Loyola University Chicago

School of Communication

Faculty & Staff Directory

George Villanueva, PhD

Title/s:  Assistant Professor

Specialty Area: Advocacy & Social Change,Engaged Scholarship,Community-Based Research,Urban Communication,Visual Communication,Urban Planning & Development,Democracy,Space & Place,Public Culture,Cultural Anthropology,Race & Ethnicity, and Hip Hop Culture.

Office #:  Lewis Towers 909

Phone: 312.915.8536


CV Link: George Villanueva CV

External Webpage: http://www.georgevillanueva.com/


George Villanueva is Assistant Professor of Advocacy and Social Change in the School of Communication, Loyola University Chicago.  Grounded in communication, cultural anthropology, and sociological frameworks, he studies the changing global context of community, civic engagement, sustainable urban development, democracy, the city, public culture, visual communication, race & ethnicity, and hip hop culture. He is particularly interested in theories, methods, and practices that develop engaged scholarship for positive social change between universities and urban communities. 

Before coming to Loyola, he was a Postdoctoral Scholar at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism and affiliated with the Metamorphosis Project. While in Los Angeles, he served as the project manager for the Northeast Los Angeles Riverfront Collaborative.  The project aimed at creating sustainable economic development in the NELA river study area and was funded by a HUD-DOT-EPA Partnership for Sustainable Communities grant.  George also has served as an Area Planning Commissioner for the City of Los Angeles, worked as a Community Organizer and Field Deputy for former Los Angeles City Council member, and now Mayor Eric Garcetti, a Senior Field Representative and Research Coordinator for former CA State Assembly member Jackie Goldberg, and has worked in community program evaluation and planning for several non-profit organizations.  He was a contributing writer and filmmaker for the public media outlet KCET Departures, where his column Engaging Spaces investigated how people and organizations engage urban space to make Los Angeles a more livable, socially just, and fun city. 

George was born and raised in Los Angeles, growing up in the intersecting spaces of East Hollywood, Koreatown, and the Temple/ Beverly corridor (now Historic Filipinotown).


PhD, Communication with a Graduate Certificate in Visual Anthropology.  University of Southern California, Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism and Department of Anthropology.

MSc, Global Media and Communications.  London School of Economics and Political Science.

BA, Black Studies and History.  University of California at Santa Barbara.

Courses Taught

Communication 100—School of Communication Seminar

Communication 175—Introduction to Communication

Communication 200—Communication and New Media

Communication 206—Hip Hop Culture, Communication, and Social Change

Communication 220—Introduction to Rhetoric

Communication 309—Designing Communication and Media Projects for Social Change


Selected Publications

Villanueva, G. Chitown Loves You: Hip Hop’s Alternative Spatializing Narratives and Activism to Trump’s Hateful Campaign Rhetoric About Chicago. 

Villanueva, G. & A. Wenzel. (2018). The Engaged Communication Scholar: Designing CIT-Informed Engaged Research in Diverse Communities, 167–186. In Y.C. Kim, M. Matsaganis, H. Wilkin, & J.Y. Jung (Eds.), The Communication Ecology of 21st Century Urban Communities. New York: Peter Lang.

Villanueva, G., Gonzalez, C., Son, M., Moreno, E., Liu, W., & Ball-Rokeach, S. J. (2017). Bringing local voices into community revitalization: Engaged communication research in urban planning. Journal of Applied Communication Research, 45(5), 474–494.

Villanueva, G. (2017). Engaged Media Scholarship: Making Place with Community Organizers. Anthropology Now, 9 (2).

Villanueva, G. (2017). Embodying Democratic Spaces: Community Organizer Alternative Narratives That Challenge the Mainstream Negative Stigma of South Los Angeles. In J. Banh & M. King (Eds.), Anthropology of Los Angeles: City, Image, and Politics. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.

Villanueva, G. (2016). Filipinos for Garcetti: Ethnic Political Organizing and Asian American Civic Engagement in Cities. Asian American Policy Review. 26, 10-19.

Villanueva, G., Broad, G., Gonzalez, C., Ball-Rokeach, S., & Murphy, S. (2016). Communication asset mapping: An ecological field application toward building healthy communities. International Journal of Communication, 10, 2704-2724.

Stokes, B., Villanueva, G., Bar, F., & Ball-Rokeach, S.J. (2015). Mobile Design as Neighborhood Acupuncture: Activating the Storytelling Networks of South L.A. Journal of Urban Technology. 22(3), 55-77.

Broad, G. M., Ball-Rokeach, S., Ognyanova, K., Picasso, T., Stokes, B., Villanueva, G. (2013). Understanding Communication Ecologies to Bridge Communication Research and Community Action. Journal of Applied Communication Research, 41(4), 325-345.