DMP Podcast: Charged Political Rhetoric, Border Logics, & Framing “Others”: A Conversation with Prof. Rebecca Avalos

DMP Podcast: Episode 4

In this episode, DMP collaborator Juan Diaz-Mercado interviews Loyola Marymount University lecturer and University of Colorado at Boulder doctoral candidate, Prof. Rebecca Avalos about her research on Trump’s “Make America Great Again” racial project, with a focus specifically on Latinx communities, racial logics, nationalism, migration, and borders. Avalos describes how historical racial scripts aggravate laws and how Latinx subjects shift within these power matrices as embodiments of illegalities. Avalos argues that brown bodies often represent the latest trend of capitalism and tokenism as power shapes knowledge. She elaborates upon how politics and racialized rhetoric can dar animo to create the conditions under which rights can be stripped away from Others as a reaction to the browning of the U.S. to attempt to preserve white futurity and centrality. Prof. Avalos discusses why context, relationships, and power dynamics matter in the practice of calling out to call in others when confronting micro/aggressions.

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Prof. Rebecca Avalos

Rebecca Avalos is a Full Lecturer, scholar and activist in the Department of Communication Studies at Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles where she teaches on the intersection of rhetoric and culture. Focusing on the meeting point of critical legal studies, racial formation, Latinx studies, white supremacy and presidential rhetoric, Rebecca is currently completing her Ph.D. at the University of Colorado Boulder in rhetoric and culture. Before her four years of residence at the University of Colorado Boulder, Rebecca received her M.A. in Communication Studies with a focus on social movement rhetorical theory from CSUF and holds a B.A. in Communication Studies and a B.A. in Chicana/o, Latina/o Studies from CSULB. Raised in Los Angeles, California, Rebecca shares a deep and unwavering commitment to the pursuit of justice. Her latest publication is a chapter in the Latina/o/x Communication Studies: Theory, Method, and Practice anthology entitled, “Towards a Borderland Oratory: Within, Against, and Beyond Con Carácter, Ánimo, Y Grito” (October 2019). Currently for her primary thread of research, this coming year, Rebecca is focusing on the completion of her doctoral dissertation titled, “Matters of the Law in and Beyond Donald J. Trump’s “Make America Great Again” Racial Project.

Prof. Avalos asserts that it is vital to note, as Kendi (2019) argues in How to Be an AntiRacist, ‘microaggression’ is not the true capture of what occurs in those fleeing and so personal moments of un/concious interaction. Ultimately, these small aggressions are instantiations of abuse. We are talking about abuse in every meaning and unfolding of that word. If we take on this perspective, extend our view as such, we arrive to a place of feeling and truly seeing what so many institutions acquiesce to and allow.

Prof. Avalos has curated a specific literature list on microaggressions that she has personally read, assigned, and found foundational to the topical study and experiential prevalence of microaggressions:

  • Balsam, K. F., Molina, Y., Beadnell, B., Simoni, J., & Walters, K.
    (2011). Measuring multiple minority stress: the LGBT People of Color
    Microaggressions Scale. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology17(2), 163.
  • Huber, L. P., Lopez, C. B., Malagon, M. C., Velez, V., & Solorzano, D.
    G. (2008). Getting beyond the ‘symptom,’acknowledging the ‘disease’: Theorizing racist nativism. Contemporary Justice Review11(1), 39-51.
  • McCabe, J. (2009). Racial and gender microaggressions on a
    predominantly-White campus: Experiences of Black, Latina/o and White undergraduates. Race, Gender & Class, 133-151.
  • Nadal, K. L., Rivera, D. P., Corpus, J. H., & Sue, D. W. (2010). Sexual
    orientation and transgender microaggressions. Microaggressions and
    marginality: Manifestation, dynamics, and impact
    , 217-240.
  • Pérez Huber, L., & Solorzano, D. G. (2015). Racial microaggressions as a
    tool for critical race research. Race Ethnicity and Education18(3),
    297-320.
  • Pérez Huber, L., & Solórzano, D. G. (2015). Racial microaggressions:
    What they are, what they are not, and why they matter. Latino Policy
    and Issues Brief
    30, 1-4.
  • Rendon, L. I. (1994). Validating culturally diverse students: Toward a new model of learning and student development. Innovative higher education19(1), 33-51.
  • Smith, W. A., Yosso, T. J., & Solórzano, D. G. (2011). Challenging
    racial battle fatigue on historically White campuses: A critical race
    examination of race-related stress. In Covert racism (pp. 211-237). Brill.
  • Solórzano, D. G. (1998). Critical race theory, race and gender
    microaggressions, and the experience of Chicana and Chicano scholars. International journal of qualitative studies in education11(1), 121-136.
  • Sólorzano, D. G., Villalpando, O., & Oseguera, L. (2005). Educational
    inequities and Latina/o undergraduate students in the United States: A critical race analysis of their educational progress. Journal of Hispanic
    Higher Education
    4(3), 272-294.
  • Solórzano, D. G., & Villalpando, O. (1998). Critical race theory,
    marginality, and the experience of students of color in higher education. Sociology of education: Emerging perspectives21, 211-222.
  • Smith, W. A., Yosso, T. J., & Solórzano, D. G. (2007). Racial primes and
    Black misandry on historically White campuses: Toward critical race
    accountability in educational administration. Educational
    Administration Quarterly
    43(5), 559-585.
  • Solorzano, D. G. (1992). An exploratory analysis of the effects of race,
    class, and gender on student and parent mobility aspirations. The
    Journal of Negro Education
    61(1), 30-44.
  • Solorzano, D., Ceja, M., & Yosso, T. (2000). Critical race theory,
    racial microaggressions, and campus racial climate: The experiences of African American college students. Journal of Negro education, 60-73.
  • Solorzano, D. G., & Yosso, T. J. (2000). Maintaining social justice
    hopes within academic realities: A Freirean approach to critical race/LatCrit pedagogy. Denv. UL Rev.78, 595.
  • Solorzano, D. G., & Yosso, T. J. (2001). From racial stereotyping and
    deficit discourse toward a critical race theory in teacher education. Multicultural education9(1), 2.
  • Sue, D. W., Bucceri, J., Lin, A. I., Nadal, K. L., & Torino, G. C.
    (2007). Racial microaggressions and the Asian American experience. Cultural diversity and ethnic minority psychology13(1), 72.
  • Valencia, R. R., & Solórzano, D. G. (1997). Contemporary deficit
    thinking. The evolution of deficit thinking: Educational thought and
    practice
    , 160-210.
  • Wong, G., Derthick, A. O., David, E. J. R., Saw, A., & Okazaki, S.
    (2014). The what, the why, and the how: A review of racial microaggressions research in psychology. Race and social problems6(2), 181-200.
  • Yosso*, T. J. (2005). Whose culture has capital? A critical race theory
    discussion of community cultural wealth. Race ethnicity and education8(1), 69-91.
  • Yosso, T. J., & Burciaga, R. (2016). Reclaiming our histories, recovering community cultural wealth. Center for Critical Race Studies at UCLA Research Brief5.
  • Yosso, T., Smith, W., Ceja, M., & Solórzano, D. (2009). Critical race
    theory, racial microaggressions, and campus racial climate for Latina/o
    undergraduates. Harvard Educational Review79(4), 659-691.
  • Yosso, T. J., & Solórzano, D. G. (2006). Leaks in the Chicana and
    Chicano Educational Pipeline. Latino Policy & Issues Brief. Number
    13. UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center (NJ1).
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