Adela C. Licona, PhD

Adela is co-editor of Feminist Pedagogy: Looking Back to Move Forward (JHUP, 2009), author of Zines In Third Space: Radical Cooperation and Borderlands Rhetoric (SUNY Press, 2012), and co-editor of Precarious Rhetorics (OSUP, August, 2018).

Precarious Rhtetorics is a publication in OSUP’s New Directions in Rhetoric and Materiality Series:

Across disciplines, scholars have employed theories of precarity to help explain the pervasiveness of problems related to labor, migration, biopolitics, global and state governance, economies of war and violence, poverty, environmental degradation, and a host of other pressing issues. Precarous Rhetorics is the first work to bring precarity studies to the field of rhetoric and communication—and to couple it with new materialist frameworks— to unearth and analyze the material conditions and structuring logics of inequality.

This collection features cross-disciplinary contributions from leading scholars, including the editors, to emphasize a materialist-rhetorical approach while also drawing on feminist studies, women of color feminisms, affect studies, critical disability studies, critical race and ethnic studies, medical humanities, sexuality studies, queer migration studies, and human rights and humanitarian studies. While theoretically rich, this volume intentionally features chapters that explore precarious rhetorics as they operate in practice—whether in borderlands, politics, public policy, or the quotidian spaces of human activity.

Adela’s research and teaching interests include space and visual rhetorics, cultural, ethnic, gender, and sexuality studies, race, borderlands studies, social justice media, environmental justice, feminist pedagogy, community literacies, arts-based inquiry, and action-oriented research.

She has served as the co-director of the Crossroads Collaborative, a Ford Foundation-funded think-and-act research, writing, and teaching collective designed for action-oriented research on youth, sexuality, health, rights, and justice. Together with graduate students, she is co-founder of Feminist Action Research in Rhetoric, FARR, a group of progressive feminist scholars committed to public scholarship and community dialogue. She served as the 2015-16 Co-Chair of the National Women’s Studies Association, NWSA, Conference. She is Editor Emeritus of Feminist Formations, and she serves on the advisory/editorial boards for QED: A Journal of GLBTQ Worldmaking, Feminist Formations, the Primavera Foundation, and the Tucson Youth Poetry Slam, a project of Spoken Futures.

Adela’s photography has appeared in Versal Journal; Edible Baja Magazine; TRIVIA journal; Proximities; Terrain; Kairos; Community Literacy Journal; and the Rasp and the Wine. It has been exhibited across the U.S.

Adela C. Licona, Associate Professor Emeritus of English, outgoing Vice Chair of the Social, Cultural, and Critical Theory graduate minor, and affiliated faculty in Gender and Women’s Studies, Institute for LGBT Studies, Institute of the Environment, and Mexican American Studies at the University of Arizona and incoming Interim Executive Director of BorderLinks.

Contact: aclicona @ email DOT arizona DOT edu


aguamiel: secrets of the agave ON WATER, multimedia presentation with Jamie A. Lee (2015). Transformative Digital Humanities Conference, University of Maryland.

Fields, A., Martin, L., Licona, A.C., & the Crossroads Collaborative. (2015). “Performing Urgency: Slamming & Spitting as Critical and Creative Response to State Crisis.” Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy.

Licona, A.C., & Chávez, K. (2015). “A Swarm of Vitalities / A Swarm of Affinities (experimental video),” Peitho: The Journal of the Coalition of Women Scholars in the History of Rhetoric and Composition.

Licona, Adela C., and Hayward, Eva S., (2014). “Trans~Waters~ Coalitional Thinking on Art + Environment: A Photo Essay in Two Parts.” Proximities and

Burk, Wendy and Licona, Adela C. (2012) Homenaje: An Homage to Cecilia Vicuñua, an effort to recover our senses and express the wisdom of other ways. Ephemeral installation, University of Arizona Poetry Center website.


Licona, Adela C., and Eithne Luibhéid (2018) “The Regime of Destruction: Separating Families and Caging Children”, Feminist Formations, Volume 30, 3, pp. 45-62.

May, Vivian M. and Adela C. Licona (2018) “Together, Working: Relational Matters”Feminist Formations, Volume 30, 3, pp. 125-49.

Martin, Londie T. and Adela C. Licona (2018). “Feeling World-Making Productions: Performances for a Livable Now and for a World Not Yet Here” in Youth Sexualities: Public Feeling and Contemporary Cultural Politics, Volume II, Ed. Susan Talburt. Praeger.

Nana Osei-Kofi, Adela C. Licona & Karma R. Chávez (2018) “From Afro-Sweden with Defiance: The Clenched Fist as Coalitional Gesture?,” New Political Science, 40:1, 137-150

Ribero, Ana M. and Adela C. Licona (2018). “Digital Artivism: A Focus on Q/T/POC Digital Environments, Cultural Productions, and Coalitional Gestures” in The Routledge Companion to Digital Writing & Rhetoric, Eds. Jonathan Alexander and Jacqueline Rhodes. Routledge.

