George Villanueva PhD

I am an engaged scholar who is interested in how marginalized communities of color survive the material realities of structural oppression that have been reproduced along the intersectional experiences of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and class. To this end, I study the role that communication, media, activism, and expressive culture play in place-based advocacy and social change goals of marginalized communities of color in cities. I value this social justice-oriented research because it reveals how marginalized groups collectively reimagine their cities toward a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive future. These research interests in the performative context of multiracial and multiethnic urban community transformations have led me to employ interdisciplinary approaches and qualitative methods that are critically grounded in communication, cultural anthropology, and sociological frameworks.

Associate Professor of Advocacy & Social Change
School of Communication, Loyola University Chicago


I am the author of the book Promoting Urban Social Justice Through Engaged Communication Scholarship: Reimagining Place. My academic writing has also appeared in the International Journal of Communication, Journal of Urban Technology, Journal of Applied Communication Research, Journal of Popular Music Studies, Cultural Studies<>Critical Methodologies, AAPI Nexus Journal, Asian American Policy Review, Anthropology Now, Journal of Urban Design, Pedagogy, Culture, & Society, and the book anthologies Anthropology of Los Angeles: Place and Agency in an Urban Setting and The Communication Ecology of 21st Century Urban Communities.



My work has also been mentioned in popular media outlets, including the Los Angeles Times, L.A. Weekly, KCET, Global Nation Inquier, Next City, and Streetsblog Chicago. I have appeared as an interview guest for The Roundtable Perspective, a communication scholarly television program produced by Lakeshore PBS and broadcasted on the WYIN television channel. The local Chicago NPR affiliate Vocalo also ran a feature of my work.

Media Publications


Film: Making Belief Visible: The Cultural and Civic Production of the Santo Niño Ati-Atihan Festival in the Philippines

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Engaging Spaces column published on KCET Departures.

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'Engaged Scholarship Methods for Positive Social Change' in Conversations on Jesuit Higher Education.

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Community Building Practice

I have 20 years of practitioner experience in community economic development, community-based research, community organizing, program evaluation, collaborative project management, placemaking, urban planning and design, electoral politics, strategic communication consulting, and other social change advocacy work.