169: Podcasting as Academic Scholarship with Las Doctoras, Renee Lemus and Cristina Rose

169: Podcasting as Academic Scholarship with Las Doctoras, Renee Lemus and Cristina Rose

 

This week our special guests are Dra. Renee Lemus and Dra. Cristina Rose, also known as Las Doctoras, and they discuss the topic of how podcasting can be used as a medium for academic scholarship. Las Doctoras are acclaimed radical influencers, podcasters, writers, and Latina thought leaders. They are also creative partners in the Las Dras Podcast, Book Club, Sacred Writing Course, and their Saint Lunita Magazine.

 

In this episode we cover:

-The synchronous and meet-cute way that the two of them met in a shared parent toddler program only to realize they had so many things in common!

-Why they both chose not to pursue a traditional academic tenure-track trajectory

-How their Latina mom communities inspired them to bring what they do in the university into a more public space, which led them to working on several projects, including their courses, book club, magazine, and podcast

-How podcasting can be a form of public feminist scholarship as well as the benefits and challenges of this medium

 

You can connect with Las Doctoras in the following ways:

@las.doctoras on most social media platform and their website www.lasdras.com

You can read more about their chapter “‘Las Doctoras’: A Podcast for Community Empowerment” in the forthcoming anthology publication titled Public Feminisms: From Academy to Community.

If you’d like to join their “Writing to Our Ancestors” course that begins in January 2023, you can sign up at the following link: https://www.lasdras.com/writingcourse

 

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Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu

Welcome back, everyone, to another episode of the Grad School Femtoring podcast. This is your host Dra. Yvette. Today I have a really exciting and insightful episode all about podcasting and how that can be used as a medium for academic scholarship. Our guests today are the Dra. Renee Lemus and Dra. Cristina Rose, also known as last Las Doctoras. Together, they are acclaimed radical influencers, podcasters, writers, and Latina thought leaders. Ooh, I love that. They're also creative partners in the Las Doctoras podcast, the book club, their sacred writing course, and Saint Lunita Magazine. Welcome so much to the podcast, Dras. Renee and Cristina.

Dra. Renee Lemus

Oh, thank you so much.

Dra. Cristina Rose

I loved listening to you. It was so beautiful. What a great...

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu

I loved reading your bio. I know it's a condensed version. I just read a little bit. But y'all are so awesome. I'm happy that you all said yes to coming on the show. I think more people need to be exposed to both of you and to your work, and I think it's super interesting that you all are here to talk about academic scholarship, about podcasting, and about your work. I would love- for folks who are maybe less familiar with who you are, if you could tell us a little bit more about the two of you. Who you are, what you do, and if you're comfortable, anything about your background and backstory and how you got to where you are today. So each of you can decide who starts it.

Dra. Renee Lemus

I'll go first. I'm Renee. Where do I begin? Academic stuff is I did my BA at Cal State Long Beach. I have a Bachelor's in journalism with a minor in Spanish. Then I taught high school Spanish for a few years, where I learned that I love teaching but did not want to teach high school. So I went to get my Master's in Chicano/Chicana Studies from Cal State LA. From there, I went to UC Riverside where I did my PhD in Ethnic Studies. I finished- it feels like it was just yesterday, but it's already been- I graduated in 2017. It's been a few years, but it just feels like it...

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu

Isn't that wild? I feel like it yesterday, and it was 2016 for me.

Dra. Renee Lemus

Yeah, it feels like it was- I keep saying it was just a few years ago, because it was such a big, long time, part of my life so. Now I'm teaching. I'm working at Cal State LA. I'm in the Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies Program, which I love. It feels like it's where I was meant to be. I love Cal State LA. I love the students. I really love being there. And yeah, I have two kids. I have an almost 10 year old. He'll be 10 December 27th, so he's counting the days. Then...

Dra. Cristina Rose

It's like an advent.

Dra. Renee Lemus

Yeah, it is. Totally advent calendar. Then I have my little one. He's seven. So I have a first grader and a fourth grader. I think Cristina can go, and then we'll talk about our origin story.

Dra. Cristina Rose

Yeah, we just recently posted about it. It's so beautiful. The school that we met at- that our kids met at- it was five years ago, right? When they were two.

Dra. Renee Lemus

Oh my gosh.

Dra. Cristina Rose

Yeah. So I got my doctorate in women's spirituality from the California Institute of Integral studies in San Francisco in 2014. It also feels like yesterday, even though I have now been working at Cal State, Dominguez Hills since then. I'm in my ninth year- is that right? Eighth year, something like that?

Dra. Renee Lemus

Wow.

Dra. Cristina Rose

Which is the longest job I've ever had because of school, everything. It's been interesting. And I love it too. I teach in the Women's Studies department there, and I have been thinking about how grateful I am for the community there. And for the work that Renee and I are doing together. I'm bouncing around here. But I'm from Whittier. Renee's from Pico. These are Southern California towns outside of, or within, LA County. Both of our families go way back in LA and in the southwest. Other intros- I have a little one. Also the same age as Renee's youngest- a little younger. He's seven also. We were talking about Santos. My son, Jaguar, and Santos are friends. Now from a distance for a while, because I've been traveling during COVID, trying to find a place that works for me and my family.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu

I feel you.

