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Workshop 16: Bordering Rhetorics: Mobility, Containment, & the Boundaries of Critical Rhetoric

Primarily Synchronous (June 1-4)

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Workshop Leaders:

J. David Cisneros, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign:
Lisa Flores, University of Colorado Boulder:
Michael Lechuga, University of New Mexico:

There exists a unique tension within the study of Border Rhetorics: borders are both spaces of mobility as well as places of containment. Transnational migrants, characterized primarily by their mobility, are often captured by borders and their agents. However, borders also move. They change over time and mean different things for different people. The field of rhetorical studies, too, has a politics of borders: which kinds of work are considered central or peripheral and which scholars can move throughout the field while others are contained within designated subfields. Rhetoric needs a nuanced way to talk about borders that describes how borders are mobilized politically, socially, economically, interpersonally, and technologically as a strategy to alienate migrants.

In this workshop, we complicate the notion of border as a static object of study, asking participants to theorize the processes of bordering more broadly. Workshop organizers will offer theoretical and methodological engagement through readings and discussion that expand the notion of bordering, such as social bordering practices, bordering spatio-temporalities, bordering as settler logic, b/ordering gender, archival bordering, and disciplinary bordering. We certainly also invite capacious contributions from participants to broaden the scope of bordering studies.

Workshop participants will read scholarship on the rhetorics of bordering and write a small position paper prior to the workshop. Then, over the course of the three-day workshop, we will collaborate to hone theoretical and methodological tools that can advance our positions into future research on the rhetorics of bordering.

Josue David Cisneros Josue David Cisneros is Associate Professor in the Department of Communication, and affiliate faculty in the Department of Latina/Latino Studies and the Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory, at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. His research focuses on public rhetoric about identity and culture, especially the ways that social identities like race/ethnicity, citizenship, and national identity are defined, maintained, and redefined through public communication. His research also explores rhetorics of resistance and social movement, especially as they concern issues of race and immigration. He published "The Border Crossed Us”: Rhetorics of Borders, Citizenship, and Latina/o Identity (University of Alabama Press, 2014) and numerous other articles and book chapters. He has received the Wrage-Baskerville Award and an Early Career Award from the National Communication Association and the Article of the Year Award from the Eastern Communication Association. His next book project focuses on activist art in the immigrant justice movement

Lisa A. FloresLisa A. Flores is Associate Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Colorado. Her research and teaching interests lie in rhetoric, critical race studies, and gender/queer studies. Her book, Deportable and Disposable: Public Rhetoric and the Making of the “Illegal” Immigrant, forthcoming from the Pennsylvania State University Press, theorizes rhetorical racialization as it examines the intersecting discourses of deportability and disposability in historic narratives of Mexican migration. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Douglas W. Ehninger Distinguished Rhetorical Scholar Award from the National Communication Association (NCA), as well as the Distinguished Scholar Award from both the Rhetorical & Communication Theory Division of NCA and the Critical & Cultural Studies Division of NCA. She has published in Text and Performance Quarterly, Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, Critical Studies in Media Communication, and the Quarterly Journal of Speech. An advocate of disciplinary service, Lisa is active in several professional organizations.

Dr. Michael Lechuga Dr. Michael Lechuga researches and teaches Culture, Settler Colonial, Latina/o/x Studies, Communication Studies, Rhetoric, and Affect Studies. He is currently researching the ways white nationalist ideologies and settler colonial logics persist in border security mechanisms and citizenship control technologies that subject migrants and migrant communities to violence, imprisonment, and death. His research focuses specifically on the role that technology plays in U.S. border security assemblages and the ways alienhood is mapped onto migrant bodies through contemporary mechanisms of white-settler governance. In addition, Dr. Lechuga is interested in Latina/o/x Futurism, Surveillance Studies, and Film Studies. He is currently finishing his second book, Alien Affects, which illuminates the complex relationships between Hollywood alien invasion film industries and the industries tasked with securing the México/U.S. border.

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