Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Arpaio interrupted

Anti-Arpaio Protest through song

On William Nericcio's Tex[t]-Mex blog, he posted an interesting video taken from a public appearance by Joe Arpaio at a First Amendment forum at Arizona State.

Interruption is a rhetorical strategy that has been deployed by the conservative 'Tea Party' groups, so it's interesting to note that the left is performing similar approaches in public forums.

Even the site in his name is against him: from

Monday, November 30, 2009



Below is the announcement of a great event and the link to the pdf.

The Dec 3-6 events at the University of Arizona & El Rio Neighborhood
Center will be historic. It will bring together elders from throughout
the country, along with elders from AROMAS & Los Universitarios. This
gathering will permit my students in my Movimiento Ollin Movement
class (MAS 350) to present their research on Tucson’s/Arizona’s
Movimiento/Movement. They will present their work, both to elders and
to the public. Other students from the U of A and Raza Studies-Tucson
Unified School District students will also present. The idea behind
this is rooted in the idea of elder epistemology – that the knowledge
of our communities comes from elders and that students must return
that knowledge back to the elders and our communities.

Students will present on Dec 4 & 5, symposium-style, in front of
AROMAS or the abuelitos & abuelitas associated with the
Chicano/Hispano Centro on campus & Los Universitarios – a group active
on campus since the 1950s. Some will also present their research in
poetry, hip-hop, song and theater. Capping the event will be a 7:30 pm
rally on Sat. Dec 5 in support of Raza Studies – from kindergarten
through the proposed PhD at the U of A. Raza Studies remains under
attack nationwide, particularly in Arizona. Part of this rally will
include a concert by Aztlan Underground which has just released their
first CD in 8 years. Suggested donations are $10 students and $15 gen
adm. It will be $15 students at the door and $20 gen. adm. at the
door. See enclosed flyer for details.

All the transportation & housing has been covered for the invited out
of town elders. Quite a bit still needs to be raised to cover
honorariums, food, etc. Due to the economy, here is a creative way to
raise the needed funds. Please consider making a donation (from you or
your organization). Any amount is welcome. If you donate $50, Dr.
Patrisia Gonzales will make her book: The Mud People, available for
this donation. If you send $100, you will get The Mud People and a
historic book I wrote in 1984: Assault With a Deadly Weapon. It has
recently been reprinted. Whatever you can donate will help us put on
this historic event.

To contribute, make CHECK payable to: The UA Foundation, and mail it
to: Department of Mexican American & Raza Studies: Attn: Veronica
Peralta. Cesar Chavez Bldg., Room 208, PO BOX 210023 / Tucson, AZ
85721-0023. CREDIT CARD: Please send an email to Veronica Peralta at: for instructions. Pleas indicate if you
want the books.

All contributions are tax-deductible. For more info, write me at:
520-626-0824 or

* If you would like tickets for the Dec 5 Raza Studies Rally-Aztlan
Underground Concert, please contact MEChA directly at: Jessica: or Tiffany at:
Proceeds from the concert will go toward building the Dolores
Huerta-Cesar Chavez Arch, slated to be constructed in front of the
UA-Cesar Chavez building. My earlier books, The X in La Raza & Codex
Tamuanchan have been recently reprinted and have been donated to
UA-MEChA in their efforts to build the arch. Contact Jessica & Tiffany
above for further info.

Roberto Dr. Cintli Rodriguez
Assistant professor
Mexican American & Raza Studies-UA

Reposted from Frente de Mexicanos en Canada by request of Roberto Rodriguez

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Gear Up College Outreach

Sunnyside Field Trip to the University of Arizona

Dr. Roberto Rodriguez, a.k.a Dr. Cintli spoke to Mr. Siqueiro's junior U.S History class from Sunnyside High School. He showed a clip of his film Amoxtli san ce tojuan: we are one: nosotros somos uno, before handing out copies to members of the class and Mr. Siqueiros.

