Recruitment and Advertising: Best Practices for Recruiting Underrepresented Folks in Communication Studies

This is my fourth, and for now final, post about best practices for recruiting underrepresented folks in communication studies. The first post helped frame the issues and provide a rationale. The second post laid out some initial steps involving relationship formation and partnerships with units like Latina/o/x studies and African American studies on your campuses.  Last week’s post was about some simple things that can be done to write job ads and propose hires that require minimal effort to diversify your pools. Today’s post is about putting in the effort to actually diversify your pool (or at least try).

The lack of attention to a variety of outlets and forums to recruit a more diverse applicant pool has become an unfortunate norm. Reflecting on where jobs were advertised in the most recent season of job recruitment, I was a little shocked and mostly dismayed at the lack of (minimal) effort from well intentioned people to recruit beyond CRTNET. 1. It’s 2017. 2. This isn’t rocket science. All it takes is a little critical thinking and you can advertise and draw from a wider pool. 3. CRTNET is a space that is often hostile to people of color and smart money has been on ignoring or unsubscribing from the listserv because of that hostility. Here are my recommendations. Continue reading “Recruitment and Advertising: Best Practices for Recruiting Underrepresented Folks in Communication Studies”

Proposing Hires: Best Practices for Recruiting Underrepresented Folks in Communication Studies

In December, I went live with a series about Best Practices for Recruiting Underrepresented Folks in Communication Studies. The second post in that series was about first steps — about making connections and forming relationships on your campus so that you can both setup a long-term plan and do some inherent good in supporting voices and programs that often lack full support at a PWI. This entry in my series is about proposing your new hires. This is the time of year (on my campus, at least) when deans are requesting proposals for new hires. So this post aims to offer some guidance about how you can proceed in a manner that keeps diversity, inclusion, and equity in mind.  Continue reading “Proposing Hires: Best Practices for Recruiting Underrepresented Folks in Communication Studies”

First Steps: Best Practices for Recruiting Underrepresented Folks in Communication Studies

Last week, I posted the first in a short series on “Recruiting Underrepresented Folks in Communication Studies.” Today’s post is about first steps that you can/should be engaging in to set the foundation for a broader strategy that involves making diversity, equity, and inclusion central to your new hires and, indeed, your department. I believe the most simple initial thing you can do is to make connections on campus and community. Continue reading “First Steps: Best Practices for Recruiting Underrepresented Folks in Communication Studies”

Best Practices for Recruiting Underrepresented Folks in Communication Studies

I was dismayed, this year, to see so few of the excellent job opportunities in communication studies get circulated within the networks for brown and black scholars in the field. I was particularly troubled that so few of the people I consider friends and “progressive” put in any effort to target scholars of color as part of their recruitment efforts. As such, I want to do something about that.

This post is the first of several that will become a kind of living document — a work-in-progress to help people identify some best practices to advertise beyond the CRTNET crowd and attain more racial diversity in communication studies job applicant pools and faculties. Items will be added as suggestions come in to me. If you have suggestions for additions/changes, please post in the comments here or on my Facebook posts sharing links to this story. If you would like to contact me to talk about these best practices (because you are a search chair, administrator, or member of the media), please email me at darrel {at} wanzerserrano {dot} com. Continue reading “Best Practices for Recruiting Underrepresented Folks in Communication Studies”

Decolonizing Rhetorical Studies: A Discussion About The New York Young Lords and the Struggle for Liberation at NCA

On Saturday, November 18, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., there will be a panel discussion about The New York Young Lords and the Struggle for Liberation at the National Communication Association’s annual convention. Sponsored by the American Society for the History of Rhetoric, the panel features three critical engagements of the book by a diverse group of scholars in rhetorical studies, and will be followed by a response from me. Continue reading “Decolonizing Rhetorical Studies: A Discussion About The New York Young Lords and the Struggle for Liberation at NCA”

Award, Reviews, & Interviews: A Long, Overdue Post

Although I’ve tried to keep things updated on the Facebook page for my book, I wanted to keep the reviews and interviews collected together in one place for various reasons. So to make up for my absence from this blog (which I detailed in my last post), here’s what been up in the world of my book over the last year-plus, starting with the newest and biggest piece of news…. Continue reading “Award, Reviews, & Interviews: A Long, Overdue Post”

Long Break, Good Reasons

It’s been well over a year since I’ve posted on this site. I swear I’ve got good reasons. Shortly after my last post, Nicole (my spouse) got admitted to the hospital with something scary called HELLP Syndrome. Basically, HELLP is something that puts a pregnancy and the mother at grave risk. That was Wednesday, May 11th, 2016. By the weekend, we were feeling optimistic that she “merely” had a long stint of inpatient bedrest ahead of her. In the wee hours of Sunday, May 15th, HELLP came back with a vengeance. At 7:38am, our son, Carlos Jesús (CJ) was delivered via emergency C-section.

