Dolores Inés Casillas

Faculty Graduate Advisor

Office Hours

by appointment via zoom (fall 2021)

Office Location

1705 South Hall


U.S. Spanish-language media; Chicana and Latina Popular Culture; Radio & Sound Practices; Racial Politics of Language; Accent Studies; Langauge Learning Technologies; and Ethnic Studies within K-12 schools.


University of California, Davis B.A. Gender and Women’s Studies
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor M.Ed. Curriculum Theory & Development
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor M.A. American Culture
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor Ph.D. American Culture


Dolores Inés Casillas is Professor of Chicana and Chicano Studies and Director of the Chicano Studies Institute (CSI) at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her research focuses on immigrant engagement with U.S. Spanish-language and bilingual media, the representation of accented Spanish and English languages within popular culture, as well as the integration of Ethnic Studies within K-12 schools.  She is the author of Sounds of Belonging: U.S. Spanish-language Radio and Public Advocacy (NYU Press, 2014), which received two book prizes, and co-editor with María Elena Cepeda (Williams College) of the Companion to Latina/o Media Studies (Routledge Press, 2016) and co-editor with Mary Bucholtz and Jin Sook Lee (UC Santa Barbara) of Feeling It: Language, Race and Affect in Latinx Youth Learning (Routledge Press, 2018).  Sounds of Belonging has been cited in different media venues, such as, the Associated Press, Pacifica Radio, ABC News, Buzzfeed, and National Public Radio (NPR). Her current manuscript explores the politics of language learning and language ply as heard through different media technologies. 

She is also co-convener for the Sound Studies Caucus for the American Studies Association (ASA), Director of the Spanish and Bilingual Radio caucus for the Radio Preservation Task Force hosted by the Library of Congress, and a regular contributor to Sounding Out! A Sound Studies Blog She is also a Board Member of Adelante Charter School, the only dual-language (Spanish-English) K-6 elementary school in Santa Barbara, and the Goleta Education Foundation (GEF), a non-profit that engages the community to invest in and enhance the excellent education experiences for all students within the Goleta Union School District.

One of her greatest accomplishments is mentoring Chicana/x students through the doctoral program in Chicana/o Studies at UCSB.  Four of her former mentees are now professors in tenure track positions (California State University, Channel Islands; University of Wisconsin, Madison; Queens College in New York; and Emerson College in Boston) and another, the Associate Director of ÉXITO, an academic-research program supported by aTitle V, Department of Education, Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) grant.


U.S. Spanish-language media; Chicana and Latina Popular Culture; Radio & Sound Practices; Racial Politics of Language; Accent Studies; Langauge Learning Technologies; and Ethnic Studies within K-12 schools.

1930s Loteria Card



Faculty Affiliate: Film & Media Studies; Center for Information, Technology & Society (CITS); Latin American Studies; and Applied Linguistics





SKILLS (School Kids Investigating Language in Life and Society) is a social justice-oriented academic partnership that prepares and motivates California’s public school students for higher education by giving them hands-on experience in studying language, race, power, and identity. SKILLS puts students at the center of knowledge creation and social change by guiding them through the process of carrying out original research and community action projects on language in their own peer groups, families, and communities. It's a collaborative project led by Professors Mary Bucholtz (Linguistics), Jin Sook Lee (Education), and D. Inés Casillas (Chicana and Chicano Studies) with an impressive interdisciplinary team of graduate student teachers and undergraduate interns in five local high school classrooms. SKILLS promotes academic success and critical engagement by teaching students how to conduct research and engage in activist work on issues of language, power, and identity in their lives and communities.

ÉXITO (Educational eXcellence through Inclusion and Training Opportunities) is a 4+1 program for highly motivated students to earn a Bachelor of Arts in one of the Ethnic Studies departments or Feminist Studies within the College of Letters & Science and a Master's Degree in Education and a Teaching Credential from the Gervitz School of Education in 5 years. This collaorative project is led by co-PIs Rebeca Mireles Rios (Education) and Lisa Park (Asian American Studies). Senior researchers include Ingrid Banks (Black Studies), Laury Oaks (Feminist Studies), Diane Fujino (Asian American Studies), and D. Inés Casillas (Chicana and Chicano Studies) as well as a graduate student-comprised team of researchers. ÉXITO supports the development of new programming, resources, and research in Ethnic and Gender Studies while enhancing UCSB's Teacher Education program and constructing a new digital archive of text and video resources.



Sounds of Belonging: U.S. Spanish-language Radio and Public Advocacy. Critical Cultural Communication Series. (New York: New York University Press, 2014).

* Book of the Year by the American Association for Hispanics in Higher Education.

* Honorable Mention for Best Latino Studies Book by the Latino Studies Section of the Latin American Studies Association.

Routledge Companion for Latina/o Media Studies. Co-edited with Maria Elena Cepeda (Williams College). (New York: Routledge Press, 2016).

