Sunday, November 30, 2014

Guest Speaking via Skype at University of Central Florida

Spoke with Dr. Gabriela Raquel Rios' Cultural Rhetorics Seminar

I am really grateful that Dr. Rios at the University of Central Florida invited me and Aja Martinez to speak about our research related to Tucson, SB 1070 and HB 2281. I began by discussing the concept of subversive complicity which is something that surfaced throughout the article as what the students used to navigate Tucson schools. At the same time, I found myself working within the grant in a similar manner that supported the publication of the book Nuestros Refranes, for which I published the article "Nuestros Refranes: Culturally Relevant Writing in Tucson High Schools."

(screenshot of Dr. Rio's seminar)

Dr. Rios makes a great argument about multimodal compositions not needing to be at the service of the written text, which is what happened with the use of dichos and trying to engage students with culturally relevant curriculum--the text had to ostensibly be for the service of the publication because the grant needed tangible outcomes.

This work came out of a year long GEAR UP grant—even these kinds of grants that are extremely necessary tend to be marginalized when it comes to  grad work—hard to show on lists of classes taught on CV when schools want to see you’ve taught an array of classes; in rhetorical theory, the influence of power is fairly prevalent to where I hear and think it’s somewhat fitting that rhetoric can be defined as “the available means of persuasion in a given context and the movement of power through discourse.“

How those in power portray the marginalized population—how colonial narratives—or as CRT defines them—majoritarian stories—have an impact on how education funds, policy written, and allotments budgeted. Aja's article "Critical Race Theory Counterstory as Allegory: A Rhetorical Trope to Raise Awareness About Arizona's Ban on Ethnic Studies" speaks specifically to the majoritarian stories that are told in Arizona and other spaces that uphold narratives about people of color that portray them as lacking.

I also added that my book Reclaiming Poch@ Pop: Examing the Rhetoric of CulturalDeficiency came from kernels of what I talk about with regard to pop culture and the pop culture artists like Lalo Alcaraz who identify as pocho or pocha—came from struggles in Arizona that would either short-shrift or completely misrepresented in local and national news.


Friday, November 21, 2014

Poch@ Pop Book Trailer

Multimodal Composition for My Book

Here's the trailer for my new book Reclaiming Poch@ Pop: Examining the Rhetoric of Cultural Deficiency (Latino Pop Culture) from Palgrave MacMillan. I used a somewhat popular trailer template from iMovie, but the comic book motif fit the content too well considering I look at the work of political cartoonist Lalo Alcaraz.

The song "Haces el amor con el televisor" by Limbo Deluxe--available on connected with the pop theme (it translates to 'making love with the TV' in English), which aligns with the content of this examination of popular culture that many Latin@s share as a part of cultural memory.


Monday, November 17, 2014

My Book Now Available Online

Pre-Order Reclaiming Poch@ Pop on Amazon or

These past few months, I've mentioned different stages of the writing and publishing process of my monograph Reclaiming Poch@ Pop: Examining the Rhetoric of Cultural Deficiency (Latino Pop Culture), so it's exciting to announce that it is now available for pre-order on and amazon.

This book is included in a series for Palgrave MacMillan on Latin@ Pop Culture, edited by Frederick L. Aldama. Poch@ Pop extends scholarship that began with my article on the hip hop fusion group Ozomatli for alter/nativas Latin American Studies journal, but the research began much earlier than that. While living in Tucson, some of the only relief from the ultraconservative legislation being passed came from pop culture artists who actively subverted the political messages about Latin@ immigration and education.


  • Foreword by Arturo Aldama
  • Artwork by Lalo Alcaraz, Felicia Rice & Guillermo Gomez-Pena
  • Personal photos with Chican@ icons Dolores Huerta & Cheech Marin
  • An interview with Ozomatli members Uli Bella & Raul Pacheco

"Tracing the historical trajectory of the pocho (Latinos who are influenced by Anglo culture) in pop culture, this book begins with iconic Latin@ films of the 1990s and '80s to demonstrate how representations of English-speaking Latin@s break from cliché misrepresentations. Medina looks at themes including resistance to cultural deficiency through subversive rhetorical productions that engage with issues of immigration, identity, and education. He shows how the trope of pocho/pocha/poch@, which traditionally signified the negative connotation of "cultural traitor" in Spanish, has been reclaimed through the pop cultural productions of Latinos who self-identify as poch@."

Monday, November 10, 2014

MAS teachers forum 2014

Back when I was in Tucson, Arizona, I was on ground zero for the anti-Ethnic Studies bill HB 2281, passed by now well-known internet troll John Huppenthal. Since then, Tucson MAS teachers like Curtis Acosta no longer teach at Tucson High School, so it' great to see that some of these educators get together to speak about their successful culturally relevant pedagogy and curriculum.

(Me with Curtis Acosta)