We are excited and honored to welcome Dr. Aja Y. Martinez as our keynote speaker!

martinez headshotDr. Martinez is Assistant Professor of Writing and Rhetoric at Syracuse University. Dr. Martinez conducts research on and teaches a range of courses concerning rhetorics of race and ethnicity, including the rhetorics of race within both Western and non-Euro-Western contexts, and beginning, professional and advanced writing courses. Her single-authored monograph, Counterstory: The Writing and Rhetoric of Critical Race Theory (currently under review with SWR), presents counterstory as a method by which to actualize critical race theory (CRT) in rhetoric and composition studies research and pedagogy. Dr. Martinez’s work argues specifically that counterstory provides opportunities for other(ed) perspectives to contribute to conversations about narrative, dominant ideology, and their intersecting influence on curricular standards and institutional practices. Voices from the margins can become voices of authority through the formation of counterstories—stories that examine, document, and expose the persistence of racial oppression and other forms of subordination. Counterstory serves as a natural extension of inquiry for theorists whose research recognizes and incorporates lived and embodied experiences of marginalized peoples both in the U.S. and abroad. Dr. Martinez’s method provides an interdisciplinary understanding of how counterstory functions, while accomplishing a further goal of establishing counterstory as a pedagogically employable method in writing classrooms.

Dr. Martinez’s address, “The Responsibility of Privilege: A Critical Race Conversation for Allies and Accomplices,” will be the featured talk during Saturday’s Keynote Breakfast. In addition, members of the local committee will share stories from the previous night’s excursions.

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