My academic interests are focused on the relationships between race, political possibilities, and rhetoric in the United States. I am deeply interested in the way that theories of race and problematics of difference can and do inform our conceptualizations of public culture. I have particular interests and expertise in Latin@ studies, radical democratic aesthetics, and the coloniality of knowledge/power/being. My scholarship complicates (modern/Western) rhetorical theory by putting it into conversation with critical race and decolonial theory in a manner that makes local knowledges and communication practices intelligible, and advances more inclusive theorizing in the discipline. My work has appeared in the Quarterly Journal of Speech, Communication Theory, Environmental Communication, Communication, Culture, & Critique, Rhetoric and Public Affairs, and my pioneering book The Young Lords: A Reader (New York University Press, 2010).
Currently, I am continuing my work on the Young Lords with a book project, tentatively titled Delinking Rhetorics: The New York Young Lords and the Struggle for Liberation. The Young Lords was a revolutionary, multi-ethnic, grassroots political organization comprised of young men and women throughout New York City and included branches across the country and Puerto Rico. In this project, I treat the Young Lords as a critical and representative example of decolonial or anti-systemic social movement struggling against modern/coloniality. What makes the Young Lords particularly interesting is the way in which they advanced their agenda through a political style that operated functionally at the intersections of competing socio-rhetorical traditions and through various discourses including speech, poetry, images, and embodied performance. Their critical geo-/body politics targeted the intersectionality of oppression along gendered-raced-classed axes from the late 1960s until the mid 1970s.
All of that said, my research extends beyond attention to the Young Lords, engaging questions of racial neoliberalism, rhetorical agency, critical rhetorical theory, and Latin@ studies more broadly. I have also recently begun collaborating with an environmental philosopher to start interrogating the relationship between race, class, gender, coloniality, and Latin@ identity in the context of environmental justice—a project and collaborative relationship that I am quite excited about undertaking.