Bio: Eda Ozyesilpinar is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Rhetoric and Writing at the University of Texas at El Paso, where she researches and teaches border-cultural rhetorics, non-Western rhetorics, technical communication, and user experience. Her academic and creative work has appeared in Kairos, Rhetorics Change/Rhetoric’s Change, and Immediacy. She is currently working on two manuscripts analyzing historical maps to uncover how the dehumanized images of non-Western otherness were invented through the use of particular technical and visual content design strategies
Research Talking Points: Eda's scholarship includes research on a historical Turkish map, which is an extension of her MA thesis that she worked on as a student in the TAMU-CC English MA Program. This map’s historical importance stems from its claim to have been used in the creation of Christopher Columbus’s lost map of the newly discovered Americas. While the map has attracted significant scholarly interests across disciplines on a global level, there appears to be lack of acknowledgment about the presence of colonial signs and images in the visual-material content of the map. Eda shared the results of her analysis with a focus on the coloniality of this technical-cultural document and discuss decolonial options for humanizing information-content design.
Bio: Chelsea Mikulencak has been a licensed attorney in the state of Texas since 2016. She began her career in municipal law with the City Attorney’s Office in July 2017. Prior to embarking on her legal career, Chelsea was a university instructor and professional writing tutor at TAMU-CC. While there, she taught English Composition to college freshmen, and specialized in advising graduate students and non-native speakers of English on their various writing projects, including doctoral dissertations. She has always had a passion for engagement, learning, and advocacy for all, and it is these traits that compelled her to leave her teaching career behind for the practice of law. Her work in the City Attorney’s Office has afforded her the opportunity to engage with and serve numerous city departments, each of which has only further encouraged her passion for working for the City. Chelsea is a single mother, and her two-year-old son is easily the light of her life and motivation for everything. Fun fact: she met and took a picture with President Obama. She’d be willing to share if you ask!
Research Talking Points: Chelsea's work involves such topics as the First Amendment, free speech zones, and public forums. She revised the City of San Antonio’s procession and assembly ordinance, which required research of San Antonio’s comparable cities both within and outside of Texas. Beyond the research aspect, she had to gauge the ever-changing political atmosphere, and meet with advocacy groups and numerous City departments to determine what options were most viable with respect to ordinance revisions. Ultimately, the ordinance passed with unanimous city council support. Chelsea has gone on to present this topic to other municipal attorneys, and her First Amendment research and expertise continues to expand.
Bio: Kathryn LaGesse is current second year student in the TAMU-CC MA English Graduate Program, where she says being an older student doesn’t matter. She describes the English program as truly a tight knit family. The students, staff, and faculty are so encouraging, and everyone wants to see you succeed. She finds the program to be very challenging and rewarding. She teaches English at San Diego High School, where her own high school students think it’s great that their teacher is facing some of the same challenges they have as dual credit students. Her students are so supportive of what she's working to achieve.
Research: Kathryn's research interests interests included examining the role of feminism in Shakespeare's plays. She investigates the character of Viola and her actions as sounding strongly feminist. She wants to add to the conversation on feminism through her study of the feminist portrayal of this character.
Bio: Romeo García is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Writing and Rhetoric Studies at the University of Utah. He is author of the following articles: “On the Cusp of Invisibility” (2017), “Unmaking Gringo-Centers” (2017), “Creating Presence from Absence and Sound from Silence” (2018), “Corrido-ing State Violence” (2018), and “Teaching with Border Writers” (2018), and co-editor of Rhetorics Elsewhere and Otherwise: Contested Modernities, De-Colonial Visions for the Studies in Writing and Rhetoric Series (2018). A native of South Texas, Garcia received a BA in English from Texas A&M University-College Station, MA in English from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, and PhD in Composition and Cultural Rhetoric from Syracuse University.
Research: Romeo's research focuses on the constructions of difference and their impact on understandings of literacy and rhetorical practices of students in our classrooms and the communities in which they live. For example, he questions how settler colonial narratives and rhetorics justify violence against “The Mexican,” analyzing Texas Rangers in Action comic book series through “haunting” back, working from what is present, a display of presence, and the presencing of the living and non-living within archival research, enacting “community listening” and “re-searching.” He argues that by creating presence from absence and sound from silence within the archives, it is possible to account for how the colonial traffics in the normative and to disrupt the “smooth” flow and circulation of settler colonial narratives and rhetorics.
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