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….
Word went public last week that The New York Young Lords and the Struggle for Liberation has won the 2017 Book of the Year Award from the Critical/Cultural Studies Division of the National Communication Association. It’s a huge honor to earn such an award — one that I feel like I share with all of the other Latina/o/x communication scholars in the field.
Three journals, all significant in their own right, and one blog have reviewed the book since my hiatus. The first was in June 2016, from the Organization of American Historians’ Journal of American History, which is the journal of record for the field. The review read, in part:
“Wanzer-Serrano’s The New York Young Lords and the Struggle for Liberation engages intellectual history, rhetorical studies, and theories of (de)coloniality…. Wanzer-Serrano takes seriously the epistemic, psychological, and social outcomes from struggles that may at first glance appear unsuccessful. Ultimately, Wanzer-Serrano asks not only what we can learn about the Young Lords but also what we can learn from them…. At its heart The New York Young Lords and the Struggle for Liberation is a rhetorical reading of a historic moment…that can be quite significant to scholars and activists…. a vibrant text.”
It was an honor to be reviewed in such an illustrious journal and to have historians’ attention drawn to my book, which is the first scholarly history of the Young Lords.
“[A] trenchant analysis of the work of the Young Lords in New York City from 1969 to 1976…. Wanzer-Serrano offers here a thorough, meticulous analysis of rhetorical and textual aspects of the Young Lords’ activism. In this regard, he admirably achieves his goal of bridging the divide between Puerto Rican and Latina/o Studies on the one hand and communication studies on the other…. Wanzer-Serrano proves particularly adept in putting forth intersectional analyses, the prime example being his chapter on the advocacy and leadership of women in the Young Lords…. Wanzer-Serrano has offered an impressive contribution to the burgeoning scholarship on Puerto Rican activism in mid to late twentieth-century New York…. At base, The New York Young Lordsand the Struggle for Liberation is a call to look beyond the instrumental and transitory successes of community activism and consider the ways in which changing the terms of discourse can form a basis for future empowerment.”
The final journal review came from my own field, in August 2017, published in the Quarterly Journal of Speech, which is the journal of record in communication studies’ iteration of rhetorical studies. The review read:
“The New York Young Lords and the Struggle for Liberation serves as a model for scholars interested in race, ethnicity, and rhetorical theory of what culturally nuanced criticism should look like as he turns to liberation rather than democracy as a key frame…. While Wanzer-Serrano’s intersectional rhetoric is itself an important contribution, his exploration of the relationship between decoloniality and love is significant and compelling…. The New York Young Lords and the Struggle for Liberation is a carefully crafted project that not only examines decoloniality and revolutionary nationalism, but also performs and embodies decoloniality. The book is an important first step in decolonizing rhetorical studies.”
“Wanzer-Serrano provides a detailed theoretical reading of the Lords’ political philosophy…. [T]he best passages of this work come when Wanzer-Serrano lets the Lords speak for themselves, in word, action, and imagery, and then brings theory to bear on those ideas without it overwhelming them. The archival material[s]…are treasure troves…. [T]his book is a welcome addition to the literature on the Young Lords, Puerto Rican/Latinx Studies, and social movements in general, and should be added to the reading lists of scholars, activists, and scholar-activists who recognize our current moment as one in need of political transformation.”
In putting together the list, I realized that I never posted here on the blog about interviews that had been conducted even before my hiatus. So, collected here is a complete list (but just a list, with links, in chronological order) of all the interviews I’ve done up to this point.
“The Young Lords Of New York” hour-long radio interview on WORT 89.9FM (Madison, WI) at http://www.wortfm.org/the-young-lords-of-new-york/
“On The New York Young Lords: An Interview with Darrel Wanzer-Serrano” on the African American Intellectual History Society Blog at http://www.aaihs.org/young-lords/
“A Writer with Writers: Connecting the Roots of Activism from New York to Baltimore” on the Maryland Humanities Blog at https://www.mdhumanities.org/2016/10/a-writer-with-writers-connecting-the-roots-of-activism-from-new-york-to-baltimore/
“Darrel Wanzer-Serrano: El mundo académico debe hacer de los latinos una prioridad” on ViceVersa Magazine at https://www.viceversa-mag.com/darrel-wanzer-serrano-the-young-lords/
So that’s it for now. Hopefully I’ll keep up and blog a bit more regularly … especially about the connections between Puerto Rico’s history and it’s present circumstances.