Friday, October 17, 2014

Exciting Book News

Muy Chingon Profe Arturo Aldama to Write Foreword

So I posted a few weeks back about my book Reclaiming Poch@ Pop (see the Tumblr) being under contract--and this week--I got the amazing news that prolific writer and professor of Ethnic Studies at the University of Colorado will be writing the Foreword for my book. Aldama has written or edited numerous influential and important scholarly texts on decolonialism, pop culture and the many intersections among race, culture and indigeneity.

From his faculty website:
"Dr. Arturo J. Aldama, born in Mexico City and grew up in Sacramento California, serves as an Associate Professor and Associate Chair of Ethnic Studies at CU Boulder and recently served as Director of CSERA (Center for Studies in Ethnicity and Race in the Americas). He received  MA and PHD in Ethnic Studies from UC Berkeley in 1996. His publications include:

Selected Publications

Violence and the Body:  Race, Gender and the State Indiana University Press, 2003.
Comparative indigeneities of the Americas. Ed. Introduction (co-author) and a single author chapter in book, not a reprint on US nativism and criminalization of immigrants. University of Arizona Press, 2012. Inaugural book in Critical Indigenous Studies.
Performing the US Latino BorderlandsPrincipal Editor. Indiana University Press (2012).  Introduction and a single chapter will be published in this book."
Because my book deals with the identity of Poch@, I can't help but post a cool image from the Tumblr that posted recently to their Facebook page.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Latino Comics Expo Storify

Lalo Alcaraz, Frederick Aldama & Los Hermanos Hernandez of Love & Rockets

(Frederick Aldama & Cruz)
Today was the first of the two day Latino Comics Expo at MLK library in downtown San Jose at the SJSU campus. I attended great talks by editor Lalo Alcaraz, OSU professor Frederick Luis Aldama, and the creators of the comics Love and Rockets, los hermanos Hernandez. Read the Storify below for the live tweets from their presentations.

(Los Hermanos Hernandez)

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Robert Rodriguez and State of Latino Filmmaking

Ohio State Professor Frederick Aldama Points to Mexico and B-movie Genre

Aldama talks Robert Rodriguez in his new book The Cinema of Robert Rodriguezwith VOXXI. Benson points out the strength of the Latino audience: "As for the future of Latino filmmaking, Aldama said he expects the market to expand in all avenues in the near future once Hollywood realizes Hispanics, as the majority minority, has $1.3 trillion in buying power."

I've posted on Aldama's book on Latino Comics prior. This weekend, Aldama will be leading some panels at the Latino Comics Expo.

See Aldama's new book on Rodriguez here:

Friday, October 3, 2014

Cornel West at Santa Clara University

On Integrity and the Will to be Critical and Unpopular for the Truth

This evening Dr. Cornel West spoke at Santa Clara University as a part of the Ignatian Center's focus on justice in their series of events. I had the chance to attend his talk in addition to a meeting he had with some faculty prior where I asked Dr. West to sign a copy of his collaboration with Keith Gilyard Composition and Cornel West: Notes toward a Deep Democracy. I live-tweeted a lot of his talk, so I put together a Storify that captures some of the Socratic problem-posing taking place--all to get at messages of remembering to love, maintain integrity even in the face of imperialism, greed and value systems that privilege smarts and money rather than wisdom and compassion.

 (Dr. West with myself and colleague)
Update--Listen to the podcast recording of the event here

CCCC 2015

Coming to Tampa Bay, Florida in March 2015

Happy to have my panel and workshop submissions accepted for this upcoming College Composition and Communication Conference. 

I'll be presenting alongside a couple mentors--one of whom will be retiring--so it'll be an occasion for intellectual community-building and celebration. More to come as I continue to draft, revise and practice these exciting presentations.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Essays on Teaching Latin@ Lit

Latino/a Literature in the Classroom
I am excited to be included in this important collection of essays on teaching Latino/a literature. For an in-depth description, see the website ( and/or read what I included below.

