Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Leslie Silko's Reading

Vine Deloria, Jr. Distinguished Indigenous Scholars Series

(Leslie Silko & myself at the book signing following her reading)

Presented in part with the American Indian Studies Program at the University of Arizona, Leslie Marmon Silko spoke to a crowded lecture hall about the influence of Vina Deloria Jr. on her life and writing, reading pieces from her novels Ceremony and Almanac of the Dead.

Silko noted that when Deloria's Custer Died for Your Sins: An Indian Manifesto came out, it was at a time when many Native American voices had been silenced, and even though Silko said she had yet to decide to pursue a career in writing, Deloria inspired her. Having also began a study of what she described as "Anglo American" law like Deloria, Silko wanted to follow Deloria's work of advocating for Native rights.
After completing three semesters of her study of law, Silko felt as though she could better criticize inequalities through the mask of fiction. Her recent writing has revolved more around nature after having lived in the Tucson mountains for the past 30 years--she jest something to the effect of, 'after all, what's more subversive than writing about grasshoppers?'

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Taking Chavez off the Curriculum

Texas to Replace Hispanic Leaders

At this website, they were streaming the meeting live yesterday in which they were discussing replacing leaders like Chavez with Texas Rangers. It really does seem unfortunate that these large populations of Hispanic students might not have representation of historical role models, other than those conquered by European colonizers.

From the memo I received explaining the situation:

Today, Jan. 13, the state board will take a preliminary vote to adopt new standards for social studies texts. These new standards, according to the UFW would eliminate all Hispanics since the conquest of Mexico in the early 16th Century.Cesar Chavez, arguably the most important Hispanic civil rights leader of the 20th Century, is among the historical figures to be eliminated. One of Lowe's so called "experts" said that Chavez "lacks the stature...and contributions" and should not be "held up to our children as someone worthy of emulation." Alsoeliminated are a number of key Texas history makers such as Irma Rangel, the first Hispanic woman elected to the state Legislature.

Board members and their appointees have complained about an "over representation of minorities" in the current social studies standards. This is ironic as Hispanics will soon comprise the majority of all Texas public school students.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

2010 CCCC Annual Convention flier

The Cs Convention is Coming
If you click on the banner, it should take you to the flier for the panel in which I will be presenting with Cassie Wright (Arizona) and Iris Ruiz (UCSD).

Friday, January 8, 2010

Non-Greek Ancient Rhetoric

Damián Baca & Victor Villanueva - Rhetorics of the Americas: 3114BCE to 2012CE

According to the description, this new book provides: "an understanding of discourse aimed to persuade within the Pre-Columbian Americas. The contributors in this collection offer glimpses of what those indigenous rhetorics might have looked like and how their influences remain."

This sounds like a great re-historicizing and counter-narrative about Precolombian rhetoric that is often marginalized in traditional discussions of ancient rhetoric.