Carlos Martinez-Cano

Carlos Martinez-Cano is a native of the U.S./México Borderlands and a PhD candidate at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education. He is pursuing his PhD in Education, Culture, and Society after completing interdisciplinary coursework in Anthropology and a Graduate Certificate in Urban Studies. He began his career as a bilingual K-12 teacher before teaching undergraduates at a small liberal arts college and later advising learning sciences graduate students on their masters’ theses. His research interests include applying critical ethnographic methodologies to non-dominant youth learning STE(A)M practices in informal contexts. As a dissertation project, he studied the self-directed digital literacy practices (e.g., coding/programming, 3D drafting, graphic design) of a group of middle school boys from Mexican-origin families in a New Latino Diaspora town in Southeastern Pennsylvania. The ethnographic accounts suggest the boys developed identity trajectories as emergent technology experts that transformed their imagined futures. He intends to expand this strand of research to examine the connected digital literacy learning practices of non-dominant youth across home, school, and third space contexts, and how dynamic home and community cultural values interact with the individual nature of technology practices. Carlos has participated in the RISE Grad Prep Academy, mentoring an undergraduate student at UC Berkeley through the graduate school application process. He has contributed to such publications as Anthropology News and Cultural Anthropologist and is an active member of the American Anthropological Association and the American Educational Research Association, regularly presenting his research at the annual meetings.