Instead of posting more pictures with very little in the way of context, I'm attempting to integrate a simple power point I put together from the day's events.

Click on this Link to the Power Point

Thanks to Darcy Felix & Dr. Rodriguez in Mexican American/Raza Studies Dept, as well as Faith Kurtyka, Nicole Esquivel, Mel Agostini, Melissa Rodriguez & friends for all of your help.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Science-Fiction of Assimilation

"You will be assimilated"
In a discussion with Dr. Damian Baca, I brought up the metaphor of the Borg, the cyborg enemy on Star Trek that assimilates other groups, stripping them of their culture and identity and forcing them to change their way of life. The trope is one that has been used in passing among colleagues, but it felt poignant in 'the classroom is a violent place' mode of thinking about how the university can have the effect of imposing its value system and beliefs in much the same way that dominant hegemonic ideologies cover over the cultures of those it assimilates.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Unsettling Certainties

Why Does Racism Persist in the United States of America?
This evening Carlos Gallego facilitated an open forum panel discussion at the University of Arizona Poetry Center with members of the Humanities faculty.

Dr. Gallego showed this clip from the show "Community":

Gallego pointed out that victims of racism can be racist at the same time because racism is a way of thinking, a way of making sense of the world.

Dr. Wendy Theodore answered the question about the existence of racism through the examination of conversation we hear in public spaces, and from them we shouldn't be surprised why racism continues.
One out of the many interesting points that Dr. Theodore addressed was how African American students experience more racially identified after going through a higher learning.

Professor of American Indian Studies, Franci Washburn highlighted how women of color are victims of violence at higher rates than women in the majority who tend to receive the most news/media coverage. By the same token, Washburn explained that women of race rarely see justice, and rarely make the news.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Instant Academic Discourse--Just Add Water

Make Your Own Academic Sentence

I've got to give it to the new media practioners at the University of Chicago--they've created an academic sentence generator with drop-down menus that allow you to mix & match erudite phrases.

This artifact seems to speak to one of the fundamentals of new media that can simplify the inner workings of new media objects down to data bases. From the most obvious examples of search engine software to hardware object like iPod Nanos, the ability to store and search large data bases of information remains a constant in the evolution of technology.(the above image comes from a sketchy editing site called

The Chronicle of Higher Ed comments.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Arizona Public Media

Corrido Field Day Video

Here's a video that PBS put together for the Corrido Field Day that Gear Up helped coordinate with the UA Poetry Center.


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Mea culpa, hablo español

I Speak Spanish: Sorry About That

The header above comes from an article by Pilar Marrero, who writes for La Opinión. It was passed on to me by colleagues and it addresses some recent issues in the Southwest regarding the unfair treatment of Spanish speakers.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Lively Talk about the Comp Canon

Susan Miller at UA
Susan Miller spoke at the University of Arizona yesterday about the Norton Anthology of Composition Studies which she edited, emphasizing that the book should be viewed as selected readings. The book, she explained, functions as its own context for the articles that it includes, although she asked the writers to also provide a brief 'why I wrote this' statement before their contributions. Miller explained that many of those in the beginning of the collection had been her friends and had passed away, so she took it upon herself to give the explanations for their articles, based on discussions she'd had with them all over the years.

Miller explained that the difficultly of putting together selected texts has raised some criticisms of the canon and of her; she explained that she has felt that she has been spoken of as someone who is bloodless and six-feet under by some of the same critics in the field who attack anyone without a Rhet/Comp degree serving as writing program administrator (even though she points out her own PhD in Victorian literature, among many other famous names who came to the field before their were Rhet/Comp programs.)

One of the more controversial stances that Miller explained having taken was her decision to exclude 'Rhetoric' from the Norton collection as a part of her larger view of rhetoric as a mode of instruction, and not evolving much further than the discussions of Aristotle and Plato propagated by the Germans as a part of their re-writing of history. Miller explained that she has been verbally yelled at by rooms full of academic colleagues who do not share this view, but she said that she came to this understanding after having taught rhetoric for nearly 20 years and feeling that she wasn't sure what it was she was teaching them and that she was a part of perpetuating the myth of God having touched Athens, making it the 'cradle of knowledge'.

