My dissertation, Poch[o]tec@: the Rhetorical Strategies of a Chican@ Academic Identity, identifies the rhetorical strategies of successful Chicano/a students, repurposing the trope of “pocho” and figure of the Aztec pochteca as an empowering act of naming. The Poch[o]tec@ contributes a trope for the Latino/a community in much the same way that Henry Louis Gates Jr.’s Signifyin’ Monkey names an aesthetic for African American literature. I extend the discussion of Damian Baca’s work of integrating Pre-Columbian literacy practices within the field of composition and rhetoric, broadening the boundaries of what has been defined as border and Chicano/a rhetoric. Additionally, the Poch[o]tec@ engages with the issue of better educating Latino/a students, intersecting with discussions of literacy, education, and technology.

I focus on culturally relevant writing of Latinos/as resulted from the student publication I co-edited as a part of the Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness of Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) in 2010. Next, I analyze the use of Twitter by students in a summer bridge program. I presented on aspects of this research at both the 2011 CCCC and the 2012 International conference on Technology, Knowledge and Society, and this chapter has been accepted as part of a collection on the intersection of Technical Communication and Race. Concluding with my pedagogical chapter earned me a National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Scholars for the Dream travel award to present at the Conference of College Composition and Communication (CCCC) in 2010, and addresses Arizona’s House Bill 2281 effects on Mexican American Studies in Tucson high schools. This chapter is currently in progress as a journal article.

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