Esteban Del Río, PhD

Esteban Del Río
Phone: (619) 260-7464
Fax: (619) 260-4205
Office: Saints Tekakwitha & Serra Hall 315G

Associate Provost for Inclusion and Diversity, Associate Professor of Communication Studies

  • Ph.D., University of Massachusetts Amherst, Communication
  • B.A., University of San Diego, History

Esteban del Río is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of San Diego and currently serves as the Associate Provost and Chief Diversity Officer as well as Director of the Center of Inclusion and Diversity. He earned a PhD in the Department of Communication at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, working in the area of media and cultural studies. del Río teaches Introduction to Media Studies, Media & Conflict, and International Media.

Areas of Expertise

Media and Cultural Studies, Latina/o Media Studies, Cultural Approaches to Institutional Equity

Scholarly Work

My research interests include the study of unity and difference, cultural production and reception, Latina/o media, consumer culture, and social change with essays appearing in Communication Yearbook, Journal of Communication Inquiry, Communication Culture Critique, and Participations: International Journal of Audience Research. I write about television, cinema, museums, social media, and aesthetic activism in these publications. My essay “Authenticity, Appropriation, Articulation: The Cultural Logic of Latinidad” appears as the opening chapter of The Rutledge Companion to Latina/o Media. Current research examines the construction and contestation of Latinidad as a coherent structure of feeling in informational and entertainment discourses, considering how Latinos in the United States challenge assumptions about difference in political, economic, and cultural practices. I am also interested in exploring how a communication and cultural approach to difference can intervene in discourses and practices of inclusion and equity in educational and corporate-managed articulations of diversity.

Areas of Interest

Teaching lies at the heart of my professional identity. I encourage students to raise critical questions about the poetics and politics of social reality in the spirit of hope and possibility. Communication, in these discussions, is understood as the primary social process inexorably linking symbol systems and the material world. Relying on the Socratic method and interactive lectures, my pedagogical goals are personal and social transformation in the context of rigor and accountability that a liberal arts approach affords. I teach Introduction to Media Studies, Media & Conflict, International Media, Interpretive Methods, and Film & Cultural Politics. Advanced topics courses taught include Latina/o Media & Moving Images, Acoustic Culture & Communication, Translatinidad, and British Cultural Studies. My teaching awards include the designation of Professor of the Year by three graduating classes and receiving the Professor of the Year award from Student Support Services on four occasions.

I speak nationally on the intersection of equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) and Catholic higher education, and work with colleagues through the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities (ACCU) to build leadership capacity at member institutions. Through ACCU, I have also contributed to faculty development contextualized by the Catholic Intellectual Tradition by serving on the Collegium Board and serving as a mentor at Collegium’s annual Colloquy of Faith and Intellectual Life. I begin a term as Board Chair in July 2018.

I also join with community partners through the Mulvaney Center for Community, Awareness, and Social Action locally, nationally, and internationally. I serve as the Board Chair of the California Bicycle Coalition where we strive to create livable, equitable, and healthy communities through state-wide advocacy. I also work toward mobility justice locally, serving as a founding and past board member of BikeSD and currently as an At-Large Board Member for the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition.