increase the level of academic writing of students from disparate backgrounds with an approach that uses valued cultural methods.


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Anita Lundberg, is an Associate Professor and cultural anthropologist at James Cook University currently exploring the ethnography of higher education. Anita has held numerous fellowships, served as an Anthropologist-in-Residence, convened a think tank at The Cairns Institute, and curated exhibitions of research, theory, and artistic works across the world. She has received awards for outstanding teaching, research supervision and innovative research, and serves on the editorial board of Etropics and the Indian Journal of Women's Studies.

Jason Chu is Education Director for Turnitin. His focus is on working to build resources for educators, and his personal passion is to find better ways to enhance student achievement.  He will be moderating this webcast.

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