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Dr. Martínez Guillem is originally from Spain. She came to the United States to start her graduate studies in 2000. Before moving to New Mexico, she spent her time between Europe and the U.S., living in Iowa, Italy, Spain and Colorado. Her research and teaching interests are in critical discourse studies, cultural studies, interpretive and critical approaches to intercultural communication, and rhetorics of immigration, race and racism in the European Union and the United States.
Dr. Martínez Guillem is the 2014 recipient of the Outstanding Research Award, sponsored by the International and Intercultural Communication Division at NCA.
In my research I explore the reciprocal relationship between social practices and culture. Some of the overarching questions that inform my varied scholarly contributions include the following:
(1) How do our particular cultural locations relate to the ways we (discursively) engage in activities such as contributing to a particular work environment, engaging with media content, or participating in certain social movements?
(2) At a broader level, how do particular understandings of culture inform scholarly and institutional discourses, such as debates on race, racism, and multiculturalism, or specific media representations of “others”?
(3) How do all of these activities, in turn, constantly shape and reshape cultures, i.e. what are understood as “normal”, commonsense values and practices?
(4) What are the material consequences of those dynamics in terms of systematic inclusion and exclusion?
One of the driving forces of my work is to develop ways to explore the interaction between what I call “elite” and “everyday” discourses in different contexts. Thus, I strive to analyze cultural discourses from different societal spheres, as well as the ways they may influence each other to both reproduce and challenge particular social arrangements.
My scholarly contributions thus include studies of political discourse (such as parliamentary debates, agenda-setting documents informing policy, or politicians’ speeches), mediated representations of “others” (for example, immigrants in Spanish public television, “Latinos” in CNN) as well as vernacular discourses on social movements, immigration, or integration, and cultural critique based on my personal experiences of relocation. Through these different levels of analysis, I try to develop our understanding of cultural practices as material, dialectical and ever evolving processes that are intrinsically related to communication.
I am convinced that the best scholarship comes out of grappling with productive tensions among different methods, theories and disciplines. In my research I draw from the Discourse Studies as well as the Cultural Studies traditions, together with scholarship on race, ethnicity and whiteness across the humanities and the social sciences. I find these theoretical and practical intersections necessary as I try to develop a research agenda that aims at approaching complex phenomena in a holistic way.
Boromisza-Habashi, D. & Martínez Guillem, S. (2012). "Comparative Research in Language and Social Interaction." In Esser, F. & Thomas H. (Eds.) Handbook of Comparative Communication Research. Routledge (pp. 134-147).
Tracy, K., Martínez Guillem, S.; Robles, J. & Casteline, K.E. (2011). "Critical Discourse Analysis and (US) Communication Scholarship: Recovering Old Connections, Envisioning New Ones." In Salmon, C. (Ed.) Communication Yearbook 35. Routledge: New York & London, pp. 240-286.
Martínez Guillem, S. (2011). "European Identity: Across Which Lines? Defining Europe through Public Discourses on the Roma."Journal of International and Intercultural Communication 4, 1, 23-41.
Martínez Guillem, S. (2009). "Argumentation, Meta-discourse and Social Cognition: Organizing Knowledge in Parliamentary Debates."Discourse & Society, 20, 727-746.
García Jiménez, L. & Martínez Guillem, S. (2009). "Does Communication Studies Have an Identity? Setting the bases for Contemporary Research."Catalan Journal of Communication and Cultural Studies, 1, 15-27.
As an instructor—and following Freire—I see education as the "practice of freedom." I am thus committed to transmitting the importance of understanding all kinds of communication processes, as well as how they relate to the broader social reality we all help to (re)create. For this reason, I always start my classes by asking students: "What is X, and why should we study it?" I believe that addressing this question can help all of us establish those necessary connections between academia and our everyday lives, and hopefully create space for a sense of responsibility to act upon the material world in order to improve it.
2014 recipient of the Outstanding Research Award, sponsored by the International and Intercultural Communication Division at NCA.
2012, top paper honors, Communication Theory and Research Division, Western States Communication Association
Pierre Bourdieu, Terry Eagleton, Eduardo Galeano, Raymond Williams, Ruth Wodak and (too) many more!
I enjoy cooking, trying new food, spending fun times with my family and traveling whenever and wherever I can.
View Susana Martinez Guillem's profile on the Faculty Authors page.