Jessica Retis

Director, School of Journalism
Director, Bilingual Journalism / CUES Fellow

Dr. Jessica Retis took over as director of the School of Journalism in July 2022. She also is director of the school's Master's in Bilingual Journalism program. She holds a Major in Communications (University of Lima, Peru), a Master's in Latin American Studies (National Autonomous University of Mexico) and a Ph.D. in Contemporary Latin America (Complutense University of Madrid, Spain). Prior to entering academia, Retis worked for more than two decades as a journalist in Peru, Mexico and Spain in various print and broadcast media outlets. She has three decades of teaching experience in various universities in the United States, Spain and Mexico. Her international academic training has led her to become a recognized scholar in the U.S. and abroad.  

Professor Retis joined the University of Arizona in 2019. That year she was awarded the Provost Investment Fund (PIF) to launch the M.A. in Bilingual Journalism, Cultural Competence and Innovation. In 2021 she was awarded the title of Center for University Education Scholarship, CUES Distinguished Fellow for her research project “Bilingual Journalism Education in the United States: Development, Implementation and Assessment.” 

Due to her interdisciplinary work, Dr. Retis holds a dual courtesy appointment with the UA Center for Latin American Studies Department and the Graduate Program in Human Rights Practice. Before joining the University of Arizona, she worked for a decade at California State University Northridge (CSUN) where she taught a wide range of courses from lecture to skills classes at undergraduate and graduate levels, both in English and Spanish. Her innovative pedagogies have been recognized with several awards such as the State-level CSU Distinguished Teaching Award (2019), and the campus recognition CSUN’s Polished Apple Award (awarded twice, in 2009 and 2013). For many years she has trained bilingual journalists currently working in various newsrooms in the U.S. and abroad.  

Dr. Retis maintains an active research agenda. For the last two decades, she has studied international migrations, transnational communities and the news media in Europe (Spain and UK), North America (United States), Asia (Japan), and Latin America (Brazil and Peru). She places her findings within a larger theoretical, intersectional and interdisciplinary framework, shedding light in particular on issues of territoriality, hybridization and heterogeneity; the last introducing issues of gender, race and class. Her areas of research include Latin America, international migration, diasporas and transnational communities; cultural industries; ethnic media; diversity and the media; Latino media in Europe, North America and Asia; bilingual journalism, journalism studies, and journalism education.  

Recent publications include Reporting on Latin/a/x Communities: A Guide for Journalists (Routledge, 2022), Narratives of Migration, Relocation and Belonging: Latin Americans in London (Palgrave, 2020), The Handbook of Diasporas, Media and Culture (Willey, 2019). Recent book chapters include “Migrations and the Media between Asia and Latin America: Japanese-Brazilians in Tokyo and São Paulo” (Sage, 2019), “Hashtag Jóvenes Latinos: Challenges and opportunities of teaching civic advocacy journalism in ‘glocal’ contexts” (Peter Lang, 2018), “The transnational restructuring of communication and consumption practices. Latinos in the urban settings of global cities” (Routledge, 2017). Recent reports include: Hispanic Media Today. Serving Bilingual and Bicultural Audiences in the Digital Age (Democracy Fund, 2019), La circulación de la cultura en español en las ciudades globales de los Estados Unidos: Los Ángeles, Nueva York, Miami (Hispanic Cultural Circuits in Urban Context of Global Cities: Los Angeles, New York, Miami) (RIE, 2019), and Los Latinos y las industrias culturales en español en Estados Unidos (Latinos and Spanish-language Cultural Industries in the U.S.) (RIE, 2015).  

Dr. Retis currently serves as the Co-Chair of the Diaspora and the Media Working Group for the International Association of Mass Communication Research (IAMCR), Co-Chair of the Latina/o Studies Section of the Latin American Studies Association (LASA). She is also the Vice-President of the Binational Association for Schools of Communication (BINACOM). On October 2020, Retis was elected Academic At-Large Officer of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ). She advises the NAHJ Student Chapter at UArizona. 

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Twitter: @jretis