Dra. Cristina Rose

That's a story that we gotta talk about sometime soon. Yeah, I don't know. What else Renee did I miss? Our ancestors, where do our people come from.

Dra. Cristina Rose

I think we can talk about our work.

Dra. Cristina Rose

Can I hear more about how you all met? Because I overheard- your kids in school.

Dra. Renee Lemus

I love that story. I just, I think it's such - it's like in movies, they call it a meet cute. We met at a parent toddler program at the school that my kids are still going to. W both had two year olds and we were in the playground. And I think we were both there early, of course. Academics, they're on time.

Dra. Renee Lemus

It's that Virgo and Cancer too.

Dra. Renee Lemus

Yeah.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu

That's a great combo, by the way. I'm a Virgo and I have BFFs who are cancers.

Dra. Renee Lemus

It is a great combo, totally.

Dra. Cristina Rose

It is.

Dra. Renee Lemus

I love Virgos.

Dra. Cristina Rose

I know.

Dra. Renee Lemus

I'm so drawn to Virgos.

Dra. Cristina Rose

Me too. I love cancers. They're so dependable and loyal. When's your birthday? In September, just so I know. September 4th?

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu

9/9.

Dra. Cristina Rose

Oh, 9/9.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu

Yeah, we're real virgos.

Dra. Renee Lemus

That's real. Yeah, you're right smack...

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu

Not that there are unreal Virgos.

Dra. Renee Lemus

There's no cusp with anything. No cusp.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu

Exactly, there's no cusp.

Dra. Renee Lemus

No cusp.

Dra. Cristina Rose

That's so interesting. Yeah, so we were there on time, timely.

Dra. Renee Lemus

We were in the playground. And I think -I can't remember what my thought process was. But I think- oh you asked my son's name. You said, oh what's your name? And I said, Santos. Then I said, oh what's his name? You said, Jaguar. I remember thinking my head like, alright. I'm down with this.

Dra. Cristina Rose

Yeah.

Dra. Renee Lemus

Then we were just kind of, the kids were playing. Then a conversation came up, like something about what do you do? And she's like, I'm a women's studies professor. I was like, I'm a women's studies professor. She's like, oh I teach at Cal State Dominguez Hills. I was like, I teach at Cal State LA. Then again, the conversation, she was like, oh I'm from Whittier. And I was like, oh my God, I'm from Pico.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu

Wow.

Dra. Cristina Rose

And then my dad, your dad, my mom, your mom.

Dra. Renee Lemus

Yeah, our moms are both hairdressers. Our dads both worked for the Sheriff's.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu

What?

Dra. Renee Lemus

There was a lot of similarities.

Dra. Cristina Rose

We both went to religious schools.

Dra. Renee Lemus

Yeah.

Dra. Cristina Rose

We both had our doctorates- or Renee was in the midst of finishing hers.

Dra. Renee Lemus

I was in the midst of finishing, yeah.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu

What are the odds?

Dra. Renee Lemus

What are the odds, right?

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu

The doctorate thing tambien, all of those things. Wow.

Dra. Renee Lemus

Yeah, it was. And I will say that I was in- in the school that my kids are at, I love the school. But at the time, the diversity wasn't what it is now. Let's just say that. So kind of being in these parent toddler spaces, where you're kind of like- and I'm not the super social person. So when I found Cristina, I was like, oh my god. I can be friends with another mom, and it felt really nice. Then we ended up working together with an organization, a community organization, Latina Mothers Collaborative.

Dra. Cristina Rose

I actually don't think we arranged that either. I think we both got invited to be a part of something called Latina Mothers Collaborative. We both showed up there - or I don't know. You had already been there I think. And I showed up and we're like, oh my god. You're here. It's so beautiful

Dra. Renee Lemus

Yeah. We ended up working together, and then from there, I think we've just been working together ever since. At some point, we thought - and I think this can kind of get us into this conversation around podcasting and scholarship. We came to a point- especially because our kids were so young, and we really wanted to be hands on parents. We really wanted to be involved and be there.

Dra. Cristina Rose

Yeah.

Dra. Renee Lemus

And on one hand, recognizing that if we went the route of a traditional academic- which is to get a tenure track position and all of those things. That was a lot of time commitment that might take us away from being able to be with our kids as often as we wanted to be. I mean, this was a time where we were volunteering. Once they went into preschool, we were in the classroom with them on certain days.

Dra. Cristina Rose

Yeah.

Dra. Renee Lemus

So that adjunct thing- even though it has its own issues, as we all know

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu

Yes.

Dra. Renee Lemus

It gave us the flexibility to be with our kids, and I think there was a sense of- one of the big problems of adjuncting is that we're at the whim of the universitie. Like what classes, what is our schedule going to be like. I was working at a GC at the time, where some semesters, I had three classes, some I had one. It was just so unpredictable. And I think we were like, how can we gain a sense of having a little bit more control over our lives? But also, I think we both were on the same page of we didn't necessarily want to pursue that traditional academic trajectory.

Dra. Cristina Rose

Yeah.