Description from the website:
The first guide to teaching Latino/a literature, Latino/a Literature in the Classroom provides tools for teaching one of the most rapidly growing areas of literary study. Essays by established scholars offer a comprehensive approach, attending to how formal techniques give idiosyncratic and particular shape to literature by and about Latinos/as. Accessible to different levels of instruction and utilizing an array of approaches, chapters focus on the teaching of the novel, short story, graphic novel, film, plays, poetry, and performance art in a variety of established and emerging storytelling shapes: postmodernism, magical realism, science fiction, young adult and children’s fiction, and others. They consider the importance of historical period and region in the making and consuming of Latino/a literature, covering both popular and undervisited authors.
The essays will help teachers create courses that pay attention to:
• Issues of form such as style, voice, perspective
• Issues of content such as theme and character
• Issues of histories of dislocation and settlement
• Issues of socio-economic push and pull factors in the rural and urban relocation
of Latinos/as
• Issues of linguistic, cultural, and ancestral difference
Contributors place key texts of the Latino/a teaching canon in dialogue with trends of a hemispheric, postcolonial, and transnational nature. Acknowledging the contexts of literatures from Mexico, Cuba, Dominica, Puerto Rico, and Central and South America, Latino/a Literature in the Classroom situates the teaching of Latino/a Literature within global theoretical paradigms and the broader humanities curriculum. This valuable collection of teaching methods will be useful to instructors and scholars seeking sources for intercultural and transnational literary courses."

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

DOC/UNDOC, sequel to Codex Espangliensis

New Collaboration from Guillermo Gomez-Pena, Felicia Rice, Gustavo Vazquez, and Zachary Watkins

In my upcoming book, I look at the artistic collaboration of Codex Espangliensis for the ways that it appropriates dominant icons such as Mickey Mouse and Superman to critique issues such as globalization and anti-immigrant legislation in California. So I was really excited to hear about the follow up collaboration called DOC/UNDOC. The image below is from the website (
From the description of the project on the website:

"The outcome of a seven-year collaboration, DOC/UNDOC Documentado/Undocumented Ars Shamánica Performática features Guillermo Gómez-Peña’s performance texts and Felicia Rice’s relief prints and typography, accompanied by Jennifer González’s critical commentary. The deluxe edition is housed in a hi-tech aluminum case containing a video by Gustavo Vazquez, an altar, and a cabinet of curiosities. Opening the case triggers light and Zachary Watkins’ interactive sound art.

The two subtitles refer to different aspects of the project’s content:
Documentado/Undocumented ties to the performance scripts embedded in the printed sheets which draw on Gómez-Peña’s immigrant experiences and personal observations of the political, geographic, social and psychological boundaries between the United States and Mexico. The title of the video, it points to a painful dichotomy: “documentado” in Spanish implies being informed, having access to cultural forms and traditions, the histories and rituals that flourish in Mexico. Whereas the term “undocumented” in the United States implies a host of negative stereotypes, including a lack of citizenship, power, rights and knowledge. 

Ars Shamánica Performática speaks of the very personal, transformative experience offered by the book and case, an invitation to “Choose an object, find a poetic way of using it. Reimagine yourself, tell a new story.” Gómez-Peña writes, “Its interactive dimension may be its main contribution to the field of experimental book art, or rather “performative book art.”"

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Book Update

Under Contract
My monograph titled Reclaiming Poch@ Pop: Examining the Rhetoric of Cultural Deficiency will be a part of Palgrave's series on Latino Pop Culture. I submitted the proposal in early fall of last year with a manuscript deadline of July of this year. Around that time, I began the Poch@ Pop tumblr that served as a nice repository of ideas that I was accumulating and grappling with as I began drafting.
I have mentioned a couple of the books of the series editor Frederick Aldama on my blog previously: Your Brain on Latino Comics as well as a pedagogical snippet from Brown on Brown.
This past summer I picked up Mex-Cine, and I found a copy of ¡Muy Pop!: Conversations on Latino Popular Culture in my institution's library.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Book Project

In the Pipeline
So I've been in communication with a distinguished scholar, writer, and editor for an exciting series on Latin@ pop culture. So far I've submitted the proposal, manuscript, and recently received great feedback from the reviewers. Things are getting exciting as I continue to move forward in the process with the publisher editor.

