Adela C. Licona

Adela C. Licona, Associate Professor Emeritus of English and outgoing Vice Chair of the Social, Cultural, and Critical Theory Graduate Minor served as affiliated faculty in Gender and Women’s Studies, Institute of the Environment,  Mexican American Studies, and Rhetoric, Composition, and the Teaching of English. I am the interim Executive Director of BorderLinks and the co-founder of Write to Thrive, W2T. The W2T model is intentionally designed as an informal (online and/or in-person) writing group that is supportive of participating writers in developing a generative writing routine and in supporting our shared desire to write! It acknowledges our collective need to write while refusing neoliberal measures and metrics of accountability that reduce writing to obligations for academic survival. It does not use the extreme language of “publish or perish” nor the militarized language of a writing “boot camp.”  Importantly, the W2T model seeks joy in the process. Simply, the idea is to make a writing appointment with yourself daily and to show up for it as you would for any other appointment you schedule and to support one another in doing so.

For more information on the W2T and to learn about forming writing groups:

My research and teaching interests include space and visual rhetorics, cultural, ethnic, gender, and sexuality studies, race, borderlands studies, social justice media and organizations, environmental justice, feminist pedagogy, community literacies, and action-oriented research. I am a first generation Chicanx scholar and artist who grew up on the El Paso/Juarez border. In my work, I bring theory and practice together to move beyond the delimitations of either/or frameworks through a developed both/and borderlands framework to engage multiple perspectives and marginalized histories that are so often erased or otherwise overlooked. Recognizing the power of words, my scholarship has been primarily concerned with the structuring forces of language. Believing that we are presently living in what I term a “regime of distortion,” my critical and creative attentions are focused on the distorting forces of contemporary political rhetorics which are constricting our social and cultural imaginaries and turning people away from one another and from the earth. I am calling on my artistic practice to intervene in the ongoing cultural shift from “seeing is believing” to “believing is seeing” to compel new, more complicated ways of looking, seeing, relating, and understanding. Through a developed intensity of focus that is part of my photographic practice of “relational proximity,” I approach my eco-scapes as well as my arte urbano/city-scapes, and body-scapes as assemblages of interrelated stories so far. This approach calls for relational understandings of the many and varied, even contradictory, histories of peoples, places, and things. I am thrilled to be a member of the Colectiva Fronteristas and a member of the Cielohandcrafted Arts Collective. My photography, poetry, and multimodal work explores interstices through propinquities, blurred boundaries, and bent light. As artist, activist, scholar, and public rhetor, I am using my art to provoke and participate in reorientations, and re/visionings that are informed by, and might also inform, radical re/imaginings of being, belonging, and relating to one another, to everyday objects and everyday-scapes, to histories, to bodies, to places, and practices, and to the earth.

I am 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, forthcoming).

My 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.

I 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.

Contact: aclicona @ email DOT arizona DOT edu