Dra. Renee Lemus

But obviously, we're academics for a reason. So is there another way that we can do this without having to go through the- we all know what it's like to publish in academia.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu

Yeah.

Dra. Cristina Rose

For the tenure track application. Yeah. You know, I think we were trying to do it on our own terms. We were realizing that we had the privilege that our mothers or grandmothers or aunties maybe didn't have, which was to spend the early years with our kids. And it was just a question. How can we do this? There was no answer or anything like that. But that's what we love- what I love about our interactions. We lean into those questions. We lean into- how can this be different?

Dra. Cristina Rose

And to find someone who had all of these similar backgrounds, it's really cool. But I really feel like it's come through in that we have such a shared language, that some- not all, not everything. We're so different. Being virgo, cancer- very different. It's different experiences. I'm a Gemini rising. That doesn't really align well sometimes with Renee's rising. But the cusp of it is that we can kind of just lean into this discomfort, the dialect that we speak, and it happens to be kind of academic.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu

Yeah.

Dra. Cristina Rose

Because that's where we have found a place of solace, a brave space for us in our lives. Yeah. But-

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu

Yeah. I was gonna say, once an academic, you're - I mean, it's hard to break out of that. It's like you're always an academic or always a scholar in some way, shape, or form- whether you do it through the tenure track, or some other position, or even completely outside of that. I think that your origin story is so beautiful, and also almost like written in the cosmos for both of you.

Dra. Cristina Rose

A hundred percent.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu

Because again, what are the odds? There are just so many overlaps and parallels in your trajectories.

Dra. Renee Lemus

Yeah.

Dra. Cristina Rose

I do say the ancestors kind of conspired to bring us together.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu

Yeah.

Dra. Cristina Rose

Yeah, for sure.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu

So Las Doctora- when did it become Las Doctoras?

Dra. Cristina Rose

We're just celebrating- in this time of the year, right now, Renee has it in the calendar. I'm looking it up. I love it.

Dra. Renee Lemus

It's our four year anniversary.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu

Felicidades.

Dra. Renee Lemus

Yeah. I'm such a big thing- historicizing everything. Like a historian.

Dra. Cristina Rose

And I love it.

Dra. Renee Lemus

But I remember that- really, when it started was- okay, is there a way we can create something. A big thing that we heard in the communities that we were in- mom communities, Latina mom communities, when her and I would have these conversations with the shared dialog, they would kind of be sitting there watching us analyze these things over dinner or something. And we would have friends who would say, oh, I wish I could take care of class. Oh, I wish I had taken a Women's Studies class or an ethnic studies class. And I think that we were like, hmm. How can we bring what we do in the university out into a more public space, or make it more accessible?

Dra. Renee Lemus

So we actually thought of like let's- we had done this workshop back in May of 2018, I think it was.

Dra. Cristina Rose

[Words.]

Dra. Renee Lemus

And we were like, oh, is there a way we can do some kind of online version of this workshop and make it into a class? It was in the process of that, that we thought- oh, it would be really cool if we interviewed people. And Cristina had always talked about doing a podcast.

Dra. Cristina Rose

Thanks for giving me that.

Dra. Renee Lemus

I was like, I don't know. And a friend of ours, I think, was like- you should do a podcast. I was like, I guess. Then that turned into - we just, we started. We bought a mic, and it just kind of - yeah, Cristina had always thought about it, and the motivation for it, or the inspiration kind of just continued to be there to lay the groundwork for it.

Dra. Cristina Rose

And Renee had also the wisdom, the knowledge. You had some expertise in that area that I think I didn't maybe even know at that time. Because I've really seen that come through in these last four years.

Dra. Renee Lemus

Yeah.

Dra. Cristina Rose

But your degree, your-

Dra. Renee Lemus

Yeah, my journalism undergrad.

Dra. Cristina Rose

Yeah.

Dra. Renee Lemus

It's come full circle. There was a point where I was like, journalism is not my thing. And it has been useful in terms of doing the podcast. And I think when we first started the podcast, it was like, let's talk about the things that we want to talk about. Let's talk to the people. We feel very lucky, especially when we were both in Long Beach. Long Beach, especially within the- because we both had home births. There's a home birthing, homeschooling community in Long Beach that are Latinas, right.

Dra. Cristina Rose

Yeah.

Dra. Renee Lemus

And we've doulas and midwives in our communities that we know personally. We thought, okay, we need to talk to them and they need to share their wisdom. Again, because we're academics- and so like you said, anything we produce is going to be seen as scholarship.

Dra. Cristina Rose

Yeah.

Dra. Renee Lemus

But we see the public intellectuals within our communities

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu

Yes.

Dra. Renee Lemus

When we give space- it's like they're out here doing this amazing work.

Dra. Cristina Rose

Yeah.

Dra. Renee Lemus

And how can we give them the credit that they so much deserve? And just kind of create space for these conversations about a lot of topics that have been taboo. You know, we've talked about sex, and menstruation, and all kinds of different-

Dra. Cristina Rose

Money, debt.

Dra. Renee Lemus

Yeah.