Miller felt she could no longer talk about rhetoric as though it hadn't been used, or understood by other civilizations. Politically, Miller argued, educators and administration would like to talk about rhetoric because they can conceptualize it as something they don't understand, whereas they can write off composition.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Celebration or Commercialization?

Can Cultural Festival/Celebrations Avoid Essentialism?
An acquaintance sent me this picture from an Italy Festival, and it was so grating on my critical sensibilities that I had to medi[blog]tate on it. I began by asking myself if this person is 1) of Italian heritage, 2) if so, genuinely feels they are celebrating their heritage, 3) knows they are commoditizing Italian culture down to stereotypical elements that make the culture dismissible, rather than celebrate a rich culture pre-dating Cicero and Quintilian?

This picture reminded me of the poster below that I've seen with "Mexico" super-imposed in the upper left-hand corner.

While the quasi-Chiquita banana woman has enough semiotic negative connotations attached to her through the exploitative business practices of banana conglomerates in Central and South America, what is disturbing from a purely spatial-visual perspective is how the dark 'other' is situated in a subservient position in the background, working as the lighter-skinned female beckons with the suggestive fruit which she bears. Like the woman with the spaghetti hat above, these symbols of culture work against complexities and nuances of cultures that theses images serve to cover over.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Non-Western Paideia

Colleges Before Columbus

The title above comes from an article in Tribal College Journal of American Indian Higher Education, although I found the it on-line at Mexican Uprising.

Colleges Before Columbus: Mayans, Aztecs and Incas Offered Advanced Education Long Before the Arrival of Europeans" summarizes pre-columbian centers of education (paideia--my word for the week--Greek for education/play)--article on Greek notions of play.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Nerdiness and White Privilege

(found this picture on the site

The heading above comes from an article by the same title, written by sociolinguist Mary Bucholtz.

Since I just meditated on "Stuff White People Like", it seems to follow logic that I should mention the scholarly work that has addressed similar linguistic choices aligned with the ideology that accompanies white privilege.

In Bucholtz's article, in which she interviews the students at a high school who self-identify as 'nerds' and speak in a super-standard form of English that integrates scientific discourse, Bucholtz explains, "engaging in nerdy practices may itself be a form of white privilege, since these practices were not as readily available to teenagers of color and the consequences of their use more severe"(96).

True, SWPL isn't referring to itself as a book for nerds, or for people of privilege, but Bucholtz' findings seem to point to a connection between the availability of these choices and privilege.

"The Whiteness of Nerds" also points out that while these linguistic practices of high school students, who self-identify as 'nerds', further distance themselves from their African American counterparts, Bucholtz doesn't make claims to say that this isn't necessarily a conscious strategy of the nerd students.

Separating themselves from the African-American population was "not necessarily an intended consequence...nerds defined themselves in opposition to both coolness and blackness" (94)

Friday, October 16, 2009

White-ness, Class & Aesthetics

Stuff White People Like

I was looking at the popular blog turned book "Stuff White People Like" and it reminded me of a few issues that arose this summer during the New Start speaker series.

One of the speakers caused quite a stir when he explained to the group of students that by his definition of racism, white people couldn't be victims of racism because they are a part of the dominant hegemony. Now this flies in the face of the notion of reverse-racism, and I think that's what a lot of students took umbrage with.

Coming back to SWPL, I found myself going through the blog (which doesn't have that many updates since the book tour) and of course there are items I agree with and those I don't, but I also thought about bell hooks' Where We Stand: Class Matters (I experiment with Google Books embed below). It also reminded me that the sensibilities, which SWPL points out, align with what I observed on my last trip to San Francisco, home of both acceptance and pretension. In the multicultural city of SF, you can just as easily meet Asian, Eastern Indian and numerous other ethnicities with these tastes because they appeal to a certain bourgeois, middle-upper class cultural aesthetic.
Where We Stand

But the different posts on SWPL reminded me of those people who I sometimes feel buy things just so that they can talk about it, i.e.: 'I found this great little farmer's market that has the best organic avocados,' or 'I eat sushi at least once a week, but there are some great happy hours nearby.'

