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NAVE Visiting Scholar Lecture: “Visualizing Racial Politics: Mexican Americans and the Aesthetics of Non/Violence”

September 22, 2022 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Jose Izaguirre, III

About the presentation: In this presentation of a portion of my book project, Becoming La Raza: The De/Colonial Praxis of Chican@ Movement(s), 1965-1970, I discuss the racializing and de/colonial force of aesthetic work in Chican@ movement rhetorics. This talk showcases how Chican@ movement discourse composed in the aftermath of one of the largest Mexican American demonstrations in US history—the Chican@ Moratorium—confronted colonial violence at a crucial point in the evolution of Chican@ movement(s) in the United States while, at the same time, augmenting the appeal of a nonviolent political stance. Published about a month after the dramatic display of racist violence against the insurgent Mexican American politics on August 29, 1970, a special issue of La Raza magazine sought to defend activists participating in the Chican@ Moratorium by undermining attempts from the Los Angeles Police Department to paint Mexican Americans as a “violent” race that earned the police brutality they experienced on that day. Through a combination of articles and photographs, the special issue vindicated the actions of demonstrators through photographic evidence. The special issue, however, also reframed the events of that day as a manifestation of a racial incommensurability between Mexican Americans—La Raza—and institutional whiteness by visualizing the relationships of each to non/violence. In analyzing the visual rhetorical work of the special issue, I show how the aesthetics of this magazine’s visuals (re)racialized Mexican American politics, encouraged nonviolent action(s) from Chican@ movement activists, and spotlighted multiple scales of violence (local, national, global) against Mexican American bodies.

About the presenter: José G. Izaguirre III is an assistant professor in the Department of Rhetoric and Writing at the University of Texas at Austin. He completed his PhD in Communication at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and his general research interests span rhetorical history, rhetorical theory, and public rhetorics. In particular, his work is situated within the fields of Latinx rhetorics, premodern rhetorics, and classical rhetorics. His work probes the relationships between politics, rhetoric, and power and the historical ramifications of their intersections.


September 22, 2022
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Event Category:


Vilas Hall, Room 4028
Vilas Hall
Madison, WI