Dra. Cristina Rose

I want to say- before I forget, because I keep on thinking of it, and then it kind of goes away. I think the other thing that we weren't prepared for- and it segues into the podcast and how talking about things was so much easier with young kids, instead of writing, writing together, or writing long academic papers. I think we didn't realize how much birth would change us. So we were also in those first years, when our kids were two, just still talking about like, oh gosh. How can how can we let this change us? How can we let it change the way that we interact with each other and our academic community, and public scholarship? What does that all look like?

Dra. Cristina Rose

And the podcast was the space, because it just felt so beautiful to- again, I talked about the common language. But then when we invite other comadres to come in and talk with us too, it would be even more like this exponential sense of- we're changing things. I can feel the neurons in my brain changing as we're talking, you know? And that's going to make me a better parent. That's going to make me a more integrated individual too.

Dra. Renee Lemus

Yeah.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu

When I hear you both talking about how the podcast got started- some of the things that I heard were that Cristina, you were the one that first brought up the idea of a podcast. But then it made a lot of sense for both of you because of the accessibility, and because you see yourselves as public intellectuals wanting to share information, and wanting to honor the work of many other thought leaders, community members, who are doing incredible work in the community. But then I'm wondering- because there's so many other mediums that can be public and accessible- why has it been critical for both of you? Because I have my own thoughts and ideas. I mean, clearly, I have a podcast too. Why is it critical for you to have a podcast? Why that medium, as opposed to all the many options out there?

Dra. Renee Lemus

That's such a good question. I don't know if we've been asked that question before. I mean, I will say - and I don't know if this is- I'm cancer sun, cancer moon, pisces rising. So I'm all water. I don't know, maybe that's what it is. But I love to talk. Talking is my jam. And I think that Cristina and I, when we get together and we talk out our things- whether it be our life experiences. Then we're bringing in this language, this feminist analysis, this ethnic studies analysis into our daily lives. It's in the talking that we're able to process things, right?

Dra. Renee Lemus

So I think that the podcast was just turning on the mic to the conversations that we already have.

Dra. Cristina Rose

Totally.

Dra. Renee Lemus

We're already talking about these things. So when we turn on that mic and we record, and then people are listening to that, they're able to resonate so much with those conversations. You're getting that authentic, real voice. Sometimes, I think it's the easiest way for us to communicate- authentically. Versus when we write and there's still some filter that goes in there when we go back and edit, or when we go back- which is why. I did the editing for a really long time, and it was really difficult for me to listen back to myself. Just because you start to second guess.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu

Yeah.

Dra. Renee Lemus

So now we have an editor, and I don't even listen to them.

Dra. Cristina Rose

She doesn't listen to them.

Dra. Renee Lemus

I don't even want to know what I said.

Dra. Cristina Rose

I kind of do the quick listen just to catch anything. I do the quick listen before it goes out- Virgo, you know.

Dra. Renee Lemus

But it's the true raw, authentic- without the filtering, without the second guessing ourselves.

Dra. Cristina Rose

Yeah.

Dra. Renee Lemus

It's just us having a conversation, and processing, and working through the dynamics that we're dealing with.

Dra. Cristina Rose

I think that level of vulnerability- I mean, how audacious actually. As you say that, I think, oh gosh. We just put the mic on. We're having conversations where we think it should get out there. I think part of it, though, is a community responsibility that we feel with these doctorates, with this amount of information, this time that we've set aside.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu

Right.

Dra. Cristina Rose

I think we want to figure out a way for the work to reach our families, to reach our community. So this is also a way that makes it accessible to us as young parents, or as parents of young children. Then I think we stuck with it, or we continue to stick with it, because it continues to resonate. We continue- I mean, it was I think just a few months in that Oprah daily mentioned us along these other sheroes that we have in podcasting. That, and then the comment. People asking to be on the podcast. People mentioning it - students. We've done a lot of different things together- in the bio that you said, like the magazine and the book club. All those have had resonance at different points. But the podcast seems to continue to resonate, continuing to connect.

Dra. Renee Lemus

Yeah. I think we've kind of said this too in different spaces. You know, when it comes to academic publishing, we recognize that that just ends up within academia, housed within these databases that only other academics or students have access to. And I think because podcasting is such a public- anybody can just listen. I think that that's what makes it accessible. But it also just makes it so fun. I mean, we all listen to podcasts, right? It's such a thing. I have a long commute, so that's always been my thing- to listen to podcasts on my commute. It's enjoyable. It's fun. That's what we wanted too.

Dra. Cristina Rose

Yeah, pleasure, joy, play.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu

Yes.

Dra. Renee Lemus

We wanted to be able to talk about these very intellectual things and have all this analysis. But we also just wanted it to be fun.

Dra. Cristina Rose

Yeah.

Dra. Renee Lemus

Because so much of academia can be very- you know. Having to meet all these rules and meet all these standards.

Dra. Cristina Rose

And also, breaking the rules. I'm just gonna say, this is also a part of it. Even though we talk about being good girls a lot on our podcast and in our lives, there's something fun about doing the colloquial thing. Renee loves- this word comes up in our writing courses. Like how the word has been used against us in different spaces. But to say- no, we're really going to do this. And it wasn't until our podcast got mentioned in Oprah and other places that the university finally saw it.