Some of what makes these comments grating can be the affect of elitism, which is consciously enunciated to overcompensate for whatever feelings of insecurity in the speaker. Although I also see how these choices attempt to create a culture for this group who associates with the label 'white' and will at times describe themselves as 'cultureless.' At the same time, those who aren't apart of this ethnic group will sometimes be victims of discrimination from within their own ethnicity for their willing acceptance of assimilation/transculturation.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Gear Up in the News

Writing Centers in Tucson schools

Taken from today's UA news story:
"UA College of Humanities graduate students with the GEAR UP Program help Sunnyside Unified High School students mentor their 10th grade peers with writing skills" (by Rebecca Ruiz-McGill)

The article does a nice job of highlighting some of the hard work of Gear Up team member Rachael Wendler and Desert View teacher Maria Elena Wakamatsu.

Read the rest of the article

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Why we teach Visual Analysis

False Diversity
(*Thanks to Faith Kurtyka's witty and entertaining 2009 New Directions Presentation*)
These two images, the one on the left a doctored photo that inserted an African-American student into the cover of Wisconsin's Application, have received a fair deal of discussion with regard to how diversity is represented at universities as opposed to the reality of student populations.(picture available on many sites on-line, but I found this one at

Teaching a section on visual analysis, I found that first year students responded to this photo (first asked to visually analyze the doctored photo, and then showing the original without the African-American student). The section in the Student's Guide to First Year Writing set up the discussion well by analyzing one of UA's own marketing pictures, but the reality of how we are visually manipulated became more clear when students saw the Wisconsin example.

Students seemed to be left with a 'if we can't trust the university, who can we trust?' Which is always a nice way to get students to re-evaluate/re-visit assumptions.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Multiculturalism in Classroom

School of Fish in a Big Pond?

So I'm definitely mixing metaphors, but a couple months back Stanley Fish wrote "What Should Colleges Teach?", a multiple part piece, in which Fish argues that multicultural politics shouldn't be included in classroom curriculum. For those who remember Fish's name from Intro to Lit Theory courses, you'll remember he's the expressionist, reader-response proponent who a lot of people tend to boil down to a 'whatever the piece makes you think about, write on that.'
Save the World on Your Own Time

Just as that's not exactly Fish's philosophy, to say that he has no points to be made in his Times piece would ignore some of the aspects of writing and teaching grammar in context that some of my grad colleagues have admitted to omitting. Fish warns about putting a political agenda ahead of the teaching of good writing fundamentals--but all of you know this--we all use student examples to demonstrate how grammar sometimes works and doesn't.
ALT DIS: Alternative Discourses and the Academy

The D&I in partnership with the EGU at UA got together and had a salon-like discussion about Fish's article, and I'm thankful to those who attended, and to Jun Liu, our department chair who helped make it possible to have an academic discussion with a focus on the teaching community of graduate students from Lit and Rhet/Comp.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Article on Tucson schools

Sensational journalism, or troubling trend

The front page of the Arizona Daily Star today had a picture from the school where I'm doing college outreach--the article quoted the principal for saying that the school is more safe than it has been and could be. The rest of the article highlights different situations at local Tucson schools. I'm hoping this is more of a sensational article trying to sell papers by encouraging fear, rather than a real indication of a potential trend.
(The website asks to sign up for free log-in, or you could copy/paste into an engine)

Disrespect breeds assaults, harassment in local schools

Saturday, September 19, 2009

D&I EGU brown bag

Critical Pedagogy in the Classroom

This past Thursday, the Diversity and Inequality committee of the English Graduate Union hosted a brown bag discussion with Professor Adela Licona. We discussed having a general theme of critical pedagogy. Dr. Licona suggested Freire's "On the Right and the Duty to Change the World."

