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:

Monday, June 30, 2014

ASU Professor Ore in CNN Interview

In Her Own Words

In the fallout of media coverage regarding Dr. Ore's treatment by ASU Police Officer Stewart Ferrin, many have argued that the video on its own demonstrates that Dr. Ore is at fault for not showing ID. The fallacy of this flawed logic often has to do with the speaker of privilege never finding themselves in the context where they will be the audience for this kind of abuse of power and antagonism. To further avoid speaking behalf of the police video that has been taken out of context, I am posting a video below of Dr. Ore speaking for herself about the incident as opposed to engaging in polemic discussions with audiences whose ideological biases do not allow them to empathize with the inhumane treatment of others.

In addition to signing the petition for Dr. Ersula Ore, please also consider sending direct email to the leadership of ASU: President Michael Crow ( and Provost Robert Page (

Stand with Dr. Ore by contributing to her defense:

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Video Shows Excessive Force Used Against ASU Professor

Even with Video Proof, Arizona State University Shirks Responsibility to Faculty

The excessive force used against Dr. Ore detailed in the Statement regarding this incident is enough to validate any stereotypes about Arizona polices inhumane treatment of people of color, demonstrated by Sheriff Arpaio's human rights violations. However, the culpability falls on the shoulders of the good people who stand by and allow for these injustices to be perpetrated. Maybe because "corporations aren't people," the administration at the Arizona State University can hide behind the veil of the institution and claim ignorance to the civil rights violations carried out by Officer Stewart Ferrin.

By ignoring the racial-profiling and excessive force of Officer Ferrin, ASU condones this kind of treatment as status quo for the culture of inequality on campus and in surrounding Maricopa County.


“ASU authorities have reviewed the circumstances surrounding the arrest and have found no evidence of inappropriate actions by the ASUPD officers involved. Should such evidence be discovered, an additional, thorough inquiry will be conducted and appropriate actions taken."

ASU's response, or lack thereof, communicates the message that the police have the right to profile as long as they claim an excuse like "obstruction of a thoroughfare," even if that means that they caused you to stop in the middle of crossing said thoroughfare.

If you'd like to help:
Sign the MoveOn petition:

Donate to Dr. Ore's Defense:

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

AZ Police Harass African American Professor on ASU campus

Further Racist Abuses of White Privilege in Arpaio's Maricopa County
In the interest of transparency, I personally know Dr. Ore and have heard her account that is detailed in the Statement.

 Maricopa County's Sheriff Arpaio has been found to be guilty of human rights abuses when working with undocumented persons, so it is not a surprise, but nonetheless shocking that racist abuses of power take place on the local police level. In the Statement of Concern from Arizona Critical Ethnic Studies, the account of the harassment and police brutality enacted against Arizona State University's English Professor Dr. Ersula Ore, who is an African American woman. When the police could not provide a reason why they stopped her, Dr. Ore refused to do as she was told by the white male police officer. Those who want to argue that racism does not exist do not understand that police harassment is a reality for people of color at the present, not just historically.

Even though the abuse occurred on ASU's campus, the university has failed to acknowledge the role of race and the abuse of power allowed to take place on the institution's campus. From the Statement:

"Officials at ASU, in response to questions about the incident and possible racial profiling, have sought to distance the University, stating that 1) because the incident occurred on a public street between parts of campus, it was technically “off campus,” so Dr. Ore was a private citizen; and 2) although they will comply with any investigation, there is no evidence of racial profiling."

In the context of Arizona's Superintendent of Education admitting to blogging racist rants, it's really hard to believe that the powers that be at ASU would ever address the dehumanizing treatment of their faculty of color where there's an established tradition of shirking responsibility when it comes to race.

If you'd like to help:
Sign the MoveOn petition:

Donate to Dr. Ore's Defense:

Monday, June 23, 2014

AZ Ed Superintendent Admits to Racist Blogging

Arizona's public school chief admits he anonymously blogged racist rants

It doesn't feel good to say I told you so Arizona...Even as Arizona Superintendent of Education John Huppenthal, who is infamous for enforcing HB 2281 on Tucson's Mexican American Studies department, admits to racist blogging, it's too late. It's too late for the students who were robbed of a culturally relevant education that served it's population. It's too late to bring back all of the committed educators whose time and energy were diverted from teaching to deal with a racist law whose enforcers are now publicly admitting to their own racism. 

But the voting block of Arizonans who elected Huppenthal, his role-mode/predecessor Tom Horne, and the likes of Joe Arpaio won't have their minds changed even when presented with facts that counter those beliefs. You can't mess with the terministic screen of ideology, especially when only relying upon cognitive dissonance.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Rhetoric Society of America 2014

San Antonio, Texas

This past weekend I presented at the Rhetoric Society of America conference. My presentation came from my article on Ozomatli that was published in alter/nativas. Below is a storify that documents some of my tweets and some of those posted by attendees using the hashtag #RSA14. Some of my favorite tweets were from the selfies that I took with other Twitter users I'd only met online, and because there was a conference presentation on selfies, so it had to be done.

(Jaime Mejia, Sonia Arellano and Cruz Medina)

Friday, May 16, 2014

Update: Starting in Fall 2014...

I am Assistant Professor in English at Santa Clara University

About this time last year I announced that I would be an Inclusive Excellence Postdoctoral Fellow, and it's been a good and productive year which will come to a conclusion with my having signed a job offer to begin as an Assistant Professor in Fall.