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The Rhetorical Mediator

Understanding Agency in Indigenous Translation and Interpretation through Indigenous Approaches to UX

by Nora K. Rivera

Hardcover Price $95.00
Paperback Price $23.95
Ebook Price $19.95
30-day ebook rental price $10.00

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foreword by Laura Gonzales

“Essential reading for teachers, practitioners, and students of technical communication and UX. Rivera’s work is clear, careful, and inspired. From the powerful introduction, which provides a thorough history of interpretation and translation in the Americas, to the detailed research design chapter, to chapters chronicling the research; this book can serve as a model for informed, ethical, and just community-based research. The Rhetorical Mediator unequivocally advocates for Indigenous language rights and Indigenous language practices and makes the case for this advocacy as moral and ethical obligations for user experience researchers and practitioners. With this book, we have an excellent resource to better understand and continue this work.”
—Miriam F. Williams, Texas State University
"Glass ceiling breaking. Está cabron el libro—this book is powerful and meaningful to all who read it. The engagement of Indigenous people in the technical writing field is next-level thinking that will surely have people wanting more. Gracias."
—Octavio Pimentel, Texas State University
“An important work in both writing studies and technical and professional communication. Rivera’s work here makes a large impact.”
—Enrique Reynoso, University of Washington Bothell
“Given that many traditional models of user experience ignore issues of power and positionality, this shift is paramount and holds great promise for the field. By centering equitability as the key in the UX honeycomb, Rivera disrupts and reorients the project of design to focus on marginalized audiences. Developing testimonios as a UX method is compelling and holds much promise for the field.”
—Emma Rose, University of Washington Tacoma


The Rhetorical Mediator reveals how and why scholars and user experience (UX) researchers can include Indigenous technical communicators and oral interpretation practices in their interdisciplinary conversations. Nora Rivera analyzes the challenges that Indigenous interpreters and translators face in Peru, Mexico, and the United States as a means of understanding their agency and examines the various ways in which technical and professional communication, translation and interpreting studies, and UX research can better support the practices of Indigenous interpreters and translators.

In places where Indigenous language translation and interpretation are greatly needed, Indigenous language mediators often lack adequate systems to professionalize their field while withstanding Western practices that do not align with their worldviews. Through a “design thinking” methodology based on her work organizing and participating in an Indigenous-focused interpreter and translator conference, Rivera examines testimonios and semi-structured interviews conducted with Indigenous interpreters and translators to emphasize dialogue and desahogo (emotional release) as Indigenous communication practices.

The Rhetorical Mediator advocates for Indigenous language practices that have been sidelined by Western scholarship and systems, helping to create more equitable processes to directly benefit Indigenous individuals and other underrepresented groups. This book benefits specialists, including UX researchers, technical and professional communicators, interpreters and translators, and Indigenous professionals, as well as academics teaching graduate and undergraduate methods, Indigenous rhetoric and translation, and UX courses.


Nora K. Rivera is assistant professor of rhetoric, composition, and technical communication at Chapman University. Her research centers on Latinx and Indigenous rhetorics and their intersections with technical and professional communications in local and transnational contexts, and her multidisciplinary work has been published in numerous scholarly journals

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  • Hardcover Price: $95.00
  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-64642-529-7
  • Paperback Price: $23.95
  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-64642-530-3
  • Ebook Price: $19.95
  • 30-day ebook rental price: $10.00
  • EISBN: 978-1-64642-531-0
  • Publication Month: February
  • Publication Year: 2024
  • Pages: 250
  • Illustrations: 21
  • Discount Type: Short
  • Author: by Nora K. Rivera
  • ECommerce Code: 978-1-64642-530-3
  • Get Permissions: Get Permission

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