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Rhetorical Studies

Photo Essays Series One: Introduction to Rhetoric of the Borderlands

By Regina McManigell Grijalva and Shawn E. McManigell

Series One of the photo essays project is the starting place for rhetorical scholarship focusing on the U.S./Mexico border in the larger collaborative project of The Center for Borderlands Studies. Series One starts an examination of the complexity of the U.S./Mexico Borderlands and the communication practices (verbal as well as nonverbal) that construct and contest people’s notions of nationality and identity. The scholarship presented here interrogates and explores intersections of culture with regard to power, privilege and diversity. It is our hope that Series One will begin the development of a more complex picture of the issues affecting and facing people of the borderlands than traditional kinds of scholarship.

The Series One essays are accompanied by photography of the U.S./Mexico Borderlands to depict the everyday peoples and places most greatly affected by the borderlands issues that are rhetorically analyzed in the Series. This photography is intended to provide a context and/or backdrop that can enrich our understanding of the U.S./Mexico Border. The photography is also integrated with the scholarship to humanize the borderlands lest we divorce ourselves from the fact that people’s lives are greatly affected by decisions about immigration law and border politics.

The notions of borders here refer to the places where U.S. and Mexican languages, cultures, histories and policies clash, and in so doing create a third space with una mezcla [a mixture] of characteristics of the two places and peoples it represents. At times in this third space, both the U.S. and/or Mexico can be seen and at other times, neither. This scholarship is two-pronged in bringing the issues of the U.S./Mexico borderlands to light, first to raise awareness and educate people, and second, to be a catalyst for effective positive change.

Photo Essays Series One: Introduction to Rhetoric of the U.S./Mexico Borderlands

December, 2016

Photo Essay 1.1, "An Introduction to Rhetorics of the Borderlands"

Photo Essay, 1.2, “The U.S. Government’s Treatment of Its Citizens: Difference in Backgrounds, Different Treatment?”

Photo Essay, 1.3, “U.S./Mexico Borderlands and Mexican-American History: Deconstructing Disturbing Narratives”

Photo Essay, 1.4, “The U.S./Mexico Borderlands of Today and a Question of Acceptable Constitutional Violations”

Photo Essay, 1.5, “Rhetoric of Racial Profiling that Can Lead Down the Path of Eliminationism, of Genocide”



Project Direction and Scholarship by Regina McManigell Grijalva

Project Photography and Graphic Editing by Shawn E. McManigell

Regina McManigell Grijalva is Associate Professor of English and Director of Composition at Oklahoma City University. She earned her Ph.D. in English Rhetoric, Composition and Linguistics from Arizona State University. She studies the ways people use language and communication to (re)shape their identities, especially when empowering or disenfranchising others. Also, she has published research of teaching and learning that focuses on how they can best be achieved in higher education so that the most diverse students, faculty, and administrators are involved in the process for the most creative and successful outcomes.

McManigell Grijalva has lived in the Southwestern United States for much of her life and comes from a family whose identity has shaped and been shaped by border language and culture. She is passionate about documenting and archiving any and all language practices that reflect the constitution of national and cultural identity of the US/Mexico Border as seen through a rhetorical and/or literary lens.

Shawn E. McManigell is Program Manager and Senior Systems Engineer at HEBCO, Inc. in Midwest City, Oklahoma. A retired Major and Operational Test Pilot in United States Air Force, he is a community leader in and supporter of arts-integration in schools. He enjoys working with and supporting the Boys and Girls Club of Oklahoma County, Arts Leadership in Oklahoma City and the work of Catholic Charities. McManigell’s photography includes the solar system, sporting events, nature and scenery, and photo journalism. He has spent much time in the Southwestern United States, visiting family there and having been stationed there thrice during his military career. He enjoys photographing the borderlands as well as taking an active role in bringing awareness to the issues and challenges of the border.