Thursday, October 4, 2018

Blog Post for University of Colorado and Utah State Press


My Blog Post: “We Will Be Better for It”: Critical Hope from Women of Color in Digital Spaces"

I was asked to write something in relation to the recent collection Racial Shorthand that I co-edited with Octavio Pimentel, so I wrote about the great work of Women of Color, highlighting some digital platforms and academic platforms that have supported these efforts. Feeling really grateful to UP Colorado/Utah State UP for letting me discuss this topic and draw attention to some work that should be amplified. 


Here's a longer quote:

The influence and centrality of women of color in Racial Shorthand is not limited to the contributors. Chicana poet and scholar Natalie Martinez inspired my chapter, “Digital Latinx Storytelling: Testimonio as Multimodal Resistance”, with the captivating video she composed that I include as an example of digital testimonio. One of my graduate school mentors, Adela Licona, informed my early understanding on the testimonio genre when she suggested that I read Telling to Live, a collection of testimonios by the Latina Feminist Collaborative (Del Alba et al. 2001). And I believe that my paternal grandmother, Dorothy Medina, represents one of the most influential WoC in my life, which is perhaps why I used her voice from archival family videos in the book trailer as a kind of found narration. In the trailer, her offhand comments about my family’s use of technology 30 years ago provide insights into the traditions of PoC using technology in ways that have been ignored.

Read the full article here:

https://upcolorado.com/about-us/blog/item/3537-we-will-be-better-for-it-critical-hope-from-women-of-color-in-digital-spaces

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Our New Digital Book on Race and Technology

New Edited Collection from Computers and Composition Digital Press

Really excited to announce that our edited collection Racial Shorthand: Coded Discrimination Contested in Social Media is now available online from Computers and Composition Digital Press. CCDP is an open access scholarly publication, so the collection will be free to access and will be housed on CCDP's site, the digital arm of the University of Utah Press. 



As a co-editor and contributor with Octavio Pimentel, I am extremely proud of all the chapters contributed by (in alphabetical order): Laura Gonzales, Lillie R. Jenkins, Alexis McGee, Charise Pimentel, Octavio Pimentel, Julia Voss, and Miriam F. Williams. 

Here is the link to the site: http://ccdigitalpress.org/shorthand 

The abstract is below:


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This collection is called Racial Shorthand because it sets out to unpack the dominant narratives embedded in media representations. These misrepresentations reinforce how people of color are framed by racist discourses and undermine the multimodal composing by communities of color, further erasing the rhetorical, oral, and aural traditions of these communities. Contributions to this digital collection include chapters analyzing racist discourse in social media and chapters that highlight multimodal and digital composing by people of color. This collection disrupts the dominant shorthand by demonstrating how communities of color produce multimodal projects and leverage the affordances of social media in ways that extend the rhetorical traditions and literacy practices of these communities. 

Thanks to Cindy Selfe for the initial interest in the project, and thanks to Patrick Berry for shepherding the project through, with Melanie Yergeau and Tim Lockridge, to completion. 

Look for the cover (designed by Heather Turner) coming soon on the CCDP website!


Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Overdue post on Frederick Aldama's SCU Reading

Frederick Aldama's Reading for Long Stories Cut Short

With guest contributor: Jacqui Ibarra-Garcia

(SCU Students with Aldama, Velasco and myself)

Some time back, I posted on Frederick Aldama's upcoming reading here at SCU for his book Long Stories Cut Short: Fictions from the Borderlands. It's been a minute, but one of my colleagues reminded me about putting something together for our department newsletter, so I thought that I might share the write up here by one of my former students, Jacqui Ibarra, which I include, following my brief introduction. 


(Juan Velasco's introduction)

On Feb 27, 2018, Frederick Aldama (Distinguished Professor Ohio State University) read from his book of bilingual flash fiction Long Stories Cut Short: Fictions from the Borderland in the St. Clare room at Santa Clara University’s Learning Commons. Professor Juan Velasco provided a thoughtful introduction of Aldama’s work and the need to understand the experiences of immigrants at this particular moment in time.