The following are some incomplete notes & fragments from the really great, thought-provoking discussion:

Dr. Adela Licona:
How do we do this [critical pedagogy]? Our performances/embodied practices are different? Our bodies are walking texts and what we put into it is all that matters.

I start all my classes with a question? The production of knowledge as a political production--I ask my students, "To me what a woman in colonial times looks like?" I put my back to them and they throw out descriptions: 'bonnets', 'on a porch', 'bare foot', 'young', 'pale', 'white'.
The back to students helps students get past ideas of me looking for the 'right' answer for the good grade.

The discussion often gets to "white, middle class woman"--I don't give prompt, and that's what I get. I ask "Were there other women present at that time?" "What do we know about those women?"
Knowledge is presented to us with political knowledge; there are always students who never critically question politically recieved knowledge; student: "a history book can only be so fat, right?"
It's a fair question, but who determines? what history are so valuable?--canonical inquiry
--"Birth Witness"--native American scholar/ film: "Seen But Not Heard"--undocumented laborers who died in 9/11 attacks not heard about.

What happens to those students who don't get on board with discussion?
AL: I'm not there to make them me; I make my politics visible. They will play with ideas and maybe then retreat, and make conscious decisions to be on other side of discussion, but that's a conscious descion; I used to put out a lot of effort to try and change, but I know these pieces can be transformative if they let them be.

Critical feminist pedagogy: implying there's a consciousness in me about the cirriculum, what I choose to teach, and power dynamic and co-grading, and assessment. Dewey talks about lived experience, Freire, Ira Shore...But where are the women?

What about students who think they have this consciosness & think racism is over?
Van Dyke, socio cognitive theorist--the only way to become anti-racist is to start in K-12 & make a conscious effort to not be racist.
Students will ask, so there is no "Truth"? I always do midterm evaluations for those students who are completely disengaged.
I want students to realize that we can arrive at truth, but we have to see the different perspectives; ask for three months to bang the drum; can you give me this drum if you never hear it again--you have 3-4 months to engage as you never will again.

What happens when you're not respected as a woman instructor by strong male voices in the class?

I sometimes trade a day with males who are more radical. I also ask students to post a question to a site--submit open-ended questions by voices that aren't dominant; a question about 'x' and that's where I want to start today (annonymity in assignment).

Monday, September 14, 2009

A Cool Short Doc

Women's Intercultural Center Documentry

This is a really great upbeat story about the power of women coming together in a community to help themselves and one another.

To help the filmmakers Log into Youtube and leave a comment

Thursday, September 10, 2009

College Outreach Event

Corrido Field Day

It's coming, October 3 at the University of Arizona Poetry Center, starting at 9 a.m. Sure it's a few weeks off, but it's never too early to start thinking about corridos!

(photos from UA PoC website of last year's Field Day)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Wildcat Writers

Service Learning/Outreach

GEAR UP has partnered up with the service learning outreach program Wildcat Writers in order to consolidate resources, making it easier for UA and local Tucson high school teachers already familiar with either program.

Some pics from last year's Wildcat Writers campus event

Last night I attended the Arizona Assurance Scholars Program dinner and met with one of the incoming freshmen who I'll be mentoring. It already seems like a really great program. All of the students I met seem really motivated, even if they're experiencing all of the first week of college mishaps like losing computer cords and printing out tons of pdfs...

(picture by Arezu Corella)
This summer I worked with one of the Assurance peer mentors, so I already know that this program will be continue to be successful.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Eduardo Galeano on NPR

The Book Hugo Chavez Gave Obama

Eduardo Galeano's Latin American History book Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent has been billed as the leftist history book that Chavez presented Obama on the 'scandalous' occasion when Obama shook Chavez' hand.