Martin, Londie T. and Adela C. Licona (2018) “Remixed Literacies and Radical Cooperation at Play in a Youth-Directed Media Project.” Writing for Engagement: Responsive Practice for Social Action. Eds. Mary P. Sheridan, Megan Bardolph, Megan Faver Hartline, and Drew Holladay. Lexington Press

Martin, Londie T. and Adela C. Licona. (2018). “Remix as Unruly Play andParticipatory Method for Im/Possible Queer World-Making.” Unruly Rhetorics. Eds. Jonathan Alexander, Susan C. Jarratt, and Nancy Welch. U of  Pittsburgh Press.

Brouwer, Daniel, and Adela C. Licona (2016). “Trans(affective)mediation: Feeling Our Way from Paper to Digitized Zines.” Spec. issue on Queer Technologies. Eds. Katherine Sender and Adrienne Shaw. Critical Studies in Media Communication.

Maldonado, Marta Maria, Adela C. Licona, and S. Hendricks (2015). “Latin@ Mobilities and Immobilities in the US Heartland: Localized Instantiations of Global Mobility and Deportability Regimes.” Spec. issue on the Geographies of Mobility. Eds. Mei-Po Kwan and Tim Schwanen. Annals of the Association of American Geographers.

Licona, A.C., & Chávez, K. (2015). “Relational Literacies and their Coalitional Possibilities,” Peitho: The Journal of the Coalition of Women Scholars in the History of Rhetoric and Composition.

Licona, Adela C., & Gonzales, J. Sarah. (2013). “Education/Connection/Action: Community Literacies and Shared Knowledges as Creative Productions for Social Justice” in “Transdisciplinary & Community Literacies: Shifting Discourses & Practices Through New Paradigms of Public Scholarship & Action-Oriented Research,” (Licona & Russell, eds) Community Literacy Journal, 8.1.

Licona, Adela C., & Russell, Stephen T. (2013). eds. “Transdisciplinary & Community Literacies: Shifting Discourses & Practices Through New Paradigms of Public Scholarship & Action-Oriented Research,” Special Issue, Community Literacy Journal, 8.1.

Dissertations Directed

Elizabeth Bentley, co-directing, ongoing, “Speculative Cohabitations: Israel/Palestine,” (Working Title). AAUW Dissertation Award.

Alejandra I. Ramirez, co-directing, ongoing, “Mundos, Murallas, Murales: Muralism and the Global Border Industrial Complex,” (Working Title). Tinker Fellowship.

Anushka M.S. Peres, ongoing, “Eco-Visual Rhetorics and Settler Colonial Landscapes,” (Working Title). Bilinski Fellowship.

Casely Coan, 2019, “Kai(e)rotic Moments: Resistance and Alternate Futures in Burlesque Performance.” Graduate College Humanities Fellowship. Member, Arousal and Precarious Labor in Burlesque: Methods, Archives, and Ethical Scholarship Research Group (American Society for Theater Research).

Sonia C. Arellano, 2017, “Quilting the Migrant Trail: Crafted Rhetorical Text(iles) and (Counter) Narratives.” SBSRI Dissertation Grant.

Devon R. Kehler, 2017, “Of Crossings and Crowds: Listenings, Voicings and Sightings of Persona-fied Subject Formations.” 

Rachael Wendler, 2015, “Community Perspectives on University-Community Partnerships: Implications for Program Assessment, Teacher Training, and Composition Pedagogy.” PEO Scholars Award.

Amy Hickman, 2015, “Re-Centering Medical Expertise with Communities: Promotoras and the Rhetorical Economy of Health.”

Ana M. Ribero, 2015, “The Rhetorics of Citizenship of Undocumented Youth: An Analysis of Shifting Notions of Citizenship in Neoliberal Contexts.” Patrick Dissertation Fellowship.

Jessica N. Lee, 2013, “Too Much Information: Agency and Disruptions of Power in Personal Narratives of Mental Illness and Suffering.”

Londie T. Martin, 2013, “The Spaciality of Queer Youth Activism: Performing Spaces of Coalition and Dis/Identification.” Patrick Dissertation Fellowship.

Jenna Vinson, 2013, “Teenage Mothers as Rhetors and Rhetoric: An Analysis of Embodied Exigence and Constrained Agency.” Centennial Achievement Award.

Aja Martinez, 2012, “Critical Race Counterstory as Rhetorical Methodology: Chican@ Academic Experience Told Through Sophistic Argument, Allegory, and Narrative.” Centennial Achievement Award.

Marissa Juárez , 2012, “Bodily Force and Rhetorical Function in the Afro-Brazilian Art Form of Capoeira.” 1885 Dissertation Fellowship Award.

Amanda Wray, 2011, “Lived Histories and the Changing Rhetoric of White Identity.” Tilly Warnock Research Fellowship.

Rebecca R. Richards, 2011, “Women World Leaders, Iron Ladies, and Daughters of Destiny: A Transnational Study of Women’s Rhetorical Performances of Power.” 1885 Dissertation Fellowship Award.

Aretha Matt, 2011, “Reclamation and Survivance: Diné Rhetorics and the Practice of Rhetorical Sovereignty.” Centennial Achievement Award.



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