SWOT Analysis

strengths
I’ve been talking about intersectionality with college students for the past 11 years and everything I write is about the intersections of race, class, gender, sexuality and immigration. The magazine feature I wrote “Becoming a Black Man” is about what happens for people of color when they transition genders; the essay “Los Ojos” interrogates gender, class and migration; the book chapter “Blackout” tells the story of being a young woman of color in a predominantly white institution. And of course, there’s Colonize This!

My experience with teaching cultural commentaries, opeds, profiles, and lyric essays is a strength too. I taught the collage essay this semester and exposed students to how different writers engage with codeswitching. This opened up a space for them to experiment with their own writing. One student wrote a stunning collage essay on interracial dating; another on being the white girl in a breakdancing group; and a third wrote a critique of Fresh Off the Boat wherein he made marvelous decisions about moving on the page between English and Korean.

weaknesses
I’ll be on Skype instead of in person! Ha!

ariscoAlso, I am coming with experience as a journalist, writer and public speaker so I’m used to leaning on popular modes of talking about intersectionality. That’s a plus but it’s not a traditional academic approach. Going through the readings reminded me of this. I’m excited to learn from all of you.

This will sound totally strange coming from someone who lives on social media but I have such resistance to student blogging. In fact, as a student, I had resistance to blogging. My only clue is that I hated the interface we used which was Blackboard. I haven’t tried it on WordPress. The aesthetics definitely matter. And I’m excited about having students create archives so maybe I just need to think “archive” instead of blog… and not be so “arisca” about it (see cat photo).

opportunities
“Writing with Purpose” pretty much describes how I see creative nonfiction, and I’m thinking about how Roxane Gay’s Bad Feminist would fit in a class like this. It’s such a strong example of cultural criticism that privileges intersectionality.  I’m also thinking about Ta-Nehisi Coates’sThe Case for Reparations” and how that could start some powerful conversations in class about housing and race.

For awhile now I have thought that the essay as a form is ideal for how we live at the intersections of multiple identities and experiences. The excerpt from José Medina’s The Epistemology of Resistance clarified that this is because the essay’s form lends itself to hybridity, inclusivity, and open-mindness. I’m thrilled with the idea of exploring this.

trepidations
I love this word so much more than “fear” or miedo. Trepidation. It makes me think of feet. Let’s see. My trepidations are that I’ll miss the connections that come from being in person and also that I will have a more informal approach to talking about social justice and intersectionality than everyone else. Ave Maria. My second trepidation sounds like the grown up equivalent of: Will they like me? But there you go.

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