Dolores Inés Casillas


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).

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. 

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 one is Associate Director of an esteemed academic-research program.



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 an academic outreach project of the Center for California Languages and Cultures in the Institute of Social, Behavioral, and Economic Research at the University of California, Santa Barbara. 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.


D. Inés Casillas is also a proud school board member of ADELANTE CHARTER SCHOOL, the only dual-langauge (Spanish-English) K-6 school in Santa Barbara. The mission of Adelante Charter School is to develop bi-literate, multi-cultural students whose strong academic and cultural foundations prepare them to meaningfully participate and provide leadership in their families, their community and their world to create a more just and equitable society.



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 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. 


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 (