Truth be told, I'm waiting on a copy via Interlibrary Loan because the UA's went mysteriously missing, but I did catch the NPR interview with Galeano this morning & I think it's worth a listen:
(photo by Marcelo Isarrualde)

Eduardo Galeano Contemplates History's Paradoxes

I especially like when he says: "Richness in the world is a result of other people's poverty. We should begin to shorten the abyss between haves and have-nots."

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Songs of Resistance

Open Mic to Benefit Raza Studies
I believe that as a part of a Raza Studies student's senior project, she organized this open mic--I don't know any educators who wouldn't want a program like this in their school given the amount of student involvement in not just the school, but also the community.

On this past Cinco de Mayo, I was able to see a Tucson High Raza Studies performance at the UA. Supporting these efforts by students is really important because it validates them as agents of change.

And like Nas said, "All I need is one mic."

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Tutoring Center Video

Dedication to the Cause
As a TA and writing tutor while earning my Master's at Chapman University, I took part in a training video that was scripted and put together by students at the Dodge film school.
It's been a while since we did this, so I was surprised to find it on youtube with all of the other writing center/tutor training videos that I was going through because of the potential writing center work with Gear Up (the peer model proved successful this past year).

I noticed that most tutoring videos teeter between dry and informative, or humorous and speaking to a younger audience--this is the latter. And keep in mind that I'm no actor.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Jimmy Baca, Pedagogy of a Poet

UNM College of Education Professor Diane Torres-Velasquez discusses teaching style of Jimmy Santiago Baca

So I was watching the 'Making of' East Los Angeles gang epic Blood In Blood Out and I realized that it was written by Jimmy Santiago Baca. Here I'd taught some of Baca's work in my First Year Composition course and I wasn't aware he'd written the only film that has a 'Cruz' as a main character.

This is neither here, nor there, but this realization led me to find this video from the University of New Mexico, in which Diane Torres-Velasquez asks Baca about his ability to connect with students young and old, free and imprisoned. Accountability and making the students 'more than when they came in' are key:

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

New Start Summer '09

My New Start class
It's been a few weeks since the end of the summer bridge class I taught, but I remembered I had a few (blurry) pics from the last Pan Dulce Thursday of the semester (which happened to fall on a Friday). Like a junior high dance, the boys gravitated toward one side of the room and the girls to other.

I apologize that these pictures came out looking like they were taken on a camera-phone. I don't think the institutional white of the classroom walls helped the light balance.

The boys...

...and the ladies:

Friday, July 31, 2009

Never too late for good Summer reading

Latino Superheroes

...No, not another post about Edward James Olmos or Sotomayor

Finally got a little bit of time to catch up on my summer reading in my fortress of solitude, and I'm really enjoying Frederick Luis Aldama's Your Brain on Latino Comics.

There are a couple great lines that reminded me of the South Park & Dave Chappelle posts regarding the ethical responsibility of readers (which I couldn't help but post).

Try as we may to lead students to conclusions about representations with consciousness of social justice:
"[T]he reader's range of experience can lead him or her in any direction" (28).
What is it that readers/viewers find lacking in Latino characters that their 'careers' are often short lived?

Aldama also accounts for the cognitive dissonance experienced when watching this kind of material; the misreadings of satirical material "show how racism can prevent a reader from recognizing a narrative blueprint that uses devices and signposts to satirize contemporary society as well as to poke fun at identity politics generally" (29).

Believe it amigo...

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Existential Dilemma


So I'm in that state of academic limbo after having finished New Start with GEAR UP and the fall semester on the not too distant horizon.

Drafting a reflection for the semester helped me transition out of teaching mode, and outlining the presentation that I hope to present at Cs this year should hopefully get me through Terrace 1 & 2 of Dante's Mountain.

I checked 'Wrath' off the list when I submitted grades.

Avoiding Sloth might actually be what it is I'm doing in the exercise of blogging, but I should more than likely resume my research of successful outreach programs. The first tip I received: high school students respond well to non-fiction. Perhaps the less abstract material speaks to them--I believe this is in keeping with what is said about book sales.