Dra. Renee Lemus

I was gonna say that. I think we were- because we had done this podcast, I think we were kind of finishing up the first season when- at the time, it was Oprah magazine- mentioned us on this list. And up until that point, I think we were both a little nervous about letting our university know what we were doing, because we thought- and I think part of it was because there were times when we critiqued academia, and we critiqued all kinds of different institutions. So I think we were a little nervous about letting our departments know what we're doing, until it got mentioned in Oprah. We were like, oh no. This needs to count. This needs to count on our CV. This needs to count towards retention, and all these things.

Dra. Renee Lemus

So I think we both reluctantly sent emails to our department chairs, like, hey, by the way. We have this podcast that was mentioned. I think they were both- our departments were very supportive of that. It was at that moment that we realized that what we're doing- and I think it was that moment, and then I was getting emails from mentors from my PhD program, saying, I'm gonna put your podcast on my syllabus. Which episode do you think? And I was like, wait, what? We're going on a syllabus. I think that's when we realized this is much more than just than just a podcast. This is scholarship, right?

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu

Yeah.

Dra. Renee Lemus

This is. I think even more so when we were doing the book club, and then we have this magazine, this online magazine that we have. My brother, he's also an academic. He's in biostatistics. He's in public health. We're on opposite ends of the academics. But I remember talking to him, and he's like, you're doing all the things that a tenure track professor does- except we're doing it in these maybe non traditional ways.

Dra. Renee Lemus

We're not going through an academic journal. But we're doing the podcast. Maybe we're not writing an academic review, but we have this magazine that we're putting together. I think that's when we realized a lot of this stuff that we're doing, it is scholarship, and it's doing it in a way that is breaking some of those traditional barriers around what counts as scholarship. And it gets to be fun. We get to do this and create scholarship in a way that feels good.

Dra. Cristina Rose

Yeah.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu

I love that you've been doing this, and you've reached a point in the podcasting world where you're getting that recognition. I'm not sure how much these- I don't know- structural issues, requirements in what gets considered, what gets counted towards your review, what gets considered as formal scholarship. I'm not sure how much of that is going to change. We know that academic spaces tend to be very antiquated in terms of how they do things.

Dra. Renee Lemus

Yeah.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu

But in terms of your experience, and how much experience you've gained over the last couple of years recording your podcast episodes, what have you noticed are some of the benefits and also limitations of podcasting, when you think about it as a form of scholarship? I mean, some of the things I'm hearing you say are a lot of benefits- the accessibility, the rawness of being able to just share what you're thinking, the intimacy of vulnerability.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu

But then, on the other side of things, there's also the fact that it doesn't get counted for a lot of things, the fact that not everybody views it as or counts it as or considers it as scholarship. So what are your thoughts in terms of what you found to be benefits, and what are some of the limitations- either that you've noticed or that other people consider as limitations or place as limitations within that medium?

Dra. Cristina Rose

It's so interesting. I love this question. It's making me think of the anthology that is going to be coming out around public feminisms, and how we're a chapter in that because of the podcast- the podcast for public feminist ideology.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu

What is this chapter about? Can you tell us maybe a little bit about it?

Dra. Cristina Rose

It's literally just a review of our work?

Dra. Renee Lemus

Yeah, it's basically this- articulating the podcast as public feminism, as a form of scholarship. I think the intention with the anthology was to do that, to see how are scholars, academics, creating scholarship outside of the walls of the ivory tower?

Dra. Cristina Rose

And it's digital as well. It has a link to our podcast episodes in it.

Dra. Renee Lemus

Yeah. Aren't we Chapter Two or something in the anthology?

Dra. Cristina Rose

We are, yeah.

Dra. Renee Lemus

We're on the first- they have two pages of table of contentsnd. We're like, oh my god, we're on the first page of the Table of Contents. That's pretty exciting.

Dra. Cristina Rose

It's pretty cool.

Dra. Renee Lemus

But yeah, it's basically just us articulating how we see the podcast as public feminism. Then looking specifically at episodes, and what those conversations do to push a feminist ideology or to frame a feminist analysis. I mean, I will say- challenges. You know, it's interesting, because I think at the departmental level- at least in my experience- there's a lot of support for the work I do. My chair and everyone is very like- oh yeah, Renee is awesome. And then when my review stuff goes to whatever the next level is, I get- you know they have these categories. It's like, unsatisfactory, satisfactory, and excellent. I always get satisfactory at the college level, versus the departmental level.

Dra. Renee Lemus

And I'm always frustrated. I'm like, I don't understand. I have all these rave reviews from my chair and student evals, all this stuff. But I imagine that at that level, at that next college level, it's about what counts and what doesn't count. I mean, we can get into a huge conversation about that, because again, my brother is also an academic. He was denied tenure twice. So obviously, there's a lot of things that get discounted in terms of what is-what counts towards tenure and all of those things.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu

Yeah.

Dra. Renee Lemus

But I think the other thing to talk about is- I remember we interviewed a couple folks, your homies I think from Chicana Mother Work. And I remember we asked them, are y'all getting some money for this book?

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu

I'm laughing because we've had cents, just change from the Chicana Mother Work Anthology.

Dra. Renee Lemus

Yeah. And I remember thinking - and I will say, that's another reason why we're like, why the f are we gonna go down this road of academic publishing when we're not going to get compensated for our labor? Now, are we getting compensated for the podcast? Not necessarily.

Dra. Cristina Rose

No.

Dra. Renee Lemus

However, it has given us a platform to then parlay into creating online workshops and other things that we can...

Dra. Cristina Rose

Maria Hinojosa, Ana Castillo reaching out to us, Sonia Renee Taylor. They have come to speak with us because of the podcast's popularity.

Dra. Renee Lemus

Yeah.

Dra. Cristina Rose

Yeah, I like what you're saying, and tell me if this is right. It's like, it's so compartmentalized. It's such a binary world. So some of the limitations of the podcasts are that we don't have an MBA. We don't know what we're doing as far as- Renee has the journalism degree, which is awesome. I have no idea how to work a mic. We're philosophers, right?

Dra. Renee Lemus

Yeah.

Dra. Cristina Rose

So we're having to be basically philosophers- Latina thought influencers- and all of this other, I would call it left brain, or tech...

Dra. Renee Lemus

The entrepreneurship part of it.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu

Yeah.

Dra. Renee Lemus

The business aspect of it, the marketing aspect of it, that's always been our limitation, because we do all of this. And a lot of the recognition that we've got has kind of come organically. But then of course, at some point, it's like that reaches a glass ceiling where in that we then have to put the effort into marketing to get ourselves out there, to potentially bring in money. That's pretty challenging, because we don't- we're not experts in those fields. So we're always trying to figure out- how do we get ourselves out there? How do we put this podcast in different platforms? Because we've seen other folks who were on that list with us grow in the podcast- but because they come from maybe different educational backgrounds where they have a better sense of how to navigate those things. So that's always been our Achilles heel. Like, how the f do we navigate this business aspect of it?

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu

Oh, I feel you. I'm on that very steep learning curve myself as we speak.

Dra. Renee Lemus

Yeah.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu

Especially with the marketing and social media.

Dra. Renee Lemus

Yes, oh my God.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu

That takes time. It really does.

Dra. Cristina Rose

Yeah.

Dra. Renee Lemus

For sure.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu

Now that we've talked a little bit more about all the amazing benefits and challenges- and I just want to say one thing. The next question is, what do you wish other academics knew about podcasting who are not familiar with this platform or this way of sharing knowledge? But I just want to say- before y'all answer this question- I want folks to know that podcasting is amazing because if you do it over time, you can develop a very loyal and pretty large audience comparatively speaking, when you're considering that versus publishing.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu

When you publish an article, it's behind a paywall. There's gatekeeping. There's so many things that get in the way of someone reaching your information. You're lucky if you have a couple dozen people who read your work. But then with podcasting, you could have hundreds of people listening to your episodes every week, and thousands, if not hundreds of thousandsof downloads. And people are like what? I'm like, yeah, that's right. That's the podcasting.

Dra. Renee Lemus

Yeah.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu

That's one thing that I wish academics knew. And I want to give you all credit too, because I think that's one of the big benefits of podcasting- just that wide reach and impact that you can have.

Dra. Renee Lemus

Yeah.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu

But what other things? In terms of other academics, I know, I have had my fair share of folks who have thought of my podcast as- hm, that's questionable, or they're just not familiar with podcasting.

Dra. Renee Lemus

They're like, oh that's cute.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu

I know. I'm like, well you're cute too I guess, with your little article.

Dra. Renee Lemus

Right? Oh, how cute. Twelve people say your article. That's a good question. I don't know. I will say I think we both are in somewhat supportive departments, and then I try not to talk to anybody else. I mean, I get the sense of- of course, in academia, there's always that that sense of elitism. You have to jump through all the hoops or it doesn't count as scholarship. But I think that- I'm like, what do I want other academics to know?

Dra. Cristina Rose

I think for a long time, we tried to be like, F that. F other people, being very insulated. I think this is what's happening for me right now. I'm like, I've been so insulated. I don't want to think about what other academics are thinking about it. But as you're asking these questions, I think it's clear how minimized our energy, and how what is done with the podcast, with all of our things, is minimized by academia, right?

Dra. Renee Lemus

Yeah.

Dra. Cristina Rose

We have supportive departments. But do we have more job security?

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu

Yeah.

Dra. Renee Lemus

True. I know. Does it reflect in our paycheck? No.

Dra. Cristina Rose

I think if we written a book, if we had written a book that was in Oprah daily- just thinking as a comparable, something comparative.

Dra. Renee Lemus

I think there's a whole thing of the peer reviewed aspect of it.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu

Yeah.

Dra. Renee Lemus

This idea that if you are publishing in an academic journal, then other peers, colleagues are reading your stuff and critiquing it. There's that whole, like you said, critiquing.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu

It's the credibility too.

