Interviewed by @WrittenComm

The Written Communication Journal editor, Prof. Christina Haas, interviewed me about my 2017 article Creating a Unique Transnational Place: Deterritorialized Discourse and the Blending of Time and Space in Online Social Media. The podcast can be listened to here. This was a great experience, as I discussed why I used a two-pronged methodology, narrowing the scope of my research for this article, and the implications the findings of my article have for the theories of communication, especially in its written mode. Enjoy!

Full link to both article and podcast:


My newest publication: Creating a Unique Transnational Place – Deterritorialized Discourse and the Blending of Time and Space in Online Social Media

Christiansen, M. S. (2017). Creating a Unique Transnational Place: Deterritorialized Discourse and the Blending of Time and Space in Online Social Media.Written Communication. Online First. 10.1177/0741088317693996

In this journal article, I conduct a discourse analysis to explain how members of a transnational social network of Mexican bilinguals living in Chicago manipulate their language on online social media to facilitate and maintain close connections across borders. I use similar methodology as my previous articles (e.g., discourse-centered online ethnographic approach) in order to examine conversations posted on members’ Facebook walls and the contexts in which the discourses are formed. I argue that members of this transnational social network engage in the use of deterritorialized discourse to create chronotopes; that is, through discourse, members connect temporal and spatial relationships and form them into a single constructed context. These chronotopes help members recontextualize Facebook as a unique transnational social place that connects families and allows for the continuation of cultural practices that maintain their transnationalism. This study sheds light on the use of linguistic resources and modes of communication to examine how individuals construct imagined experiences within a real intimate community in the deterritorialized space of online social media.

I recommend this article to everyone interested in doing discourse analysis of online social media posts, as well as doing ethnographic work. In the methodology section I explain with detail how to do multiple rounds of coding and analysis. Graduate students will find this very useful. Let me know what you think!

You can find the entire manuscript  here: <"

Registration for Summer 2017 is now open!!!

This class if for any UTSA graduate student who wishes to learn how to facilitate the collection, storage, organization, analysis, and writing of qualitative data. In this 3-week hybrid class, you’ll get hands-on activities to get familiar with programs such as Google Drive (and docs), transcription software, data analysis software (Nvivo and Dedoose), and citation management tools.

We’ll go step by step to see how these tools can be used for your research. Whether you are a first year PhD student, a student writing a dissertation, or an MA student writing a thesis, this course could help you!!!

See you in May!


BBL 7083 – Maymester approved!!!!

There are some exciting news for our grad students. The BBL 7083 Technology for Qualitative Analysis class has been approved to take place during May 2017 in a 3-week, hybrid course!

In this class, graduate students will have the opportunity to learn step by step how to use data analysis software such as Nvivo or Dedoose to store, code, analyze, and write up data. Also, students learn many ways in which they can use digital media to collect, store, and organize their qualitative data (including social media data).

Registration will open on March 1st, and the class is open to ANY graduate student at UTSA who wishes to do qualitative research.

You do not need to belong to UTSA COEHD to take this course. We’ve had grad students in sociology, health sciences, and communication.

If you are interested, contact me at

See you in May!


My newest publication: Maintaining Transnationalism: The Role of Digital Communication among US-Born Mexicans

Christiansen, M. S. (2016). Maintaining Transnationalism: The Role of Digital Communication among US-Born Mexicans, (pp. 353-376). In Olvera García, J. and Baca Tavira, N. (eds.), Continuidades y Cambios en las Migraciones de México a Estados Unidos. Toluca, Edomex. Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México.

In this chapter, I argue that transnationalism must now be considered in light of the mo- re-than-ever ubiquitous use of digital communication, especially through online social network sites (SNS) which have become increasingly relevant (Smith, 2006). The purpose of this study is to demonstrate how online social network sites (SNS) such as Facebook facilitate transnational networks and thus bolster their transnationalism. I analyze the communication patterns of one bilingual Mexican transnational network who lives in Michoacán and Chicago and has transnationals of all varieties and degrees. Some members of this focal transnational social network travel frequently and stay for long periods of time (from a month to entire years at a time), and communicate with their relatives living on the other side of the border (either Mexico or the U.S.). Others seldom or never travel to the other country. The goal is to demonstrate how digital communication practices have changed the way individuals “do” transnationalism. Thus, I argue for a paradigm shift for how transnationalism is construed and understood because digital communication has made it possible for all members of the network to maintain their engagement with each other without ever being in the same room.


You can find the entire manuscript  here:


Congrats to #UTSA MA-TESL Melissa Bailey on her new #EFL job in China!

Congratulations to Melissa Bailey (MA-TESL 2016) on her appointed as an Academic English Language Instructor at Jilin University in Changchun, China. Melissa’s particular interest in this region is that Changchun is a multilingual territory historically. Both Japan and Russia have spent time occupying the province, specifically the city in which she will be living. Melissa stated that “their languages and cultures have had an impact I cannot wait to discover and share.” Melissa explained that the university expressed great interest in the multimodal projects she learned and developed in the CALL class. She reported that “[the university officials] are very interested in incorporating tech into their curriculum and into their students’ skill sets,” which Melissa plans to do.

Good luck, Melissa!

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Train to teach ESL Composition!

This Fall 2016  I will teach ESL 6063 Advanced L2 Literacy, which is a class on Advanced L2 Composition. This class is highly recommended to all students who are interested in teaching writing at the high school/college levels in the U.S. and abroad. Most ESL writing jobs require students to have coursework in L2 composition. This class will cover the basics of L1 Composition, the connections to L2 composition, and the major issues in L2 composition. Additionally, this class will have hands on experience in responding to L2 students’ writing, in preparing lessons on topics such as paraphrasing, summarizing, genre, and plagiarism, and  in creating teaching materials specifically for L2 writers.

This class will be taught fully online!  Sign up now!

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Interested in an ESL/EFL career?

Interested in a TESOL, ESL or EFL career? or Do you know someone who is interested in the ELT field? Check us out and please share!!!

The BBL (Bicultural Bilingual Studies) Department at UTSA offers:
* BA with EC-6 and 4-12 Certification, minor in ESL
* MA in TESL, MA in TESL with EC-6 Certification, and graduate certificate
* PhD in Culture, Language, and Literacy

Our Facebook page:
Our Department page:
Our MA in TESL page:

Apply to one of our programs!!!!
Scholarships, fellowships, and student employment available on a competitive basis.


My newest publication: Language Ideologies in the digital conversations of bilinguals

Christiansen, M. S. (2016). ‘¡Hable Bien M’ijo o Gringo o Mx!’: language ideologies in the digital communication practices of transnational Mexican bilinguals, published online first. DOI: 10.1080/13670050.2016.1181603

My new publication examines Facebook conversations between members of a transnational social network of US- and Mexico-born English/Spanish bilinguals. I used the concepts of symbolic power and language ideologies to explore how members establish identity and membership differently depending on whether they communicate primarily in Spanish or English. The findings of this study also reveal that Facebook is an empowering space where bilingualism is the linguistic capital necessary for full membership in their transnational community.

This is the link to my new publication. Check it out.  To see a complete list of my publications, visit my Academia page, my Google Citations page, or my ORCID page.