Susana Martinez Guillem

Associate Professor
Co-Director, Graduate Programs

Photo: Susana Martinez Guillem


Room 230

Ph.D., University of Colorado-Boulder, 2012


Hello! I am an Associate Professor and the Graduate Program Co-Director in the department of Communication at the University of New Mexico, USA, and affiliate faculty with the Latin American and Iberian Institute, also at UNM. I currently serve on the executive board of EDiSO (Association of Studies in Discourse and Society 

In my research, I draw on discourse studies and cultural studies to study the ideological dimensions of institutional, mediated, and everyday practices in relation to immigration, place, space, social movements (anti)racism, multilingualism, and their connection to material conditions.



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. 

Sample Publications

  • Martínez Guillem, S. & Toula T.M. (2018) Critical Discourse Studies and/in communication: theories, methodologies, and pedagogies at the intersections, Review of Communication, 18:3, 140-157.  Click here for full text.
  • Martínez Guillem, S. & Barnes, C. C. (2018). Am I a good [white] mother? Mad Men, Bad.  Click here for full text.
    • Mothers, and Post(racial)feminism. Critical Studies in Media Communication 35, 3: 286-299.
  • Martínez Guillem, S. & Cvetkovic, I. (2018). “Analysis of discourses and rhetoric in European migration politics.” In Weinar, A. (Ed.) Handbook on the politics of migration in Europe. London: Routledge.
  • Martinez Guillem, S. (forthcoming). “Podemos’ Performative Power: Space Struggles and/as the Transformation of Political Culture.” In García Agustín & Briziarelli (Eds.).  Podemos and the new political cycle: Left-wing populism and anti-establishment politics.  London: Palgrave
  • Martínez Guillem, S. (2017). Precarious Privilege: Indignad@s, Daily Disidentifications, and Cultural (Re)Production. Communication & Critical/Cultural Studies
  • Martínez Guillem, S. (2017). Critical Discourse Studies and Race and Ethnicity.  In Routledge Handbook of Critical Discourse Studies 
  • Routledge García Agustín, O.; Luisa Martín Rojo, Joan Pujolar Cos, Miguel Pérez Milans, Adil Moustaoui Srhir, Elisa A. Hidalgo McCabe, Camila Cárdenas Neira, Susana Martínez Guillem (2016). Reflexiones sobre ‘Occupy. The spatial dynamics of discourse in global protest movements’ de Luisa Martin Rojo. Discurso y Sociedad, 10(4) 640-684
  • Briziarelli, M. & Martínez Guillem, S. (2016). Reviving Gramsci: Crisis, communication, and change. Routledge, Cultural Studies and Media Series. 
  • Martínez Guillem, S.  & Flores, L. A. (2015). “Maternal Transgressions, Feminist Regressions: How Whiteness Mediates the (Worst) White Moms. In Hundley & Hayden, Eds., Mediated Moms: Contemporary Challenges to the Motherhood Myth. Peterlang.
  • Martínez Guillem, S. (2015). Exclusive Inclusion. EU Integration Discourse as Regulating Practice. Critical Discourse Studies 12, 4, 426-444.
  • Briziarelli, M. & Martínez Guillem, S. (2015). The Counter-hegemonic Spectacle of Occupy Wall Street: Integral State and Integral Struggle. IC -Revista Científica de Información  y Comunicación, 11,  pp. 145 – 166
  • Martínez Guillem, S. (2014) Going Global, (Re)Locating Privilege. A Journey into the Borders of Whiteness, Foreignness, and Performativity. Journal of Multicultural Discourses. 9:3, 212-226, DOI: 10.1080/17447143.2014.956749

Teaching Style

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.


2020 Top Paper, Economics, Communication, and Society, at the National Communication Association

2019 Top paper, Language and Social Interaction, at the International Communication Association

2016 Top four paper honors, Intercultural Communication at the National Communication Association

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!

Spare time

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.