Adela C Licona

Associate Professor, Emerita

Professor Licona served as the Director of the Institute for LGBT Studies and as Vice Chair of the Social, Cultural, and Critical Theory graduate minor. She was affiliated faculty in Gender and Women’s Studies, Institute of the Environment, and Mexican American Studies at the University of Arizona.

Adela’s research and teaching interests include space and visual rhetorics, cultural, ethnic, gender, and sexuality studies, race, borderlands studies, social justice media, environmental justice, feminist pedagogy, community literacies, arts-based inquiry, and action-oriented research.

She has published in such journals as Antipode, Transformations, Journal of Latino-Latin American Studies, Sexuality Research and Social Policy, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, and Critical Studies in Media Communication. Additionally, she has co-published a number of community research briefs with community educator-activists, youth, and graduate students. These policy-relevant briefs have circulated beyond the university across local communities. Adela is co-editor of Feminist Pedagogy: Looking Back to Move Forward (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009) author of Zines In Third Space: Radical Cooperation and Borderlands Rhetoric (SUNY Press, 2012), and co-editor/author of Precarious Rhetorics (The Ohio State University Press, 2018).

Her photography has appeared in Versal Journal; Edible Baja Magazine; TRIVIA journal; Proximities; Terrain; Kairos; Community Literacy Journal; and the Rasp and the Wine. It has been exhibited across the US.

Adela was awarded a 2018 PLAYA residency. She served as co-founder and co-director of the Crossroads Collaborative, a Ford Foundation-funded think-and-act research, writing, and teaching collective designed for action-oriented research on youth, sexuality, health, rights, and justice. Together with graduate students, she is co-founder of Feminist Action Research in Rhetoric, FARR, a group of progressive feminist scholars committed to public scholarship and community dialogue. She was the 2015-16 Co-Chair of the National Women’s Studies Association, NWSA, Conference and a member of the NWSA Governing Council. She is Editor Emeritus of Feminist Formations, and she serves on the advisory/editorial boards for QED: A Journal of GLBTQ Worldmaking, Feminist Formations, the Tucson Youth Poetry Slam, a project of Spoken Futures, and the Primavera Foundation. She presently serves as the interim Executive Director of BorderLinks, a border immersion and popular educational project in Tucson, Arizona. She is co-founder and facilitator for the Write to Thrive, W2T, an online and F2F writing group collective. 



Current Project: TENDER R/AGE :: RABIA TIERNA ~ an outcry of collective outrage

TENDER R/AGE :: RABIA TIERNA is an interventionist art project that participates visually, textually, and sonically in the collective outcry against the forced separation of migrant and refugee children from their families at the US/Mexico border. Forced separation is not a new practice but one with a long and brutal history connected to colonization, slavery, internment, and imprisonment. This project connects these histories to the specific cruelty being enacted spectacularly on children at present. The photographic setting is designed to highlight the monstrous border policies of forcibly caging children in indefinite and inhumane detention and, as such, evokes the cruelty of the “tender age” facilities and tent cities being produced as part of the ever expanding Migration Industrial Complex. #NEVERAGAINISNOW #NOCAGES


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