It's a good thing tangential thinking is only a venial sin in teaching.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Academic Outreach


This fall, I'll be taking part in the Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs here in the Tucson and Sunnyside school districts. The program is in the 5th year of a 6 year grant, so it's 'go time' to get these students ready for college writing.

There's so much for me to learn about methods and approaches to outreach, so I imagine I'll be periodically posting new concepts that I encounter, as well as the activities that I'll find myself taking part in/organizing on behalf of the U.S Department of Education.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Stereotype Threat

New Start Academic Conference

The summer bridge program I'm teaching in had an academic conference this week and I hope to have some pics to post from it in the next few days.

It was a great opportunity to expose students to the wide range of subject matter that a conference with a theme like "Stereotype Threat" can encapsulate. One of the Mexican American students focused on the representations of Mexicans in South Park, showing this clip:

(In another episode, there a more direct criticism of Mexico as a child-like, unintelligent country)
It was a bit disheartening that the student barely scratched the surface about what was at the heart of this satire--on the face there are the racial issues that are incendiary, but I think it speaks the issue of entitlement in education, and the entitled generation of students who don't understand that the immigrant work ethic has helped define and strengthen the U. S.

The question also arises 'who's watching these cartoons'? Small children don't generally have someone there to explain the significance of satire, and yes, cartoons do perpetuate these stereotypes that are rooted in much deeper institutional/cultural systems of oppression.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Critically Conscious Pop Culture

Rage Inside the Machine

In my on-going pursuit of integrating popular culture into curriculum that addresses critical consciousness, I showed my summer bridge course a couple minutes of a Rage Against the Machine concert-doc.

There's a nice summary of the impact NAFTA had on Mexico, and in the preceding video marked pt.1 on Youtube, I showed the last few minutes narrated by singer Zach De La Rocha which give background to who Zapata is.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Funny or Further Perpetuation of Negative Stereotypes?

Latino Comedy Project

So I'm probably just opening myself up for an 'academics can't take a joke' criticism, but a Mexican American student in my class showed me this video parody of the movie 300 done by the Latino Comedy Project that seems to do more harm than good.

I am not extremely familiar with the work of the Latino Comedy Project, so I can't say for sure what kind of message that the rest of their comedy troupe sends. Just for the fact that the migrants in the video are making animal-like growls, I would say that the message isn't a move in the right direction when it comes to the on-going dialogue about immigration reform. Based on the comments posted below this youtube video, I can say that the dialogues in the virtual realm are not generative in nature, and degrade into racist name-calling and vulgarity.

It might be the LCP's stance that they are making fun of these stereotypes to somehow make them less powerful, taking away from the strength of these kinds of generalizations. This was Dave Chappelle's initial explanation for his use of the n-word on Chapelle Show, although he came to the conclusion about his flippant use of the n-word on his show, explaining in this clip from Inside the Actor's Studio that "people aren't responsible enough."

Friday, June 12, 2009

Support Sotomayor

The Common Touch
Okay, so the selling point for Sotomayor has some negative connotation to it, but I guess we need to focus on the connotation that she possesses the "double consciousness" of not only race and gender, but also class.

Check out the site to see the petition that's been put together.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Buenos Aires 2009

Back From Vacation

So I'm back from a week in San Diego and a week in Buenos Aires. Getting so syllabus kinks worked out for the summer bridge program I start Monday.

But I can't help posting a pic from the Borges Cultural Center...

Thursday, May 21, 2009

My Brain on Latino Comics

Latino Culture + Comics=Summer Reading

Frederick Luis Aldama's new book Your Brain on Latino Comics looks like just the thing for wanting to learn a bit about the culture of Latino comics with interviews with the authors of the comics as well.

