Class Acts - Jorge E. Moraga
Jorge E. Moraga / Ethnic Studies Department
Specialty Area: Latinx studies, sociology of sport, and media and popular culture
What is/has been your favorite class to teach?
I love to teach the introductory survey courses as it provides opportunities to share the fields of ethnic studies and/or Latinx studies to brand new minds. One of my favorite classes that I have taught so far was called “Cultural Politics of Sport” an upper division elective course for the comparative ethnic studies major at my alma mater. The class explored race, gender, capitalism, social protest and much more through a historical and contemporary examination of American sports.
How/why did you choose to work at Cal Poly?
It was through a colleague at CSU Long Beach that I first heard that the Ethnic Studies Department was searching for Latinx studies faculty. At the time, I was already going up for early tenure and promotion at CSU Bakersfield and awaiting to see whether our proposal for an Ethnic Studies Department would be ratified by the Academic Senate, however after a close review of Cal Poly’s commitment to hands-on learning and reviewing the stellar academic units that the College of Liberal Arts houses, I immediately began envisioning working here. I am so very glad I decided to apply and that the cards fell the way they fell! I am very excited for the opportunity to join Cal Poly and for this next chapter in my career.
What are your research/scholarly pursuits?
The primary project I am working on is to complete a book-length manuscript that examines Latinxs across US Sport Media into the 21st century. The project explores how and why Latinos/Latinas impact contemporary North American sport mediascapes. From there, the second project I would like to get going is an edited collection on American Football and its global imprint, with some special attention on the NFL.
What is your favorite class/student moment?
Those precious openings when your lecture is circumvented by a student’s comment/question that then sparks open dialogue across the room; I also enjoy it when the student groups I assign just click, as it makes for some robust group work throughout the year.
Are there any scholars or individuals that have inspired you?
I remain deeply inspired by my undergraduate and graduate mentors, all of whom continue to support and motivate me. They remind me to keep on keepin’ on and I keep paying it forward with them in mind.
What is one thing you wish your students knew about you?
I am a proud son of two loving, hardworking, and inspiring Salvadoran immigrants, and the first in my family to earn a graduate degree. It is because of my parent’s ongoing desire to give their children opportunities they never had that I can do what I am doing today.
What are your hobbies/extracurricular activities?
Boxing — makes for fantastic cardio! Going on runs with my dog (an energetic Whippet mixed with Doberman Pinscher) and completing home projects with my partner on her days off.
Do you have a favorite getaway location?
Any number of camping sites across Kings Canyon! But honestly, anywhere I get a chance to go camping or backpacking with loved ones becomes an instant favorite getaway location.
What is your guilty pleasure?
I collect Naruto (anime) Funko Pop figure toys. I have a pretty sweet collection so far with some of my favorite characters!