Steven Alvarez

  • Assistant Professor
  • Latin America Studies
  • Writing Rhetoric and Digital Studies
1313 Patterson Office Tower

Ph.D., The Graduate Center of the City University of New York (2012)
M.Phil., The Graduate Center of the City University of New York (2009)
B.A., The University of Arizona (2003)
B.A., The University of Arizona (2002)


Steven Alvarez is Assistant Professor of Writing, Rhetoric, and Digital Studies (WRD). He recently completed a book manuscript titled Brokering Tareas: Mexican Immigrant Families Translanguaging Homework Literacies (State University of New York Press). The project is an ethnographic study about how English language acquisition and literacy transformed family relations and structured educational ambitions within a specific Spanish-dominant urban immigrant mentoring program in New York City. The program cultivated a sense of community and academic participation closely allied to ethnic identity, encouraging a sense of value for bilingualism as a political tool for—and the everyday reality of—immigrant families. 

In his second book Community Literacies en Confianza: Learning From Bilingual Afterschool Programs (National Council of Teachers of English), Dr. Alvarez explores K-12 afterschool programs and how to connect educators with communities in meaningful and reciprocal ways. This community literacy research builds on Dr. Alvarez's research in New York City with research in Kentucky. This project is part of a larger conversation about community literacy research and scholarly engagement that Dr. Alvarez has cultivated at UK. He has also edited two collections of student writing in a self-published venture titled Living Out Loud. Forty students and community members collaborated on the project which collected the creative writing of local students to build a book to be distributed in the community. He has published two novels in verse, The Pocho Codex and The Xicano Genome.   

Selected Publications: 


Alvarez, Steven. “Arguing Academic Merit: Meritocracy and the Rhetoric of the Personal Statement.” Journal of Basic Writing 31.2 (2012): 32-56.

Alvarez, Steven. "Brokering the Immigrant Bargain: Second-Generation Immigrant Youth Negotiating Transnational Orientations to Literacy." Literacy in Composition Studies 3.3 (2015): 25-47. 

Alvarez, Steven.  “Language Brokering in Practice: Linguistic Power, Biliteracy Events, and Family Life.” Readings in Language Studies. Eds. Paul Miller Chamness, John Louis Watzke, and Miguel Mantero. Vol. 3. Grandville, MI: International Society of Language Studies, 2012. 151-173. 

Alvarez, Steven.  “Translanguaging Tareas: Emergent Bilingual Youth Language Brokering Homework in Immigrant Families.” Language Arts 91.5 (2014): 326-339. 

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