The following is by first year Business major Jacqui Ibarra-Garcia:


During Frederick Luis Aldama’s reading from his book, I came to realize several things. One of those things was how powerful the imagination is, and how talented Aldama was for being able to serve as a guide for our imagination, but never crossing the line of being in control of our imagination like other traditional forms of writing. In the beginning of the talk when he read out sentence-long stories, asking us what we felt and what were the first things to pop into our minds, my peers surprised me. I noticed that several times, what I felt and what I thought of were very different than my peers' thoughts. I suppose this is because of the different places we come from. Some people are looking into his stories from the inside, but others are from the outside who don’t have too much knowledge of what places like La Villita are like.

Another thing that I found interesting was how easy he made it to latch onto characters. For example, when he was describing the life of Carlos, who’s children both wound up in the hospital for unfortunate reasons out of their control, I felt as though I was a part of that journey. I kept wondering to myself, how, in one page, am I so moved by a character? I’m sure it has taken years of practice for Aldama to be so comfortable with language that he manages to cut out 60% of the words but still provide the same dramatic effect. This point also led me to wonder, how different did it sound in Spanish? From my experience with the two languages, I have come across numerous words that just don’t translate. For example, “Mi virgencita Ranchera”, or “my little virgin rancher”. In English, I imagine a young, virgin girl who lives in a rural area. However in Mexico,”Mi Virgencita Ranchera” is my sweet Virgen de Guadalupe, who is one of my people, from the slums of Mexico. Even there, I struggle to describe the emotions that I feel when referring to her, so I can only imagine the challenges that Aldama faced when writing his flash fiction book.

Professional Talk on Analytics

If an Article is Published in the Forest and No One Reads it....

Today I was invited to speak a bit at a faculty professional development talk on using social media and analytics to amplify the impact of academic publishing. One of my colleagues, Laura Ellingson (her blog https://realisticallyeverafter.blog/blog/) spoke about some of her interactions through Google Scholar and how it's opened up conversations with scholars who have cited her work. Ellingson also spoke about her experiences blogging and writing for a public audience.



(Photo credit: Eileen Elrod)

My own talk related to work I have done on the NCTE/CCCC Latinx Caucus bibliography and some of the research on publication and citation practices related to scholars of color. I also discussed posting across platforms because of the different audiences accessible; in the slide, you can see the different numbers of connections across different social media, although the number doesn't directly relate to impact from those platforms.

The last presenters were Shannon and Ray from the University Learning Commons/Library and the scholarship repository available on our campus for open access. 

Here is the link to my page: https://works.bepress.com/cruz-medina/

Thanks to Eileen Elrod for the invitation to speak today!

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Wardle Threshold Concepts

Amy Lueck's Notes from Elizabeth Wardle's 2/12 Talk

Earlier this month, my colleague Julia Voss coordinated a visit with talk and workshop with Elizabeth Wardle, who spoke on the topic of threshold concepts. Below are the notes taken by other amazing colleague Amy Lueck. 

(Flyer for event)

 Erik Meyer and Ray Land (2003) developed Threshold Concept Framework. People get hung up on the notion of “concepts” here, but you might think “learning thresholds.”
Characteristics of these learning thresholds include:
  • transformative (change ways of being and knowing); sometimes bounded (may mark disciplinary territory); integrative (help learning perceive connections); troublesome (question ritualized or inert common sense views, are conceptually difficult, are counterintuitive, require adopting unfamiliar discourse, may conflict with your worldview, can make the world appear more problematic or troublesome). 



  • ways of thinking and practicing
  • not core concepts, which are important but don’t lead to “a dramatic shift to a new level of understanding” (Biggs and Tang 83)
  •  writing is a process



Liminality- the journey toward a threshold concept


Liminal space- you thought you had things connected, but now all the connections are gone and it can be uncomfortable until you find out how it all can fit together again.
  • repetition, application, reflection, connections across time, and dialogue with both peers and faculty
  • name them early and often. 
  • helps students to integrate and make connections across seemingly disparate contexts
  • help students learn by doing- then step back from it and name what they were doing
  • aid student in using throw to understand practice and vice versa
  • adaptation during the state of liminality results in Engfish or mush faking. Examples are important for providing a bridge to cross liminality- Science templates from Tracy Ruscetti
  • may make them feel robbed of a comforting idea, entailing a sense of loss