 I'm excited because the subject matter overlaps with some of the very posts seen on this here blog.

Will be sure to post more on this exciting project as it develops. Stay tuned.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Latino Comics Expo

San Jose, CA Oct 11th and 12th
I'm excited to see's Lalo Alcaraz, whose work I have posted here previously and have him sign my copy of Latino USA: A Cartoon History at the Latino Comics Expo in October. It has already been argued that comics and graphic novels can communicate knowledge and challenge audiences to re-think what they might believe as fact. And I would add that the culturally relevant component of Latino Comics has a lot of potential for speaking to audiences often marginalized by traditional education. 
(Lalo Alcaraz 2014)
The Latino Comics Expo provides a great opportunity for young Latin@s in the San Jose area to see pop culture in which they are represented and created by artists who have a shared cultural memory. Oh yeah, and it's free!

From the website:

"The Latino Comics Expo San Jóse will be held the weekend of October 11 & 12 at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library on the campus of San Jóse State University. The event runs on Saturday from 10am-6pm and on Sunday from 1pm-6pm. Admission to the Expo is free.

In addition to our two exhibit rooms featuring cartoonists, writers, illustrators, zine makers, book vendors and more, the Expo will feature 2 days of panels, presentations and children's workshops.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library is located at 150 E San Fernando St, San Jóse, CA 95112."

More from
"Join us this October 11 & 12 in San Jose as we host our 5th Latino Comics Expo since 2011. We have a lot of special guests and great programming, which we'll be announcing shortly. This year the Expo is being held at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library at San Jose State University. With a generous grant from the Castellano Family Foundation, and a great partnership with the library, our 2014 Expo promises to be our most memorable event yet."

I'm also planning on picking up a copy of A Most Imperfect Union: A Contrarian History of the United States when I'm there. I'll get a picture of my son getting it signed, and I'll plan to have him read Latino USA and Imperfect Union as supplementary texts to his elementary schooling when he's older.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Guest Speaker Matt Miles in My Eng 105

Interchange Missionary Matt Miles Discusses Social Justice and Literacy

During this past Spring 2013 semester, I had the good fortune to invite Interchange missionary Matt Miles to speak with my Social Justice and Literacy class about his experiences coordinating and teaching ESL in Oakland, as well as his outreach work in juvenile detention centers. He testified to the power of literacy to transform the lives of the youth and adults he worked with.

Since the beginning of the semester I had been grappling with the notions of both "social justice" and "literacy" because these terms encompass so much. Fortunately, Miles was able to speak from experience about how he has seen the two ideas intersect and for literacy to be meaningful for those seeking social justice and seeking improve their lives.

Connect with Matt Miles via LinkedIn:
Or email him directly:

Monday, July 7, 2014

ASU Professor Ore Appears in Court

Defense Granted Extension Due to FBI Investigation into Suspended Officer's Actions

Dr. Ore's lawyers secured an extension of her trial to allow time for the third party FBI investigation into the ASU PD Officer's use of excessive force.

One of the key issues brought to light by the news story in the video below is the fact that citizens do not have to produce identification for police in a non-driving infraction, so when Officer Farrin tells Dr. Ore in the video that "It's the law" that she must produce ID for him, the officer is either intentionally attempting to deceive Dr. Ore, or the officer does not in fact know the law.

In either case, the circumstances leading up to the officer's physical attack on Dr. Ore are indefensible. The officer clearly escalated the stop from a civil interaction to an abuse of power that resulted in a physical attack, violating the rights that all humans deserve.

View video here:

Stand with Dr. Ore by contributing to her defense: