ABSTRACT

This article investigates how the grounds of Américan rhetorical studies shift when scholars address the Black subjects and bodies that dwell in the space of the US/Mexico border. I argue that when scholars study the space of the US/Mexico border via Mexican-American regimes of recognition and develop a thinking of the political from these regulatory rhetorical commonplaces, not only do they prevent themselves from coming to grips with the full complexity of the rhetorical terrain of the borderlands, but they risk reproducing a mestizocentric political legacy that has historically taken shape through the exclusion of Blackness. I explore the consequences of mestizocentrism (the normative, geocultural assumption rendering the space of the US/Mexico border a Mexican/Mexican American space) by analyzing the rhetorical resistance to the 2011 ethnic studies legislation in Arizona in juxtaposition with Dr. Ersula Ore’s arrest on the Arizona State University campus. I conclude by offering three provisions for what I hope will yield yet more options for a socially just Américan rhetorical studies.

You do not currently have access to this content.