Associate Professor | Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies, Faculty Affiliate of Film & Media Studies and Applied Linguistics. University of California, Santa Barbara

Dolores Inés Casillas is an Associate Professor in the Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies and a Faculty Affiliate of Film & Media Studies and Applied Linguistics at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). Her research focuses on U.S. Spanish-language Media; Radio & Sound Practices; Accent Studies, and Language Learning Technologies. She is the author of Sounds of Belonging: U.S. Spanish-language Radio and Public Advocacy, published by New York University Press and co-editor with Maria Elena Cepeda (Williams College) of Latina/o Media Studies, published recently by Routledge Press.  Sounds of Belonging has been cited in different media venues, such as the Associated Press, Pacifica Radio, ABC News, NBC News, BuzzFeed and National Public Radio (NPR).

Her current book project examines the marketplace of language learning media. From cassette tapes, pocket books, Inglés Sin Barreras and Rosetta Stone to smartphone apps, Professor Casillas traces how language learning has largely shifted from school sites towards at-home, popular, and/or handheld, mobile media. She argues that motivations for learning English have dovetailed with U.S. attitudes towards immigrants, troubling perceptions of Spanish, and our dwindling public support for English as a Second Language (ESL) courses.

Professor Casillas is also a Board Member of Adelante Dual-Immersion School, the only Spanish-immersion K-6 elementary school in Santa Barbara County.


Assistant Professor | Department of Anthropology, Fellow of the Institute for Latino Studies. University of Notre Dame

Alex E. Chávez is Assistant Professor of Anthropology and faculty fellow of the Institute for Latino Studies at the University of Notre Dame. As a Cultural Anthropologist trained in Linguistic Anthropology, Ethnomusicology, and Folklore, Chávez is committed to an integrative Anthropology that applies the tools of these sub-disciplinary fields to the realm of Latino Studies with particular emphasis on expressive culture, embodied performance, racialized personhood, and the intimacies that bind everyday life across physical and cultural borders. 

 His most recent research explored the performance of huapango arribeño music among Mexican migrants in the United States. Supported by the National Science Foundation and the Ford Foundation, this work forms the basis of his book Sounds of Crossing: Music, Migration, and the Aural Poetics of Huapango Arribeño(In Press, Duke University Press). He recently extended the reach of this research in collaboration with Smithsonian Folkways Recordings. He produced the album Serrano de Corazón (Highlander at Heart) featuring huapango arribeño musicians Guillermo Velázquez y Los Leones de la Sierra da Xichú.

His new research project lends an “ethnographic ear” to Chicago Latina/o neighborhoods to identify how sound mobilizes physical and cultural claims of belonging amid the political contexts that shape the city space. He is utilizing fieldwork-based ethnography, digital audio recording, sound mapping, and linguistic analysis to construct how webs of sound form cultural models for understanding what previous scholars have elsewhere termed “Latino Chicago.” 

He has published in the Journal of Linguistic AnthropologyLatino Studies, the Latin American Music ReviewSouthern CulturesMúsica Oral del Sur, and has contributed to the volumes Celebrating Latino Folklore (2012), Iconic Mexico (2015), Latino, American, Dream (2016 Texas A&M Press), Making Sense of Language: Readings in Culture and Communication (2016 Oxford University Press), in addition to Con La Música a Otra Parte: Migración e Identidad en La Lírica Queretana (2010) published with the support of the Fondo Nacional para la Cultura y Las Artes in Mexico.


Associate Professor | Departments of Chicana and Chicano Studies and African American Studies. UCLA

Gaye Theresa Johnson writes and teaches on race and racism, cultural history, spatial politics, and political economy. Her first book, Spaces of Conflict, Sounds of Solidarity: Music, Race, and Spatial Entitlement in Los Angeles (University of California Press) is a history of civil rights and spatial struggles among Black and Brown freedom seekers and cultural workers in LA. Johnson’s current work includes an edited volume on The Futures of Black Radicalism, co-edited with Alex Lubin, and a single-authored book currently titled These Walls Will Fall: Protest at the Intersection of Immigrant Detention and Mass Incarceration. In it, she demonstrates how visual and aural protest art constitute one of the most significant discourses of resistance to twentieth and 21st century anti-immigrant and pro-carceral policy and practices, revealing how expressive cultures enact an alternative narrative history about migration, race, and power.

Johnson has also contributed journal articles and book chapters to historical, cultural studies, and ethnic studies volumes.  She has been a visiting researcher at Stanford University’s Center for the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity, as well as at the African Leadership Academy in Johannesburg, South Africa.  She is active with the Los Angeles Community Action Network’s struggle for housing and civil rights on LA’s skid row and is the 2013 recipient of the Freedom Now! Award for her efforts.  She is a member of the board of directors for the Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy (CAUSE) and an advisory board member for the Rosenberg Fund for Children.


Professor | Department of Screen Arts & Cultures and American Culture, Director of the Latina/o Studies Program. University of Michigan

Yeidy M. Rivero is Professor in the Departments of Screen Arts and Cultures and American Culture. Her research centers on television history, media and globalization, and race and ethnic representations in media. Her most recent book, Broadcasting Modernity: Cuban Commercial Television, 1950-1960 (Duke University Press, 2015), won the 2016 Society for Cinema and Media Studies’ Katherine Singer Kovacs Book Award. She is also the author of Tuning Out Blackness: Race and Nation in the History of Puerto Rican Television (Duke University Press, 2005), and co-editor (with Arlene Dávila) of Contemporary Latino Media: Production, Circulation, Politics (New York University Press, 2015). Her new book project, tentatively titled The Original Miami Sound Machine: Cuban Exiles, the Cold War, and the Emergence of Miami as a Media Capital, examines propaganda-oriented entertainment radio produced in Miami and targeted to Cuba and Latin America during the 1960s.


Associate Professor | Department of Performance Studies. New York University

Alexandra T. Vazquez is Associate Professor in the Department of Performance Studies at New York University. Her book, Listening in Detail: Performances of Cuban Music (Duke 2013), won the American Studies Association’s Lora Romero Book Prize in 2014. Vazquez’s work has been featured in the journals small axe, American Quarterly, Social Text, women and performance, The Journal of Popular Music Studies, and in the edited volumes Reggaeton and Pop When the World Falls Apart.  She is currently working on Writing Sound: The Florida Project, a new manuscript that involves Florida as a vibrant creative laboratory of the circum-Atlantic world.


Visiting Professor | Department of Spanish and Portuguese at New York University

Licia Fiol-Matta is Visiting Professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at New York University. Her research and teaching interests focus on modern and contemporary Hemispheric Latin American literature and culture, gender and sexuality, critical theory, and music. She is the author of A Queer Mother for the Nation: The State and Gabriela Mistral (University of Minnesota Press, 2002) and The Great Woman Singer: Gender and Voice in Puerto Rican Music (Duke University Press, 2017). Fiol-Matta is series co-editor of New Directions in Latino American Cultures (Palgrave).