Dra. Renee Lemus

It's the whole idea of credibility. I get that, and I think that what we often land on is that Chicana feminist epistemological idea in that our lived experience is our credibility. And that our lived experience is what has been peer reviewed. That for us, we're validating our experiences, and because we have this analysis, and then we're just kind of layering that analysis on to our lived experience, we don't need validation outside of each other, outside of our communities. I think that what we do in having those conversations is that other people then feel validated in their own experiences.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu

Yes.

Dra. Renee Lemus

It's like, who are we trying to please? Are we trying to please the academic gods, or are we trying to heal so much of the wounds within our own community? And I think that we're not talking to academics who don't think that way anyway. But I do think that there's a lot of academics who aren't invested in community, are invested in social justice. So I think what I would want other academics to know is that there are other ways to create scholarship, pure and simple. There's other ways to create scholarship, than to get that green light from the university, or whatever it is- to get those kinds of publishing things. And to recognize that when we're creating these podcast episodes, as I'm sure you know, we're not just- I mean, yes, podcasting is such a huge genre.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu

Yeah.

Dra. Renee Lemus

There's obviously some problematic podcasts out there that are just going on and saying whatever the F they want.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu

Just like there are problematic publications that you're like- how in the world did this get past peer review?

Dra. Renee Lemus

Exactly.

Dra. Cristina Rose

Yeah.

Dra. Renee Lemus

And so I think for us, to know and trust that we are so intentional, so intentional, with how we're curating these conversations- just as intentional as people are- or might be- with their academic publishing. I think that for other academics, I would want them to know how much thought and care goes into creating podcasts episodes. But also for them to know there's permission to do things in different ways- because I think the more we give each other permission to create scholarship in alternative ways, the university will eventually have to catch up. They have to, right? Yeah.

Dra. Renee Lemus

I'm not as optimistic.

Dra. Renee Lemus

I know, both of us were like uh... I'm thinking of Gloria Anzaldua. I'm thinking of all these other scholars who-

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu

I'm like there's a reason I laugh.

Dra. Cristina Rose

Yeah.

Dra. Renee Lemus

Yeah.

Dra. Cristina Rose

You know, on the flip side-

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu

But even if it's not systematically changing, culturally it can change among the many academics that we all know whot are doing really good work.

Dra. Renee Lemus

Right.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu

Who have shared visions for the type of world that they're working toward, and why they're supporting the type of students they support, the messages they're trying to uplift, and the voices they're trying to highlight.

Dra. Renee Lemus

Yeah.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu

Even though I'm less optimistic about the systematic change, I am very optimistic about the future of scholarship when you're working towards something in community- whether that's social justice, feminism, you name it.

Dra. Renee Lemus

Yeah.

Dra. Cristina Rose

I'm really feeling that this is going to be helpful for our children. I do try to mention generational change, and in moments like this, it's very helpful thinking of our little ones and the college or the university spaces that they may or may not be a part of in the future. And how I feel really good about thinking that we're creating change on that level- or at least being a part of the work to create space for those conversations in academia, you know? On the flip side, I was thinking about recent things with us, and we don't have to get into it. But around our academic voice being marginalized in the marketing, or in the- not pop culture. I'm like, over it and I'm stumbling into this.

Dra. Renee Lemus

What we've encountered is that in academia, we're not academic enough. We're colloquial. We're too colloquial. But then in colloquial spaces, we're too academic.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu

Oh, I have the same problem.

Dra. Renee Lemus

We're like, what the F? I think that we've been...

Dra. Cristina Rose

This new nepantla. Really, we have a foot in so many worlds, and these are the worlds- one of them at least, a couple of them.

Dra. Renee Lemus

I think we kind of are coming to a point where in academia- there was definitely a move in academia to be like, F that. We don't feel like we have to speak their language. We're gonna do scholarship in the language that we feel comfortable with. And then conversely, now we're like- yeah, we're trained in academia, right? Like you said, we can't escape that. I think on that level, to also be unapologetic. I think we tried to be as accessible as we can. But I think people- you know, academic language absolutely can be a trigger. And we understand that. But I think just kind of also being unapologetic more about- yeah, this is the analysis that we offer from that academic perspective, and we've got to be okay with that. I think we can code switch. We know how to code switch.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu

And also, you shouldn't have to. You should just be yourself, and then the folks who can relate or who want to learn are going to listen. I'm sure you already have that support, that community. I mean, who's to say that you have to do things a certain way? Who's to say that you have to meet certain metrics? When in actuality- I mean, with podcasting, are you really working towards podcasting to be counted towards tenure?

Dra. Renee Lemus

Yeah.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu

I know I'm not. For me, it's less about metrics and more about the impact. And I know that y'all are making an impact. That's a fact. And I'm thinking about what you said, Cristina, about future generations. It's not just- okay, we're having a conversation just because we want to have a conversation. It's about- I want to share a message that I think would be valuable, helpful to other people. And oftentimes, those other people are the people that are coming after us. So it is the next generation of students, of scholars, of youth.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu

There are folks who are probably gonna be listening to this conversation that we're having, and they probably have that itch that we all once had of like- I kind of want to start a podcast. I have something to say.