 (Me w/my eyes closed, Wardle, Voss, and Lueck)


First Year Writing threshold concepts

- brainstorm rhetorical strategies

-look at the rhetoric of your discipline
-opportunities for theorizing, doing, reflecting


 (Wardle's Handouts)


Tuesday, January 23, 2018

SCU Faculty Workshop on BEAM

Framework for Rhetorical Research

Yesterday I had the chance to present a workshop for the writing faculty on the use of Joseph Bizup's "BEAM: A Framework for Rhetorical Research." We began by discussing what kinds of texts faculty used with students and what kinds of questions remained with regard how sources were being used.
I identified a couple key issues:

  • Reluctance to use sources that ran counter to their position or the sources that they agreed with (a form of confirmation bias)
  • Uncertainty of how to organize sources (chronologically?)
I presented a few examples of Exhibits ("E" of BEAM) that could help provoke research questions from students (another difficult part of the research process). They work well as a place to start for recent/relevant research because they:
  • Provide an example of what the research question addresses
  • Provoke a research question based on a broader topic

We spent a good amount of time discussing Methods ("M" in BEAM) and the extent to which students are already familiar with "guiding concepts or procedures" that provide interpretive lenses or frames for their research. Another made the point that Methods can be instrumental so that they might not need to be a source, but acknowledged in terms of discipline how they approach a topic. 

Others present discussed the benefits of setting aside time to look with librarians at Background sources, using encyclopedia databases such as Omnifile. 


I shared the Learning Glass video I did for BEAM as well as a Portland State video that someone did for BEAM (below).

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Student Podcast on Basic Writing in the Digital Age

Featuring an Interview with Yours Truly

The following podcast was composed by Sanah Imran, who was a student in my Introduction to Writing Studies undergraduate course this Fall. For her final project, she composed a podcast on basic writing and the use of multimodal composing because of her background as a multilingual speaker and her Engineering major.

Sanah began researching basic writing and coming up with a literature review. From her literature review, she created a survey that I distributed on the Facebook page for the Council of Basic Writers, and I believe that she had some 40 or so responses by very generous instructors of basic writing who responded to her survey. From these responses, she prepared questions for our interview based on my work in the University of Arizona's award-winning basic/developmental writing program.


Sanah Imran is an Electrical Engineering major and English minor, as well as a recipient of SCU's Presidential Scholarship.

To read more about Sanah's project, visit the ePortfolio she composed for the course: https://sanahimran.weebly.com/final-project

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

My Bread Loaf Student in BLTN Journal

A Great Podcast Interview with Rajwinder Kaur by Tom McKenna

The BLTN Journal site has a great podcast interview with my student from last summer, Rajwinder Kaur, about her final project that she created for my Multicultural Digital Storytelling class. Raja details how she is working to incorporate this kind of storytelling into her classes, although she notes difficulties she faces because her students still face issues of access to resources, which she is working through.





I am also embedding her video below:


Raja mentions the Digital Storytelling text we discussed in the class Digital Storytelling: Capturing Lives, Creating Community (Digital Imaging and Computer Vision)

Monday, November 13, 2017

Fall 2017 issue of Composition Studies

My piece "Identity, Decolonialism, and Digital Archives"

I am proud to be included with a great group of Latinx scholars in rhetoric and composition who have contributed pieces for this issue of Composition Studies on current Latinx research. I begin my piece by discussing UTEP's Rhetoric Symposium where I spoke on decolonizing digital platforms and the rest of my piece is framed around a Google Doc that serves as a growing archive of citations from members of the NCTE/CCCC Latinx Caucus and the decolonial potential for archiving knowledge at the margins. If you're unsure about the term Latinx, Christina Garcia offers an explanation of the term in her contribution, and there are great contributions from other great scholars who I am honored to share journal pages with. 



See the Table of Contents below or here: http://www.uc.edu/journals/composition-studies/issues/archives/fall-2018-45-2.html




Link to my piece in SCU library: https://works.bepress.com/cruz-medina/12/ 

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Frederick Aldama coming to SCU in February

Reading from his Bilingual Flash Fiction Long Stories Cut Short

On February 27, 2018, writer and scholar Frederick Aldama will be reading from his book of bilingual flash fiction Long Stories Cut Short: Fictions from the Borderlands (Camino del Sol) at Santa Clara University.