Your Brain on Latino Comics: From Gus Arriola to Los Bros Hernandez (Cognitive Approaches to Literature and Culture)

If I wasn't already sold on the concept, then Aldama's words in an interview with the OSU newspaper hooked me:
"The book not only tells you the story about Latinos in comic books," Aldama said, "it tells you something as foundational as how we can imagine other places, how we can feel, or be emotionally moved by, something that is not in our present tense experience."

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

UA students in the news

NPR Latino--is anything you can't do?

So I was listening to NPR Latino and heard about "law student and essayist Agxibel (Ah-zi-bel) Barajas [speak] about the book, "She's Out There: 35 Women under 35 who Aspire to Lead: The Next Generation of Presidential Candidates" and realized she's at the UA--go wildcats.

Exhibition at U of A

Ritual Beauty: Art of the Ancient Americas

This is almost to serve like a note to self, but I need to make a point of visiting the UA Museum with my 101 class this summer.

Can a blog serve as a note to self? I guess I'll see.
Check out the slideshow

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Student Docs from Native American UA Students

Citizen Journalism from KUAT

This past Friday evening, as a part of KUAT's citizen journalism series, I caught three student produced documentaries by Native American students at the University of Arizona.

Click on the link to check out the docs on-line.

¡Feliz Cinco de Mayo! This evening I'm planning on checking out the student presentation from Curtis Acosta's Raza Studies class--hopefully a good link to follow.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Photos from Wildcat Writers Event

Wildcat Writers Meet and Greet
Jenna Vinson, the organizer of Wildcat Writers put together a great slideshow of the event on Picasa, but I'm posting a few below to give an idea of how the end of semester service learning event went--okay, so there are a few of me talking to students--does that make me a bad guy?

Some of my students--excited to be on campus Saturday at 9am

I'm holding a coffee cup, but it looks like my arm is also in a sling

Ashley Holmes, consummate professional volunteer pizza server

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Wildcat Writers Meet & Greet Saturday

Service Learning Meet & Greet on Campus

I currently don't have any cool pics related to the event that UA writing teachers are doing with local Tucson Unified School District classes this Saturday, but I'll hopefully have some coming...

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Hard Work Wins Pulitzer

Journalism on Police-State Sheriff Arpaio Results in Pulitzer

Since I moved from California to Arizona, I feel like I'm living in a police-state every time I stop at a border patrol checkpoint along the 8 & 10 freeways in Maricopa county. This is something I've spoken out about before, so it's awesome to see what UA alumni are capable of accomplishing.

"UA Alumni Share Pulitzer Prize"

From the UA News website:
"The Pulitzer committee said the East Valley Tribune deserved the award because of "adroit use of limited resources to reveal, in print and online, how a popular sheriff's focus on immigration enforcement endangered investigation of violent crime and other aspects of public safety," according to the Pulitzer Prize Web site."

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

New Directions Conference University of Arizona

End of the Conference Season

Even though I'm still putting together a potential panel at the 4Cs based on New World Rhetoric, I have my last panel presentation Friday at the New Directions Conference.

It's bitter sweat of course, although I'll be presenting on a peer-editing as New Media DJ exercise that I put together based on Jeff Rice's "Hip Hop-Pedagogy" (a discussion Hillary Danz takes up) in his Rhetoric of the Cool.

Using this framework in my classes helps because a lot of students identify with Hip-hop as being a part of their culture, and something that they feel comfortable talking about when it comes to commutation, appropriation, non-linearity, imagery & chora (often referred to as swagger.)

It doesn't hurt to start the class period with a little Dead Prez to set the mood...

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Logos & Kairos for Revisiting Latino Pedagogy

Everyone Loves Statistics
Sure, this article is a few months old, but I feel it gets quoted often enough to post a link to it because it brings up the necessity of the moment to reexamine teaching practices. Speaking to this new majority, historical oral and pictographic literacy provide points of departure into the weaving practices of composition.

Minorities set to be US majority

White people of European descent will no longer make up a majority of the US population by the year 2042 - eight years sooner than previous estimates.

The big change is among Hispanics and Asians whose share of the population is set to double to 30% and 9%."