Dra. Renee Lemus

Yeah.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu

We're getting close to closing up the episode, so I would love for you all to share any words of advice. My audience is predominantly first gen students of color. So to first year students of color, undergrads, grad students, who are curious, who are interested, who have this podcasting bug- they're listening for a reason.

Dra. Renee Lemus

Yeah.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu

If they want to get involved in podcasting or other forms of media as public scholarship, what kind of advice would you want to offer them?

Dra. Renee Lemus

I want to say- it's interesting. I think I shared before we recorded that I was invited to one of my mentors- she's now my colleague. She invited me to her class, because her class, they're doing a podcast as a final project. I was kind of presenting the same thing, like what we do and what our experience was. And then they had questions too about the logistics and stuff around creating a podcast. And I think I'm always the logistics person. But I think that when it comes to creating a podcast, people get really caught up in the- it has to look a certain way. It has to sound a certain way. You have to have a certain mic. I think if you want to start a podcast and you have something to say, it can be as simple as recording a voice memo on your phone and putting that out there as a podcast. We don't have to get caught up in all the techs. I mean, obviously, there's levels of it, and there's evolutions of that. But it can be that simple. It can be really, really simple to just record a voice memo and put it on a platform. And put it out there and say what you got to say.

Dra. Cristina Rose

Oh, I love that. Honestly, I'm like, what would I say? I used to teach writing classes. I still teach writing classes. But I used to teach English 100 and things. And it's amazing that we can go to a computer and pull up a blank screen and start just typing. It's something that's automatically publishing. I think now we kind of take that for granted, and sometimes that blank space can feel so like- oh my gosh, overwhelming. I don't know what to write and things like that. I think in the same way, the space for podcasts, for getting your voice out there is just limitless. I don't know if it will always be that way actually. So maybe that's what I'm- I think there's a sense of timeliness now too, because it's so accessible.

Dra. Cristina Rose

And don't let the blank page scare you. Let it inspire you to to be you, because actually, I feel like the biggest thing I learned from my young students- my young students, I'm like, what am I, 50? They have so much- and my kids too, right? They have some magic. And what I love seeing is them just being, being there magic. So whatever, what you bring to the blank page of podcasting is going to just be kick ass. I'm just so excited. I want to see the true you, because I know it's beyond my imagination. And I'm so grateful, so grateful.

Dra. Renee Lemus

I think something that you're reminding me of something we say in our writing courses is- people will really get caught up in the- what does it matter what I have to say? Because there's so many people who have other things to say or more important things to say. Although that's true- especially in podcasting, people love to say that it's saturated. Like there's just so many podcasts now, and blah, blah, blah. Yet we're still getting listeners, right? Because people are still resonating. So I think that - we always say in our writing courses, somebody out there is waiting for your story, your voice, your perspective.

Dra. Cristina Rose

Yeah.

Dra. Renee Lemus

It was like when we read Gloria Anzaldua for the first time, and you're like, oh my god. It made your whole life make sense. That feeling- and somebody out there is waiting for your story to read, or to hear, and resonate with and feel like their life makes sense. So I think that there's infinite possibility for what stories can be shared in podcasting.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu

Thank you both for sharing that. That's so beautiful. And that's what we need to remind ourselves more, is that our voices do matter. We're made to feel like we don't belong. We're made to feel like imposters. But in actuality, we have so much value. We have so much to say. We have so much knowledge, even from just our lived experiences alone. But then in addition to that, everything else that we're learning- because folks are listening, they're on their higher ed journey. So if you're interested in anything, whether it's podcasting or just sharing your voice through other media, we need it. Go off and do it. We're cheering you on.

Dra. Cristina Rose

Yeah. Let's saturate this media.

Dra. Renee Lemus

Yeah.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu

Let's saturate this shit.

Dra. Cristina Rose

Yeah. I mean, that's such a capitalist way to see it. Like, oh there's not enough room. And it's like, no. There's enough room. There's infinite space.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu

Yes, yes.

Dra. Renee Lemus

Yeah.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu

Thank you so much. For folks who enjoyed this conversation and want to stay in touch, want to follow your work, support your work, how can they reach you? Where can they find you?

Dra. Renee Lemus

We are on Instagram at @las.doctoras. We have our website- our new website.

Dra. Cristina Rose

Yes.

Dra. Renee Lemus

It's LasDras.com.

Dra. Cristina Rose

From that, you can join our newsletter and stay in touch.

Dra. Renee Lemus

Yeah.

Dra. Cristina Rose

And of course, if you do listen to our podcast, we'd love to hear what you think. Leave us a review.

Dra. Renee Lemus

Yeah. We're on all the major- Apple, Spotify, Google podcasts, all that stuff. What else? Oh, yeah. We've always got writing workshops. So if you're interested, there's lots coming up.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu

I'll make sure to add all of that in the show notes, all of your links.

Dra. Cristina Rose

Thank you.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu

Newsletter, social media, website and anything else that you want me to highlight.

Dra. Renee Lemus

Yeah.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu

From one doctora to another and another, muchas gracias. Thank you so much so coming on the show, for sharing all this wonderful wisdom, gems. Thank you. Thank you.

Dra. Renee Lemus

Thank you.

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