Saturday, March 21, 2015

My Storify on CCCC 2015 #4C15

Here's the archive of tweets that I cultivated from the CCCC 2015. Highlights included Adam Banks' opening session talk on the need to promote the essay to emeritus status, cite more inclusively and diversely, and taking flight.

See the video of Dr. Banks' talk:

(With my Santa Clara University colleagues: Julia Voss, Simone Billings, Tricia Serviss, & I)

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

My Response Essay with Aja Martinez to SB 1070 Article

Arizona as 'Home Place'
In issue 4.2 of Present Tense: A Journal of Rhetoric in Society, Aja Martinez and I have a response essay to an article published in the 4.1 issue of Present Tense called "Economic Globalization and the “Given Situation”: JanBrewer’s Use of SB 1070 as an Effective Rhetorical Response to the Politics ofImmigration." In our response, Aja and I advocate for more critical engagement with the lived experiences of people affected by this and other dehumanizing Arizona policy. We do so as a call for ethical consideration of Arizona's historical context that has a long tradition of anti-Latin@ laws and legislative action.


Here is the link to our article "Contexts of Lived Realities in SB 1070 Arizona: A Responseto Asenas and Johnson’s “Economic Globalization and the ‘Given Situation.’” We take the opportunity to speak about the tradition of anti-Latin@ policy; however, we also address the culture of police (over)enforcement, as in the case of Dr. Ersula Ore.

In addition to complicating and problematizing Arizona as a 'given situation,' Aja includes a counterstory that originated from her recent experiences in Tucson while visiting family. When dropping off her father at the place he's worked for decades, the security guard asked Aja and her father if they were both "U.S. Citizens" [or 'illegals']. Aja writes:

When and how did this security gate become a border checkpoint? What was it about me that prompted this question? Why do I feel so ashamed? Why was my dad so numb?

Link for the article pdf.

(Aja Martinez from Present Tense site)

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Faculty Workshop for Puente Program

This past Wednesday, I was honored to be asked by the Puente Program educational partnership with UC Berkeley to present a workshop for their English faculty.

Rhetorical Analysis as 'La Facultad'
 I called the workshop "La Facultad as Rhetorical Analysis," borrowing from Gloria Anzaldúa's definition of la facultad in Borderlands/La Frontera as the “capacity to see in surface phenomena the meaning of deeper realities, to see the deep structure below the surface” (60). When Anzaldúa talks about “structures,” I described them as the different genres of writing like the applications that can seem super daunting. When students are taught to approach these kinds of writing with the understanding that it’s a genre, they're less intimidated because of the awareness that genres have established structures and expectations.

(Workshop handouts)

Below are a few of the handouts that I culled from online that demonstrate the traditional Aristotelean  triangle, as well as the more contemporary triangle that highlights the important aspects of rhetorical situation. In addition to Aristotelean analysis, we discussed the role of ideology on what Zizeck explains as governing the desires of our daydreams.


Following the workshop, I had the opportunity to speak with a few of the English faculty members at Diablo Valley College who had been working with Puente for several years with great success stories about students who had continued on to four-year institutions. In addition, there was an informative talk by Katie Hern at Chabot College who discussed approaches for increasing access for students of color, and increasing their continuation to non-remedial, college level instruction in English. 

A few of her key advocacy points were:
  • Don't police borders of remedial classes/open access to students at all levels to encourage continuation
  • When 20-30% of students are lost over the few layers of remedial classes, the success rate diminishes to only 30% by the time students enter college level English.
  • Students responded well to advanced readings like Pedagogy of the Oppressed and other discipline-specific readings, especially psychology.
  • Students engage with texts better when they work in small groups to problem-solve and teach one another

A video of Katie Hern speaking on Accelerated Programs: