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:

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:

Link to my piece in SCU library: 

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 ( 

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.

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

Read the ebook here

Alexandra Hidalgo can be found on Twitter @SabanaGrandePro

Or visit find more from her here:


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

2017 Bread Loaf School of English Awards

Emily Bartels, Director of Bread Loaf School of English, is at the Santa Fe campus this week to meet with students and faculty. Last night, she also presented fellowships to students and teaching awards to faculty. 

(Myself with Chair awardees, Profs. Bruce Smith and Rachel Lee)

I am extremely honored to have been awarded with the M. Ruth Marino Chair, pictured above. The M. Ruth Marino Chair is a teaching award presented a faculty member who brings course offerings that previously were not available at Bread Loaf campuses. Bruce Smith (USC) and Rachel Lee (UCLA) were also presented with Chair awards for the continued commitment and contributions to the BLSE curriculum. 

(Video by Mads Delaney)

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Guest Contributor Perla Luna on SJSU CCCC

Note: I am excited to have a guest contribution from Perla Luna, an undergraduate at Santa Clara University who attended CCCC on June 9-10 at San Jośe State University. Luna is double major in English and Sociology, the incoming Managing Editor of The Santa Clara and the outgoing Opinions Editor. A version of this will appear in the SCU English department newsletter.

Behind the Curtain Our Opinions Are Valued: 2017 CCCC San Jose State University 

by Perla Luna

(Nalukas, Luna and Medina)

On June 10, Isabella Nalukas and I accompanied Dr. Cruz Medina to San Jose State University for the regional College Composition and Communication Conference (CCCC). The conference was a great opportunity to hear about what’s happening in the field of writing for the panelists and attendee interested in education and the teaching pedagogy.

A stand-out panel was one which challenged the compositional work educators do for diverse readers and writers. The lecturers modeled curriculum and learning strategies, but one of the most interesting aspects of that panel was the debate on class discussions. Since high school, class discussions have been the cornerstone of any great English class in my experience. What could compare to the collective excitement of unpacking the themes of James Baldwin’s Another Country or discovering (yet another) layer to Hamlet’s madness? However, the presenters of the panel explicitly challenged this notion of class discussions as the golden standard for stretch learners.

(Writing Center Workshop Presenters
Michelle Hagar, Maria Judnick and Denise Krane)

One panel member discussed the ways in which class discussion can be punitive, shutting out readers from the learning process before they even get a chance to dig into the material. This is because professors assume their students have the foundational skills required to understand the reading. With stretch and multilingual students especially, this is not always the case. It was an important moment for me that made me reconsider how I can incorporate these types of considerations when I teach at Breakthrough Silicon Valley this summer, a program that serves underserved communities.

Getting to sit down with a table of professors for the workshop on writing centers was also a unique, thought-provoking experience. This past quarter I’ve been taking a class at SCU geared at writing center studies, so it’s a topic I was already pretty familiar with. But brainstorming alongside Prof. Krane, Prof. Judnick and Prof. Hagel was an extra benefit of the workshop. It opened up the possibility of collaboration between students and faculty, a process at the heart of writing centers and something not utilized often enough elsewhere. I would definitely recommend this type of one-on-one experience to other students—and professors! We’re happy to have our brain picked for ideas and feel like our opinions are valued.
(With Presenters from Dr. Lueck's Archival History Course)

In general, I was pleasantly surprised to learn how many ethical considerations educators consider when designing their courses—whether it’s considering the liminality of writing centers, confronting power through rhetoric or challenging the ethics of hip-hop literature and service learning. Students don’t often get to peek behind the curtains, but I walked away from the conference with a deeper understanding of how the way we learn is arrived at carefully and purposefully.

Even though the conference was aimed at others in composition studies, I was still able to connect to the information presented. The conference has even inspired me to do research on study locations for first generation students. I hope that in the future these types of conferences see the benefit in opening it up to students on a larger scale, so that we can create a truly collaborative environment.

To read more from Perla, see her work on The Santa Clara newspaper's website:

Monday, June 5, 2017

Computers and Writing 2017

Techne and Wonder

(My co-panelists Julia Voss, Laura Gonzales and myself)
This past weekend, I was out in Findlay, Ohio for the 2017 Computers and Writing conference, where I presented on the forthcoming digital collection that I am co-editing with Octavio Pimentel called Racial Shorthand: Coded Discrimination Contested in Social Media. I put together a Storify from the popular Twitter hastag #cwcon to document some of the thought-provoking and inspiring panels. Too many interesting tweets to get them all...


Saturday, April 22, 2017

UTEP RSA Spring Symposium

UTEP, a Bhutan Temple, and My Keynote

The Rhetoric Society of America (RSA) at the University of Texas, El Paso had their Spring Symposium this past Friday, and I was extremely honored to have been invited to be the keynote speaker. Below are some great photos with the UTEP faculty, my talk, the campus, and a short Storify of tweets and links about the event.

(Photo credit: Isabel Baca, w/UTEP faculty)

UTEP RWS professor Laura Gonzales took this great picture from my talk where I was citing Angela Haas' work on decolonialism (and where I also borrowed a slide design from Danielle DeVoss).

(Photo credit: Laura Gonzales)

It was my first time on the UTEP campus where I learned about the Bhutanese influence on the architecture and exchange of students and cultural artifacts.

(Bhutan temple on UTEP plaza)

Lucia Dura gave me a tour of El Paso that included an overlook of the school and Ciudad Juarez.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

My UTEP Frontera Retorica Talk

Talk at UT El Paso Rhetoric Society of America Spring Symposium

Really excited to be the featured speaker at UTEP's Frontera Retorica Spring Symposium on April 21. UTEP has a great group of graduate students and faculty doing really important work on rhetoric and writing, so I'm looking forward to hearing panels while I'm there.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

CCCC 2017: Cultivating Capacity, Creating Change; Portland, OR

This past week, I presented on a panel with Ana Ribero (Oregon State) and Genevieve Garcia de Mueller (UT Rio Grande Valley) at the College Composition and Communication Conference (CCCC) in Portland, Oregon. Below is a photo of my title slide, where I am introducing my talk on the first year writing class that I teach with my colleague Juan Velasco that is in Spanish the first quarter and English the second quarter when I teach it.

I draw connections between the dominant monolingual views my students have internalized in the context of the diverse geographic space that continues to reject diversity in terms of race, ethnicity and gender. (Silicon Valley Can't 'Hack' Diversity: CNN)

(Me, Genevieve and Ana; picture credit: Christina Cedillo)

I was particularly honored to present alongside Ribero who discussed DREAMer activism and was of reimagining activism, as well as Garcia de Mueller who discussed the B3 (bilingual, bicultural, binational) education that will be implemented next year at her university in coordination with the department of Education.

My department had a great showing of rhetoric/composition faculty with Simone Billings, Amy Lueck, Denise Krane, Trish Serviss and Julia Voss in attendance (not pictured).

The Latinx Caucus had an amazing workshop with first-time members presenting on really interesting topics and the caucus business meeting was a collection of energetic scholars at different points in their career with great news from folks who were on the job market. 

My Storify from CCCC 2017

Monday, March 6, 2017

Coverage of Bannan Roundtable on Racial and Ethnic Justice

Roundtable with Bannan Institute Collaborative Scholars

I have previously posted on the  Integral podcast and roundtable before the election that I did in fall for the Bannan Institute for Racial and Ethnic Justice, and this past week I had the privilege of speaking on a roundtable on racial and ethnic justice in relation to the current moment in which we find ourselves. 

Following the recent news of the travel ban (Washington Post story on revised ban), I discussed how the president has used Twitter as a means for communicating with the public, thereby circumventing news organizations who fact-check and mediate his messages that have not always been found to be true ( an Annenberg project).

From The Santa Clara:

“...Medina said. “If you Tweet it, does that make it a truth, right? That’s an important question.”
Medina said that the rapid influx of social media and other forms of mediated communication in modern society adds more facets to the controversy surrounding racial and ethnic issues.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Skyping on Poch@ Pop and Critical Media Literacy

Dr. Octavio Pimentel's Graduate Course in TSU-San Marcos

I had the exciting opportunity to speak with Prof. Octavio Pimentel's graduate students at Texas State University, San Marcos on my book Reclaiming Poch@ Pop. The students in his class had some great insights on the role of humor and its efficacy for communicating with sympathetic and unsympathetic audiences. We looked at some pop culture from Selena (starring J.Lo) as well as a couple Saturday Night Live monologues that approached the topic of race in the aftermath of the presidential election.

(Dr. Pimentel w/me in the corner)

I really appreciate how willing to engage with me on topics that can be difficult to discuss, not just in person, but also in the Skype interface. The class was extremely forthcoming about their own experiences teaching and how they have come to negotiate these topics that require deliberate thought.

(Graduate Students in Critical Media Literacy Seminar)

Some of the pop culture we discussed:

Through our discussion, the class decided that Chappelle was effective because most audiences know his humor and he concludes with a vulnerable call for coming together.

Regarding our discussion, Ansari's humor was perceived as less exclusive than Chappelle and Ansari leaves the door open for more audiences to see themselves on his side and not the subjects of his humor.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Great Skype Session with Kenneth Walker at UT San Antonio

Skyping on Property, Citizenship, and Language with Rhetorical Theory Grad Seminar

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of skyping into Kenneth Walker's Grad course on Rhetorical Theory at the University of Texas-San Antonio. We discussed a few articles dealing with critical race theory, LatCrit and whiteness studies. 

                                                         (Dr. Walker and his seminar)

Prof. Walker's students did an excellent job of finding connections with recent events, pedagogical implications, and Foucauldian archeologies of knowledge. The seminar asked important questions about privilege and discussing segregation with people for whom it is normal; cultural appropriation and critiques of multiculturalism; and property ownership's connection to the American Dream.

Because of their location in San Antonio, we ended up speaking about Sebastian de la Cruz's performance at the NBA Finals, which Octavio Pimentel discusses in my Integral podcast episode because Pimentel writes about it in our forthcoming digital collection on race and social media.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Conference on College Composition and Communication, Portland 2017

In March, I will have the pleasure and honor of presenting on the writing by students in my first-year composition course that is primarily taught in Spanish during the first quarter, in the context of translingual approaches to writing.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Integral Podcast

My Podcast Episode for Bannan Institute at SCU

Since fall, I have been a Bannan Institute Scholar for Racial and Ethnic Justice at Santa Clara University. As a part of this grant, I have spoken on a panel and met in a workshop with the other scholars and Bannan Institute fellow. This week, the Integral podcast episode that I recorded on race and social media as a part of the Bannan Institute is now available.

Listen here on Soundcloud:

Find it on iTunes:

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Stream "This Rhetorical Life" Interview with Ana Castillo

Not Big on Downloading, Then Stream

I posted on this last a couple months back, and I finally tracked down a site where I could embed a player. In this episode of This Rhetorical Life I interview writer Ana Castillo. Disfruta!