CFP: This Bridge We Call Communication

Call For Papers

This Bridge We Call Communication: Anzaldúan Approaches to Theory, Method, and Praxis

Forthcoming with Lexington Books

Dr. Leandra H. Hernandez & Dr. Robert Gutierrez-Perez, Editors

In this edited collection, we are calling for bridges, drawbridges, islands, and sandbars that view the scholarship of Gloria E. Anzaldúa as foundational to the study of communication theory, method, and praxis. Like many philosopher/scholar/activists before her, Anzaldúa’s life and work shifted conversations and contributed to scholarship across rhetoric, intercultural communication, performance studies, and other subdisciplines within communication studies (Calafell and Delgado; Flores, “Challenging,” “Creating”; González, Calafell, and Avant-Mier; Holling). Utilizing Anzaldúan approaches to culture, health/ability, power, language, dialogue, and identity, the aim and scope of this edited collection is to inwardly bridge the subdisciplines of Communication Studies, yet simultaneously bridge outward to other disciplines, such as Critical/Cultural Studies, Latinx and Chicanx studies, LGBTQ studies, and Women’s Studies. The editors of this collection are asking for work focused on the inherent communicative labor that is undertaken in bridge-building, such as listening, critical literacy, dialogue, alliance-building, speaking up, and reflexivity (Warren and Fassett); however, this labor of inner work and public acts should also hail other fields, such as Education, English, Anthropology, Religious Studies, and Sociology.

Pero, writing comadres y compadres, we know how quickly our backs can become permanent bridges where we are constantly walked all over (Anzaldúa; Moraga and Anzaldúa). Keeping ones hands aqui y planting one’s knees aya is a labor that we respect and ask that you help us to critique. Like Anzaldúa, we claim a borderlands positionality in and to theory, method, and praxis, which we argue is an inclusive if not also contested and often disorienting ontological state. To honor this approach, we humbly invite short (1500-3000 words) creative works (poetry, short stories, testimonios, platicas, cuentos, artwork, etc.) and longer (6000-8000 words) cutting-edge communication research reports and studies to help create an experience for the reader to perform this borderlands ontological state in the structure and writing of this collection. While we encourage communication research that addresses the importance of lifting our bridges to practice critical self-care and self-love, we emphasize that creative works or research reports should share our commitment to Anzaldúan approaches, which sharply critique and/or thickly describe intersectional systems of power and oppression (Yep).

As editors, we understand that loving in the war years has never been easy (Moraga), and like an island, folks within and outside of academia feel like they need to separate themselves from members of the dominant culture (Anzaldúa). They need the sustenance of their homeplaces to recharge (hooks), so the editors of this collection envision a book on communication theory, method, and praxis that is both ceremonial and political. As a contributor, we hope that you might consider this collection as a refuge for your art and research. Given the realities of our increasingly interconnected age of globalization and neoliberalism, the editors of this collection acknowledge the threat of Trumpism and the need for an activist-oriented praxis that openly values liminal spaces and beings, radical interconnectedness, and knowledge generated by people on the periphery. Anzaldúa writes that no one can be a perpetual island, so we humbly invite contributors to take up our call to consider the bridge-making capacity of communication to heal and build alliances.

In the end, the editors of this collection are riding the wave of history and are looking for those aware of the shifting sands. Like a sandbar, these bridges move with the tide and naturally peek up out of the sea (Anzaldúa). They connect to other worlds (sometimes), and other times, they hide just under the surface–always there, but not–doing the work (la tarea) guided by the push and pull of the moon (Anzaldúa). We envision this work to be utilized in both undergraduate and graduate-level courses on communication theory and methods, so an inclusive writing-style with rigorous aesthetic choices are encouraged. If Abuelita or Jotería found this collection on a bus seat, would they pick it up? Could they read it? Would it speak to them? Let’s build this bridge together–a bridge we call communication.

List of Suggested Topics

Topics for submission can include (but are not limited to):

  • Identity, mestizaje, hybridity, sexuality, gender, monstrosity, religion, borderlands theory
  • Creative acts and arts, performative writing, performance, activist/engaged scholarship
  • Spiritual activism, autohistoria-teoria, critical communication pedagogy
  • Nepantla theory, method, and praxis

Submission Requirements & Dates

In order to have a creative work and/or research manuscript considered for publication, please submit the following:

  1. A 1- to 2 page chapter proposal or creative work proposal that clearly summarizes your submission’s goals, scope, and argument with a clear articulation of your submission’s contribution to both Anzaldúan studies and communication studies
  2. A copy of your most recent CV


Please email these materials to Dr. Leandra Hernandez and Dr. Robert Gutierrez-Perez at by April 15. Responses to submitters will be sent by June 15 with first drafts due by December 15.

Works Cited

Anzaldúa, Gloria. The Gloria Anzaldúa Reader. Ed. Keating, AnaLouise. Durham: Duke U, 2009. Print.

Calafell, Bernadette Marie, and Fernando P. Delgado. “Reading Latina/o Images: Interrogating Americanos.” Critical Studies in Media Communication 21.1 (2004): 1–24. CrossRef. Web.

Lisa A. Flores. “Challenging the Myth of Assimilation: A Chicana Feminist Response.” International and Intercultural Communication, Annual Vol XXIII: Constituting Cultural Difference through Discourse. Ed. Mary Jane Collier. Constituting Cultural Difference through Discourse. Thousands Oaks, CA: Sage, 2001. 26–46. Print. Annual Vol XXIII.

—. “Creating Discursive Space through a Rhetoric of Difference: Chicana Feminists

Craft a Homeland.” Quarterly Journal of Speech 82 (1996): 142–156. Print.

González, Alberto, Bernadette M. Calafell, and Roberto Avant-Mier. “An LCSD & La Raza

Microhistory: The Latina/o Communication Studies Division & La Raza Caucus of the National Communication Association.” Review of Communication (2014): 1–13. Print.

Holling, Michelle A. “Retrospective on Latin@ Rhetorical-Performance Scholarship: From ‘Chicano Communication’ to ‘Latina/o Communication?’” The Communication Review 11.4 (2008): 293–322. Print.

hooks, bell. “Homeplace: A Site of Resistance.” The Woman that I Am: The Literature and Culture of Contemporary Women of Color. Ed. D. Soyini Madison. New York: St. Martin’s, 1994. 448- 54. Print.

Moraga, Cherríe. Loving in the War Years: Lo Que Nunca Paso por Sus Labios. 2nd ed. Cambridge: South End P (2000). Print.

—and Gloria Anzaldúa, eds. This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color. 2nd ed. New York, NY: Kitchen Table, 1983. Print.

Warren, John T. and Deanna L. Fassett.  Communication: A critical/cultural introduction. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE, 2011. Print.

Yep, Gust A. “Queering/Quaring/Kauering/Crippin’/Transing ‘Other Bodies’ in Intercultural Communication.” Journal of International and Intercultural Communication 6.2 (2013): 118–126. Print.


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