Faculty: A.J. Ortega
Lecturer of English
M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Texas State University, 2010 B.A. in Creative Writing from The University of Texas at El Paso, 2006
A.J. Ortega is a native Texan. He claims El Paso as his hometown, though he has lived all over the Lone Star State. His focus as a writer is short fiction, which is inspired by living in the Southwest and the complexities of border culture. In addition to his short stories, he writes poetry, creative non-fiction, and book reviews. His writing has appeared in The Rio Grande Review, Front Porch Journal, American Book Review, and Southwest American Literature.
His academic research focuses on popular culture, primarily hip-hop subculture, television, film, and professional wrestling. Some specific topics he explores in these areas are issues of class, gender, narrative theory, and metafiction.
“Breaking the Fourth Wall: WWE’s ‘Reality Era’ and the Age of the Internet.” National Popular Culture Association Conference. March 2013.
“From Barthes to Bodyslams: Professional Wrestling’s Success Through Creating and Subverting Stereotypes.” National Popular Culture Association Conference. April 2012.
“The More You Say Means Less Airplay: The Importance of Storytelling in Rap Music.” National Popular Culture Association Conference. April 2011.
“Deconstructing J.J. Abrams’ Lost Narrative.” Southwest/Texas Popular Culture Association Conference. February 2010.
“Alexie, the Audience, and the Appetite.” Native American Literature Symposium. February 2009.