Curry, Julia E

Curry, Julia E

Associate Professor, Chicana and Chicano Studies (formerly Mexican American Studies)
Faculty Fellow - UndocuSpartan Resource Center - Clark Hall
WANG Family Faculty Excellence Award for Service, 2019





Preferred: (408) 924-5310

Office Hours

M 1100-12:00, W 2:00-4:30 pm at my office at Clark 229C, and by appointment. Please check CANVAS for exceptions and location changes.

Thank you for visiting my faculty webpage!

The best way to reach me is by email: My faculty office is located at Clark Hall, Room 229C.  Chicana and Chicano Studies (formerly Mexican American Studies) is located at Clark Hall north side, second floor. I often do my work at King Library 5th floor in the Cultural Heritage Center (5th floor).

I also hold consulting hours at the UndocuSpartan Resource Center,where I am a fculty fellow.  The USRC is located at Clark Hall Room 100H-G.  Check their website for informaiton at:

I have worked to institutionalize services, support and resources for immigrant students (called "Dreamers" by politicians). My advocacy work began in 2002. This work led to semi-official working committees in September 2014 and finally in May of 2016 to make the UndocuSpartan Center at SJSU a reality. In 2016 we hosted the first ever UndocuSpartan welcome reception.  Finally in Spring 2018 - the collaborative efforts and a supportive administration finally made the Center a reality.  Today you can find assistance at the UndocuSpartan Resource Center at the Diaz Compean Student union and by contacting Ms. Ana Navarrete Aviña.  

SJSU has more than 700 students classified as Undocumented with various policy statues that may provide them access to in-state tuition, some financial aid, and possibly work permits.  These students come from various parts of the world and have mostly grown up in California.  The VP for Student Affairs and our previous Provost- Andy Feinstein  supported the establishment of a Resource Center for Undocumented Immigrant Students. 

I am the Faculty Adviser for the Student Advocates for Higher Education (SAHE) for AB540 Students and Allies  (since its founding in 2003), and the MAS Graduate Student Association, XGC (Chicana/o/x Graduate Council). If you need advice please contact me. You can also see some AB540 Resources in my AB540 Students and Allies Course Page.

My teaching schedule Spring 2019 semester.

  • Tu/Th 1:30-2:45, MAS 30-02:  Race and Ethnicity in Public Space, Clark Hall 238
  • Tu 3:00-5:45PM, MAS 30-03:  Race and Ethicity in Public Space, DMH 149A
  • Saturday 10:30-3:00 -MAS 210: Foundations in Chicana & Chicano Studies (Graduate Seminar) First Class Meeting- January 26.  Last class meeting May 11.  

I am a Wang Family Faculty Excellence Recipient in Service, 2019 - a systemwide honor. (see:

2013-2014 SJSU Distinguished Service Professor.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, Sociology, University of Texas at Austin, United States,1988
  • Master of Arts, Sociology, University of Texas At Austin, United States, 1986
  • Bachelor of Arts, Sociology, University of California, Santa Barbara, California, United States, 1980

Licenses and Certificates

  • EDU:  Eliminate Campus Sexual Misconduct, 2 hours, 2019
  • EDU:  Preventing Discrimination and Harassment for Non-Supervisors, 2 hours, July 2018
  • EDU:  Clery Act Basics, 1 hour, 2019
  • EDU:  CSU Data Security and Privacy, 1 hours, 2019
  • EDU:  CSU FERPA, 1 hour, 2019
  • Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) IRB Members - Basic/Refresher Curriculum, United States, 2014


My Childhood and Educational Path

I emigrated to the U.S. from México with my mother and sister in 1962.  I grew up in Southern California where I began school at Keenan Elementary School.  I graduated from Bassett High School.  I went to college as an Educational Opportunity Program student and graduated with a BA in Sociology from UCSB.  In 1975 I spent a year on Education Abroad attending the UNAM in México City.  After completing my BA I worked at UCSB for 2 years.  In 1980, I continued  my education pursuing a Ph.D. at the University of Texas at Austin.  I went to graduate school because magnificent teachers encouraged me and modelled in their teaching my aspiration to develop scholarly substance, skills, and ethical values (I am forever in their debt).   I received generous financial support from the American Sociological Association's Minority Fellowship for the last two years of my program, financial aid, and various research assistantships at UT Austin.  I was an Institute of American Cultures Post-Doctoral Fellow at UCLA (engaed in health-seeking behavior research) before joining Arizona State University's Sociology Department.  In 1990 I wa recruited to join the faculty at UC Berkeley in the Chicano Studies Program of the Ethic Studies Department. In August 2000 I joined SJSU's Mexican American Studies Department when it was part of the College of Social Work.

