The Chills at Will Podcast podcast

Episode 170 with Richard T. Rodriguez, Skilled Practitioner of The Personal, and The Cultural, and Author of A Kiss Across the Ocean:Transatlantic Intimacies of British Post-Punk and US Latinidad

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Episode 170 Notes and Links to Richard T. Rodriguez’s Work


    On Episode 170 of The Chills at Will Podcast, Pete welcomes  Richard T. Rodriguez, and the two discuss, among other things, Richard’s childhood full of voracious reading and master wordsmiths in his family, books and media and music that spoke to him and speaks to him, evolving ideas of Chicanismo, masters of Chicanx literature and music and cultural studies, and the seven songs/chapters that constitute his stellar book and build upon ideas of “touch” and a “kiss across the ocean.”


   Richard T. Rodríguez is Professor of Media and Cultural Studies and English at the University of California, Riverside. He specializes in Latina/o/x literary and cultural studies, film and visual culture, and gender and sexuality studies, and holds additional interests in transnational cultural studies, popular music studies, and comparative ethnic studies.

The author of Next of Kin: The Family in Chicano/a Cultural Politics (Duke University Press, 2009), which won the 2011 National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies Book Award, and A Kiss across the Ocean: Transatlantic Intimacies of British Post-Punk and U.S. Latinidad (Duke University Press, 2022), he is currently completing Undocumented Desires: Fantasies of Latino Male Sexuality.

The 2019 recipient of the Richard A. Yarborough Mentoring Award, granted by the Minority Scholars' Committee of the American Studies Association, he is the co-principal investigator on a University of California MRPI grant titled "The Global Latinidades Project: Globalizing Latinx Studies for the Next Millennium." His show, "Dr. Ricky on the Radio," can be heard weekly on KUCR. 

Buy A Kiss Across the Ocean: 

Transatlantic Intimacies of British Post-Punk and U.S. Latinidad


Richard T. Rodriguez's University of California at Riverside Page


Razorcake Review and Summary of A Kiss Across the Ocean



At about 8:00, Richard talks about growing up and his relationship with language and the written word, including the impacts from his parents, who were “wordsmiths” and bilingual 


At about 9:45, Richard shouts out Phuc Tran’s Sigh, Gone in describing his own reading and childhood experiences


At about 10:45, Richard discusses his college years at Cal Berkeley, and the huge impact June Jordan and Yusef  Komunyaaka had on him


At about 13:00, Richard responds to Pete’s question about ideas of representation in what Richard read growing up-he points out Victor Villaseñor and Alfred Arteaga, among others


At about 14:40, Pete and Richard discuss the power of Villarreal’s Pocho


At about 16:20, Pete asks Richard about evolving ideas/definitions for “Chicano”


At about 18:35, Richard responds to Pete asking about any “ ‘Eureka’ moments” and how James Clifford in grad school helped him with a “reassessment of language”


At about 20:25, Richard talks about who and what he’s teaching as a college professor, including work by Alex Espinoza, Phuc Tran, and James Spooner 


At about 24:05, Pete lays out some of the power of the beginning of the book and asks Richard about how he “saw the world anew” through Boy George and other musicians; he mentions how the music informed his reading and art intake


At about 27:10, Richard describes what spoke to him about Johnny Rotten’s quote about hanging out with Chicanos in SoCal


At about 28:30, Francesca Royster and Carl Stanley and others are referenced as Richard describes what was going on in the world and in his life as impetus for writing the book


At about 30:45, the two discuss teenage years and why they are such “prime” years for music celebration and exploration 


At about 33:20, Melissa Mora Hidalgo, with Mozlandia, and Gustavo Arellano are shouted out as models for Richard’s work


At about 35:50, Richard explains “post-punk” and “new-wave” and how he wanted to “reclaim ‘post-punk’ ”


At about 38:15, Pete lays out the structure of the book, compliments its melding of academic and poetic writing, and asks about “goth”-its definition(s) and connections to the focus of Chapter One-Siouxsie and the Banshees


At about 41:40, Richard comments on Kid Congo Powers and his important connections to SoCal Chicano culture and to the Cramps/Siouxsie


At about 43:00, Pete asks Richard to explain his specific use of “touch” in the book


At about 45:20, Richard describes how Latinx writers have been touched by Siouxsie and the Banshees, often referencing the band in their work


At about 46:20, Richard describes his meeting with/touch by Siouxsie


At about 46:45, Richard describes Adam Ant and his connection to Chapter Two’s “Prince Charming,” with both being “two-sided”


At about 49:40, Chapter Three, Bauhaus, and ideas and possibilities of “goth” as racially diverse; the two discuss Myriam Gurba’s work on the general topic and Love and Rockets as a mutual


At about 54:15, Chapter Four is discussed with “Latina queer sensibilities” as a main focus and Marc Almond’s connections to John Rechy’s work


At about 59:10, The two talk about “othering” and exoticization that comes from 


At about 1:01:00, Ideas of “secondhand” and history and zoot suits and masculinity are discussed, topics from the book’s Chapter Five


At about 1:04:45, Richard examines conversations around cultural appropriation and Chris Sullivan’s work with the zoot suit and “Latin” music


At about 1:07:05, The two talk about Chapter Six and Pete compliments Richard’s melding of personal and cultural; the chapter deals with “Mexican Americanos” and Frankie Goes to Hollywood, in addition to lead singer Holly Johnson’s solo work


At about 1:12:30, Richard gives background on The Pet Shop Boys and their work with hip hop and freestyle music and the connections between freestyle music and Latinx artists


At about 1:15:50, Pete uses an example of “authenticity” that Richard analyzes so skillfully as an example of ignorance


At about 1:16:50, Richard speaks to the book’s conclusion and the greatness possible through tribute bands in “translating” and “regenerating” music


At about 1:20:10, Richard calls attention to Orange County’s Ghost Town


At about 1:21:45, Richard talks about future projects


At about 1:22:50, Tainted Love shoutout!


At about 1:23:45, Richard recommends LibroMobile, City Lights Bookstore, and other places to buy his book and gives his social media info


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  Please tune in for Episode 171 with Danielle Prescod. Danielle is an author, content creator, and journalist. Danielle Prescod is a fifteen-year veteran of the beauty and fashion industry and a graduate of NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study. A lifelong fashion obsessive, she was most recently the style director of Her book, Token Black Girl, is part memoir, part narrative nonfiction and an exploration of the ways that modern media can influence one’s self-esteem.

   The episode will air on March 21.

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