CJ was 24-weeks gestation. He weighed 435 grams — a mere 15oz. He was about 10 inches long. H couldn’t breathe without mechanical ventilation, oxygen, and more. He’d lose more weight in his first 10 days, before slowly growing and fighting off everything that was thrown at him. We’ve catalogued his journey on a public Facebook page, which is most easily reached at (yes, I’m a Hamilton fan).

Keep reading for pics and the happy ending…. Continue reading “Long Break, Good Reasons”

Another Positive Review of the Book!

With the semester plucking along, I’ve fallen a little behind on my posting. Tomorrow, I head to the University of Oklahoma for two events sponsored by the Center for Teaching Excellence and the Center for Social Justice. On 3/3, I will be presenting the chapter “Figural, Not Foundational: The New York Young Lords and Revolutionary Nationalism” in a campus lecture at Gaylord Hall Auditorium, Room 1140, from 7:00-9:00 p.m. On 3/4 from 9:00-11:00 a.m., I will be facilitating a teaching workshop on “Decolonial Love,” at Bissell Library, Helmerich Collaborative Learning Center Classroom.

Last month, La Respuesta Magazine published a review The New York Young Lords and the Struggle for Liberation. The review, titled “Writing With the Oppressed,” offers a strong endorsement.  Here’s a small taste:

“Wanzer-Serrano offers a critical interpretation of the writings, speeches, and actions of The Young Lords Party in a way that emphasizes their geographic and socio-political situatedness…. The New York Young Lords and the Struggle for Liberation shares the story of The Young Lords Party in a refreshing way by employing a methodology that privileges their own voices, all while expanding conversations throughout various fields in the academy. In this, the work’s importance cannot be understated as it is not merely a regurgitation of The Lords story but rather a conversation with them. For that…this work deserves praise.”

Big Week of Recognition!

It’s been  big week for The New York Young Lords and the Struggle for Liberation. On December 11, the book was reviewed in Centro Voices (the e-magazine of the Center for Puerto Rican Studies), featured on their 2015 “Essential Boricua Reading for the Holiday Season” list, and recommended as the starting point on that list.

The review, by Mirelsie Velazquez, is overwhelmingly positive. A highlight from the first paragraph reads:

In The New York Young Lords and the Struggle for Liberation, Darrel Wanzer-Serrano offers both an important contribution and intervention to Puerto Rican, Latina/o, and Communication Studies, by further contextualizing “the critical engagement of the Young Lords’ grassroots rhetoric and political actions” (Wanzer-Serrano 2015: 8). Although other important works on the Young Lords exist, what Wanzer-Serrano is careful to offer here is not merely another historical analysis of the ways in which activism is performed (or enacted) but how decoloniality emerges, is imagined, and is lived through the words and actions of the Young Lords. Through extensive archival research, oral histories, and theoretical unpacking, Wanzer-Serrano’s book situates the critical importance of the rhetoric behind the organizing work of the Young Lords and how affective strategies became central to their struggle for community control. To be sure, Wanzer-Serrano’s contribution is an important one, and very timely, as we are again witnessing a rise in community based activism in these very communities.

To make things even better, the book was first runner-up for the Inside Higher Education Readers’ Choice Award. Losing out to T.S. Eliot and besting Umberto Eco and Santa’s Elves (I’m not even joking), it was a tremendous honor to be nominated let alone rank so highly amongst real and mythical figures.

All of this news is so exciting as the semester winds down. This was a big term for the book, which kicked off with a three-site tour in New York and finished with a two-site tour in San Francisco — both of which are covered  on the Speaking Schedule page.

Next semester has some fun things in the works, starting with a two-day event at Dickinson College, sponsored by the Popel Shaw Center for Race & Ethnicity, which will include former Young Lords Iris Morales and Denise Oliver-Velez!

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