“Buzzin’ from start to finish, an unexpected bilingual knock-out punch!”—Juan Felipe Herrera, Poet Laureate of the United States

Aldama’s is graphic reality, in bold typeface, lines as abrupt as single words—go, allá, fast, ya.”—Dagoberto Gilb , author of Before the End, After the Beginning: Stories


Long Stories Cut Short exists in that borderland space where fact frictively rubs up against fiction in the lives of Latinx peoples. From Xbox videogamer cholo cyberpunks to philosophically musing Latinx tweens and undocumented papás and romancing abuelitas, these dynamic bilingual prose-art creative flash nonfictions probe deeply the psychological ups and downs of Latinxs surviving a world filled with racism, police brutality, poverty. These flashes of creative nonfictional insight bring gleaming clarity to life lived for Latinxs across the Américas where all sorts of borders meet and shift.


Frederick Luis Aldama is Arts & Humanities Distinguished Professor of English, University Distinguished Scholar, and University Distinguished Teacher. He is the author, co-author, and editor of over 30 books. He is editor and coeditor of 8 academic press book series. He is founder and director of the Ohio Education Summit Award and White House Hispanic Bright Spot winning LASER/Latinx Space for Enrichment & Research. He is founder of the Humanities & Cognitive Sciences High School Summer Institute. He has been honored with the 2016 American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education’s Outstanding Latino/a Faculty in Higher Education Award. In 2017 he was inducted into the Academy of Teaching as well as the Society of Cartoon Arts.



Monday, September 11, 2017

Alexandra Hidalgo's Cámara Retórica: A Feminist Filmmaking Methodology for Rhetoric and Composition

New from Computers and Composition Digital Press is Alexandra Hidalgo's (Michigan State UniversityCámara Retórica: A Feminist Filmmaking Methodology for Rhetoric and Composition. It is a video book that enacts the strategies and practices that it articulates.

One of my favorite quotes from the Introduction is when Hidalgo writes, 
"I have five years of experience as a documentary filmmaker but nothing taught me more about life behind the camera than these fevered, rushed, ecstatic weeks when there was never enough footage to fill the six chapters that comprise this video book."

The subtitle of "A Feminist Filmaking Methodology" makes me think of the idea that women's rights are human rights, and the methodology that Alexandra Hidalgo outlines is an articulation of ethical practices that are collaborative and reciprocal, thereby postulating an approach to filmmaking that is humanistic and considerate of the rights of all involved.

Each chapter runs somewhere between 15-30 minutes each and include interviews, memoir, and professional considerations. The ebook is open source and free to read from Computers Composition Digital Press, the electronic imprint of the University of Utah Press. Below is the preview for the book, although the link is also here (http://ccdigitalpress.org/camara/intro.html). 






Hidalgo outlines the chapters as follows:
"Chapter 1 defines the video book’s key terminology and introduces viewers to the qualitative study I draw from as I make my arguments about film and video production in Rhetoric and Composition.Chapter 2 uses my filmmaking experience and interviews with women filmmakers to define feminist filmmaking through six key principles.
Chapter 3 provides a taxonomy of the film and video work currently done by rhetoricians.
Chapter 4 explores the ways in which rhetoricians use the principles of feminist filmmaking to learn how to make moving images and provides a set of guidelines for Rhetoric and Composition’s film and video production.
Chapter 5 uses the principles of feminist filmmaking to provide strategies for making film and video production count toward tenure and promotion.
Chapter 6 discusses the particular benefits that rhetoricians bring to academic film and video production and presents my thoughts on the future of moving images in Rhetoric and Composition."
This is not any kind of exhaustive review of Hidalgo's important project; however, it is a ringing endorsement for those interested in filmmaking, feminist practices, feminist theory, and multimodal scholarly publishing.

MLA
Hidalgo, Alexandra. Cámara Retórica: A Feminist Filmmaking Methodology. Logan, UT: Computers and Composition Digital P/Utah State UP, 2017. Web.

Read the ebook herehttp://ccdigitalpress.org/camara/intro.html

Alexandra Hidalgo can be found on Twitter @SabanaGrandePro

Or visit find more from her here:

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