Feeling It: Language, Race, and Affect in Latinx Youth Learning. Co-edited with Mary Bucholtz and Jin Sook Lee. (New York: Routledge Press, 2018).


Mary Bucholtz, Dolores Inés Casillas, and Jin Sook Lee, "Resisting Racism and Neoliberalism in Critical Language Research with Racialized Youth," In Critical Youth Research in Education: Methodologies and Praxis, edited by Arshad Ali and Teresa L. McCarty, 21-39.  New York: Routledge Press, 2020.

Mary Bucholtz, Dolores Inés Casillas, and Jin Sook Lee, "California Latina/o Youth as Agents of Sociolinguistic Justice," In Language and Social Justice: Case Studies on Communication and the Creation of Just Societies, edited by Netta Avineri, Laura R. Graham, Eric J. Johnson, Robin Riner, and Jonathan D. Rosa, 166-175. New York: Routledge Press, 2019. 

Dolores Inés Casillas, Juan Sebastian Ferrada and Sara Veronica Hinojos, "The Accent on Modern Family: Listening to Representations of the Latina Vocal Body." Aztlan: A Journal of Chicano Studies, Vol. 43, No. 1 (Spring 2018): 61-88.

Mary Bucholtz, Dolores Inés Casillas, and Jin Sook Lee, "Culture and Language as Sustenance." In Culturally Sustaining Pedagogies: Teaching and Learning for Educational Justice in a Changing World," edited by Django Paris and H. Samy Alim, 43-59. New York: Teachers College Press, 2017.

Mary Bucholtz, Dolores Inés Casillas, and Jin Sook Lee,“Team Collaboration and Educational Partnership in Sociocultural Linguistics.” American Speech: A Quarterly of Linguistic Usage, vol. 90. no. 2, (May 2015): 230-245.

Dolores Inés Casillas, "Lost in Translation: The Politics of Race and Language in U.S. Spanish-Language Radio Ratings." In Contemporary Latina/o Media: Production, Circulation, Politics, edited by Arlene Davila and Yiedy Rivero, 206-222. New York: New York University Press, 2014.

Dolores Inés Casillas, "Listening to Race and Migration on U.S. Spanish-language Radio." In Radio's New Wave: Global Sound in the Digital Era, edited by Michele Hilmes and Jason Loviglio, 91-105. New York: Routledge Press, 2013.

Dolores Inés Casillas, “Sounds of Surveillance: U.S. Spanish-language Radio Patrols La Migra.” American Quarterly, vol. 63, no. 3 (September 2011): 807-829. DOI: 10.1353/aq.2011.0047.

Dolores Inés Casillas, “Adiós El Cucuy: Immigration and Laughter over the Aiwaves.” Boom: A Journal of California, Vol. 1, Number 3 (September 2011): 44–56. DOI: 10.1525/boom.2011.1.3.44.

Dolores Inés Casillas, “Puuurrrooo MÉXICO!: Listening to Transnationalism on U.S. Spanish-language Radio.” In Beyond el Barrio: Everyday Life in Latina/o Americaedited by Gina Perez, Frank Guridy, and Adrian Burgos, 44-62. New York: New York University Press, 2010.


Dolores Inés Casillas. (Faculty Advisor) "Latino Empowerment through Public Broadcasting." Bilingual online exhibit for the American Archive of Public  Broadcasting (AAPB). November 23, 2021.

Dolores Inés Casillas and Monica De La Torre. “Looking back on the lesser-than known histories of ‘Chicano Public Radio.’” Current (News for People in Public Media)July 11, 2019.

Sara V. Hinojos and Dolores Inés Casillas. “’Don’t Be Self-Conchas’: Listening to Mexican-Styled Phonetics in Popular Culture.” Sounding Out! May 5, 2017.

Dolores Inés Casillas. “Listening (Loudly) to Spanish-language Radio.” Sounding Out!  July 20, 2015. 

Dolores Inés Casillas. “Speaking ‘Mexican’ and the use of ‘Mock Spanish’ in Children’s Books (or Do Not Read Skippyjon Jones).” Sounding Out! May 5, 2014. 

Dolores Inés Casillas. “Listening to the Border: ‘2487 Diaspora’ and the Sound Art of Luz María Sánchez.” Sounding Out! July 4, 2011. 


Presenting the Past (podcast), hosted by Christine Becker. "Latino Empowerment through Public Broadcasting" (November 23, 2021).

The Last Archive (podcast), hosted by Jill Lepore. "Believe It" (June 24, 2021).

Associated Press. "Lost in Translation: Nevada campaigns bundle Spanish Posts" (November 5, 2018): The

National Public Radio, "NPR In Spanish: Approaching Content For A Bilingual Audience" (December 14, 2017):

NBC News,"Entering College? Latino Professors Share Some Great Advice" (August 26, 2016):

NBC News, "Latino Political Pulse: How Hispanics Have Changed California Politics" (June 7, 2016):



Head TA: Gabriela Gutierrez-Serranos (