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Behind the Blue

Some stories require a little more – a little more discussion, more context, more depth and breadth. That’s the idea behind “Behind the Blue” – a weekly podcast created by UK Public Relations and Marketing. It is designed to explore through probing interviews the in-depth the stories that make UK the university for Kentucky and that have impact across the institution, the Commonwealth and, in some cases, the world.
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Sep 6, 2016

Steven Alvarez is used to questions about language, words and meaning.

But he couldn’t have been prepared for the questions being posed for teaching one class last semester.

Provocatively titled, “Taco Literacy,” the class taught by Alvarez to undergraduates in the Writing, Rhetoric and Digital (WRD) studies program at the University of Kentucky used food to explore issues of Hispanic language and culture – a growing population in Lexington. 

Some, however, criticized the class as an example of being frivolous. Soon, media in Lexington – and across the country – were approaching Alvarez to ask what he meant by “taco literacy.”

The class, while exploring some of the culinary smells and tastes of Hispanic and Latino food in Lexington, asked students to write often and deeply about culture and food’s role in it. Journals, blogs, websites and multi-media output were also aspects of the class as students developed their skills as writers and communicators.

In this edition of “Behind the Blue,” Alvarez, an assistant professor in the newly created WRD department, discusses the controversy, his teaching methods, and his scholarly activities.

And he discusses what makes a great taco, too.

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If you have questions or comments about this or any other episode of 'Behind the Blue', email us at BehindTheBlue@uky.edu, or Tweet your question with #BehindTheBlue.

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