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)

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.