"Culture forms our beliefs. We perceive the version of reality that it communicates. Dominant paradigms, predefined concepts that exist as unquestionable, unchallengeable, are transmitted to us through the culture. Culture is made by those in power.... <br /><br />--Gloria Anzaldúa (1987, p. 38), "Movimientos de rebeldía y las culturas que traicionan"
Luz Murillo

Luz A. Murillo (Ph.D., University of Arizona) is an Associate Professor of Bilingual/Literacy/Reading Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She has previously held positions at the Universidad del Valle in Cali, Colombia; the University of Texas Pan American; and la Universidad de las Américas in Cholula, Mexico.

Awards, Honors, Associations

Distinguished Recognition of Scholar-Activism Critical Educators for Social Justice Special Interest Group, American Educational Research Association, 2016 - 2016

Diversity Scholar Award National Council of Teachers of English Research Assembly, 2012 - 2012

Outstanding Research Award The University of Texas Pan American, 2012 - 2012

C. Bascom Slemp Endowed Faculty Fellow The University of Texas Pan American, 2010 - 2010

Provost’s Award for International Studies The University of Texas Pan American, 2009 - 2009

Early Scholar of Color Award Literacy Research Association, Ethnicity, Race, and Multilingualism Committee, 2009 - 2009

ASPIRE Award for Teaching Excellence The University of Texas at Brownsville, 2007 - 2007

Distinguished Teaching Award Universidad del Valle, 2003 - 2003

Research & Service

Dr. Murillo is an educational anthropologist who studies the literacies of linguistically and culturally diverse children, families, and communities. Her research projects include studies of indigenous bilingual schooling and community in Colombia and Guatemala; the social construction of literacy in households and primary schools in central Mexico; bilingual family literacies in Mexican-American households on the U.S.-Mexico border, and language ideologies among bilingual and literacy pre-service teachers. Dr. Murillo's work appears in Anthropology & Education Quarterly, Language Arts, Qualitative Studies in Education, International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, Lectura y Vida, the Yearbook of the Literacy Research Association, and the Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy.


Smith, P., & Murillo, L. (2015) Biliteracy and human capital in Texas border colonias. Handbook of research on cross-cultural approaches to language and literacy development Information ScienceReference: Hershey, PA, United States  link >

Smith, P., & Murillo, L. (2015) Mediating deficit views of Mexican-origin learners with preservice literacy teachers Teacher Education and Practice 28 (1), 27-44

Smith, P., & Murillo, L. (2015) Theorizing Translanguaging and Multilingual Literacies through Human Capital Theory International Multilingualism Research Journal 9 (1), 59-73

Smith, P., & Murillo, L. (2013) Repositioning biliteracy as capital for learning: Lessons from teacher preparation at the U.S.-Mexico Border International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education 26 (3), 301-323

Smith, P., & Murillo, L. (2012) Researching transfronterizo literacies in Texas border colonias. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism 15 (6), 635-651  link >

Murillo, L. (2012) Learning from bilingual family literacies Language Arts 90 (1), 18-29

Murillo, L., & Smith, P. (2011) “I will never forget that”: Lasting effects of language discrimination on language minority children and families in Colombia and on the U.S.-Mexico border Childhood Education 87 (1), 2-9

Murillo, L. (2010) Local literacies as counter-hegemonic practices: Deconstructing anti-Spanish ideologies in the Rio Grande Valle Yearbook of the Literacy Research Association: Oak Creek, Wisconsin, USA

Murillo, L. (2009) “This great emptiness we are feeling”: Towards a decolonization of schooling in Simunurwa, Colombia Anthropology & Education Quarterly 40 (4), 421-437  link >


Reading Teacher, 2016 - present

Member of Tier 2, Building Committee Champaign Unit 4 School District, 2015 - 2016

Oscar Causey Award Committee Oscar Causey Award Committee/Literacy Research Association, 2015 - present

Apoyando la lectura y la escritura en nuestros hogares (Supporting children’s reading and writing at Champaign Unit 4 Schools,

Champaign Unit 4 Schools,

Rantoul Multicultural Community Center,

Literacy Research Association, 2014 - 2014

American Education Research Association, 2014 - 2014


Dr. Murillo teaches courses in literacy, language, and culture for researchers and teachers working with multilingual/emergent bilingual learners.


Culture in the Classroom Explores cultural, political, and social factors that affect learning and teaching. Introduces students to the fields of educational anthropology and multicultural education and to the application of cultural information to curriculum development and classroom practice. The 3-hour undergraduate version and 4-hour graduate version meet the Cross-Cultural Studies for Teaching Limited-English-Proficient Students requirement for Bilingual and/or ESL Teaching Approval or Endorsement from the Illinois State Board of Education. Course Information: 3 undergraduate hours. 2 or 4 graduate hours.

Princ Prac Foster Indep Rdg Emphasizes reading comprehension and reading to learn in content fields in grades K-8. Includes focus on teaching reading to students from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds, including dialect speakers and English learners. Course Information: 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours.

Funds of Knowledge Seminar course on topics not treated by regularly scheduled courses; requests for initiation may be made by students or faculty member. Course Information: 2 to 4 undergraduate hours. 2 to 4 graduate hours. Approved for both letter and S/U grading. May be repeated to a maximum of 8 hours. Prerequisite: Junior standing.

Border Theories Course Information: Approved for both letter and S/U grading. Prerequisite: Admission to doctoral study.

Luz Murillo

Associate Professor, Curriculum & Instruction


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