The Institute for Writing and Rhetoric is thrilled to announce the addition of Claudia Anguiano, our new Lecturer in Speech. Claudia was kind enough to spend a few moments answering some questions that will help the Dartmouth community get to know her better. Claudia comes to us from The University of New Mexico, where she has just defended her dissertation as a Mellon Fellow in the Department of Communication and Journalism
Can you say a few words about your area of scholarship and what inspired you to pursue these interests and use scholar-activist research?
With a broad training in human communication, my research program focuses on the communicative intersections of culture, immigration, and race within the context of social movements. I integrate these interests in research that centers on the advocacy strategies of immigrant youth who have mobilized to secure the passage of the DREAM (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors) Act. This bipartisan legislation would provide qualifying undocumented young people a pathway to citizenship and has been the catalyst for increasingly vocal social protest.
My interest in this topic preceded my academic research, and is rooted in my personal participation in the movement, my vested interest in immigrant-rights reform, and my commitment to enhancing traditionally underrepresented communities within academia. My research efforts incorporate this experiential knowledge. By using analytical tools consistent with an activist methodology, I generally refer to an approach that conceptualizes political work as centered in the research process. This framework represents scholarship with an explicit commitment to both political struggles and rigorous academic research. For me, that means I can actively keep a foot in both worlds and stay attentive to the expectations of these dual roles.
I gravitate to this approach as a firm believer that communication principles, theories, and methods can be applied to address tangible issues and problems. In using a collaboration-based approach I aim to contribute to the ongoing grassroots efforts towards social justice. The practice of melding theory and practice energizes my work because it affirms both the transformative nature of rhetoric, and the importance of our role as positive agents for change.
What courses will you teach at Dartmouth? How will your identity as a scholar-activist inform your teaching?
I am excited to create courses, grounded in a rhetorical perspective, that examine critical issues related to public advocacy. I've designed courses that explore past and present social movements aiming to bring about social change and intercultural communication practices in society. My experience as scholar-activist has helped develop a pedagogical approach that is student-centered, encourages critical thinking, and emphasizes the larger social and historical contexts that affect our rhetorical practices. I design these courses with a commitment to critical communicative principles and seek to engage students in productive dialogues about meaningful, socially engaged scholarship.
What most excites you about joining the Dartmouth Community?
I look forward to the opportunity to work with Dartmouth students and take part in the intellectual conversations already taking place. It is quite exciting to be part of a community that clearly values interdisciplinary work. I also intend to help further the IWR's efforts to expand the speech component. Finally, I am eager to present the theoretical and practical applications of rhetoric as this philosophy corresponds nicely with Dartmouth’s liberal-arts tradition. It is an added bonus that I will also experience the beautiful scenery that New England has to offer.
What would you like your students to know about you, before they arrive in your classroom?
As an instructor, I approach education as an interactive process and am excited to learn from my students as they learn from me. The classroom is where I foster an understanding of the personally relevant ways students can apply their learning, while building inclusiveness related to diverse perspectives. These communication courses will be guided by discussions, which means students should come in ready to actively participate, as well as actively listen to others and create a supportive learning environment. Lastly, students should know that I strive to make myself available for personal dialogue and that I warmly welcome individual meetings with students.
Last Updated: 9/15/11