Dana Walker

Dana Walker’s scholarship examines language and literacy development in communities of practice, adolescent multimodal literacies, and Latina/o education, in- and out-of-school. Her research has focused on after school arts and youth media programs for Latino and other urban youth. Based on this work, Dr. Walker has written about school-community collaborations and the influences of Hip Hop, Chicano/a, northern Mexican, and other popular cultural forms on the learning experiences and participation of youth in alternative educational settings.  She has used her understandings to push for new collaborative learning designs push the boundaries of school to incorporate community cultural resources, adolescent literacies, and expressive arts.  She also theorizes and contributes to Cultural Historical Activity Theory (CHAT) combined with critical literacy. Most recently, her research has focused on the potential for development of language, literacy, voice, and empowerment through Youth Radio.

View Dr. Walker's Vita


  • 2003 Ph.D., Bilingual, Multicultural, and Social Foundations of Education University of Colorado at Boulder. “Constructing Literate, Artistic, and Social Identities After School: Community Cultural Resources in Support of Latina/o Youth.” Dr. Kathy Escamilla, Chair.
  • 1992 M.A., Latin American Studies, Emphasis in Anthropology. University of Texas at Austin. “Ethnic Identity and the Sandinista Nation-State: Oral Histories of the Subtiava Indians. Dr. Richard Adams, Chair.
  • 1983 Diplomado, Estudios Mexicanos (Mexican Studies). Universidad Autónoma Nacional de México, Mexico City.
  • 1982 B.A., French. University of California at Santa Cruz.
  • 1979 Diplôme, Undergraduate level courses in French civilization. The Sorbonne, Paris IV, France.
  • 1978 Diplôme, Undergraduate level courses in French literature. University of Besançon, Franche Comté, France.

Areas of Specialization

Teaching Domains

Theories of second language acquisition, sociolinguistics, history of the education of minority language students in the U.S., methods and assessment in linguistically diverse education, research trends in second language and literacy learning, discourse analysis, sociocultural theories of language and literacy development.

Research Interests

Multimodal literacies and second language learning, youth development and learning though youth media, community-school-university collaborations for social change, Chicano poetry and theater as resources for learning among Latina/o students, sociocultural and activity theories of learning and human development, ethnographies of communication, mixed methods in educational research.


  • Walker, D. (2009). Examining the intersection of popular culture in youth-radio after school.
    Youth Media Reporter (2)4, Special Issue.
  • Walker, D. and Romero, D. (2008). When ‘Literacy is a Bennie’: Researching Contested Literacies in Bilingual Youth Radio. Ethnography and Education: An International Perspective, (3)3, pp. 283-296.
  • Walker, D. and Nocon, H. (2007). Boundary-crossing competence: Theoretical considerations and educational design. Mind, Culture, and Activity: An International Journal (14)3, pp. 178-195.
  • Walker, D. (2007). The state of literacy: An interview with Anne Goudvis and Stephanie Harvey. Colorado Communicator (35)1, pp. 43-48. Colorado Chapter of the International Reading Association.
  • Romero, D. and Walker, D. (2010). Whaz up dude?: Pausing to question ethical and representational dilemmas in ethnographic research with Youth Media. Ethnography and Education: An International Perspective.
  • Romero, D. and Walker, D. (2010). Pushing the Boundaries of Writing: The Multimodal Literacies of Bilingual Youth Radio. In C. Brazerman, R. Krut., K. Lunsford, S. MacLeod, S. Null, P. Rogers, and A. Stansell (Eds.). Traditions of Writing Research. New York: Routledge.
  • Escamilla, K., Aragon, L., Grassi, E., Riley-Bernal, H., Rutledge, D., and Walker, D. (1999).
    Limited English Proficient Students and the Colorado State Assessment Program: The State of the State. Denver: Colorado Association for Bilingual Education and the Associated Directors of Bilingual Education. Monograph #1
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