Having a name even my grandma couldn’t pronounce and other bits about me….

My name is Damiana. Despite its appearance, it’s actually pronounced in two syllables, with the “i” sounding like a “y” and the first “a” sounding like “ah’s” and the last like “uh.” It’s understandably confusing, and even my own grandma couldn’t say it. Named after my dad, who is Chicano, but raised by my mom who is Irish American, I often had a conflicted relationship to my Spanish name. But, it’s always given me an interesting perspective too, even if I do have to correct pronunciation and spelling each time I introduce myself.

Having an interesting name tickles me, though, because I’ve spent my adult life thinking about words and communication, first with my degrees in English lit and English Ed and later with my graduate work in Literacy. I’m especially interested in how multimodality and identity shape one another, especially in different media. I also have a healthy appreciation for what place means in how we are shaped as people and as teachers. My research examines the ethics around media production, identity, and multimodality, especially with young people. All of this serves me well as an Assistant Professor in Media Studies at Appalachian State University where I teach what I love and I work with some truly wonderful people.

I also love to spend time with my husband and family of three little kids who keep us very busy and very engaged in the world as we try to help them to become people who are curious and passionate and kind.

So, I don’t go by Damiana much as most of my friends and family have their own nicknames for me. But, even the nicknaming speaks to the relationships we form. So, what’s the story of your name, and how does it speak to you? (Feel free to leave a comment here, if you’d like)

Also, feel free to visit my sometimes ill-fated, though recently revived, blog at https://redefiningmultimodalityandethics.wordpress.com/

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