My Research

My research focuses on immigrant women and children, immigration policies, language minority educational experiences, racial and sexual stratification, and other issues pertaining to Chicana/os in the United States. I have conducted some comparative research on immigration in Mexico, England, France and Spain.  I use qualitative methodology, primarily life history, oral history and participant observation techniques in my research. Currently I am mainly working on research with Mexicano rachers in San Luis Colorado.  

Elected Offices in Professional Organizations

Holding elected leadership roles was not my aspiration, and yet I have held many elected offices in various professional organizations. In the National Association for Chicana and Chicano studies (NACCS) I have been the General Coordinator (2000), secretary (1998, newsletter editor (1999) and the Northern California Regional Representative (1998-2000). Currently I am the Executive Director of NACCS. While I was a graduate student at UT Austin, I was elected as the organizing and Founding Chair of the Chicana Caucus of NACCS (1985-90). In Mujeres Activas en Letras y Cambio Social (MALCS) I have also held many elected offices, including Chair in 1998-99. In the Sociologists for Women in Society (SWS) I served as the Chair of the Discrimination Committee from 1989-91 and co-organized the conference program for the annual meetings in 1989 with Teresa Montini. In the American Sociological Association (ASA) I was the Organizing and Founding Chair of the Section on Latina and Latino Sociology with Dr. Homer Garcia. In the ASA I served as a Council Member for the Section on Sex and Gender and served as Treasurer/Secretary for the Section on Race and Ethnic Relations. At SJSU I have been elected to serve as Academic Senate for the College  of Social Sciences.  Spring 2019 I was elected as one of three Academic Senators for the entire CSU system (ASCSU).  

My Roles as Mentor and Adviser

As a professor at SJSU I have served/or serve as advisor to various student groups such as MUJER, MEChA, McNair Scholars, MASGAS (now Xicana/o/x Gradaute Council -XGC), Student Advocates for Higher Education (SAHE), and Balet Folklórico Luna y Sol.

Mentor Chancellor's Doctoral Incentive Program (CDIP)

The CDIP has been instrumental in building the Pipeline of minority students to the professoriate.  I have the honor of serving as mentor for the following former and current students:

  • Horacio N. Roque Ramírez, completed his Ph.D in Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley. Went on to achieve Associate Professor status at UC Santa Barbara where he taught and mentored many students until his untimely death in 2015.
  • Jenny M. Luna, completed her Ph.D. in Native American Studies at UC Davis.  Went on to tenure track posts at New Mexico State University and CSU Channel Islands.  
  • Frank Ortega, completed his Ph.D. in Sociology from Texas A&M.  He is currently an Assistant Professor at Diablo Valley College.
  • Juan Pablo Mercado, completed his Ph.D. in History at UC Los Angeles in 2018.  Fall 2016 he joined the faculty of Chabot College as an Assistant Professor, and now he is an Adjunct Professor at SJSU.

My Publications and Research

Some of my publications are found in Decolonial Food for Thought:  Mexican-Origin Food, Foodways, and Social Movements (2017), the Journal of Equity and Excellence in Education, Volume 45(3): 525-538, Mothers, Mothering and Motherhood Across Cultural Differences (2014) Re-Emerging Native Women (2003), Bilingual Research Journal (2001), The Power of Language (2001). Colorlines (May 1999), Americanos: Latino Life in the United States (1999), Mexicanas at Work (1988), Chicano Politics after the Eighties (1988), and The Use of Social Services by Undocumented Aliens in Texas (1984).

Currently I am working on a 2-volume edited book with Dr. Devon G. Peña (University of Washington and the Acequia Insitute) to be published by the University of Arizona Press with the title:  Voces de Agua y Tierra.

Extramural Grants

The Ford Foundation supported my work to document services for Bi-national Students (i.e., immigrant students), 2003-2006, $150,000.  In this project I collaborated with a group of grassroots education advocate from Mexico and the U.S. IME-BECAS, 2014-2015 $43,000 (in collaboration with Fernanda Karp).  Juntos Podemos/IME Becas, 2015-2016 $40,000 with $40,000 match from the SJSU President's Scholarship Fund.  The SJ Mexican Consulate has awarded us $16,000 for scholarships for the 2016-2017 academic year.  CLFSA graciously pledged 15,000 as we received no campus match this year.  2017-2018 Parents Alliance, $4,400 for student scholarships.  2018-The SJ Mexican Consulate has awarded us $16,000 for scholarships for the 2018 Calendar year.

Teaching History

Before coming to SJSU I taught at both gradaute and undergraduate courses at UCLA (1988), Arizona State University (1988-1990)*, UC Berkeley (1990-1998)*, Holy Names College (1999-2000).  I was a visiting professor at York University (2003) in Toronto, Canada. (*these were tenure-track appointments).

My SJSU history, accomplishments and contributions to my department, College and University.

I joined the faculty of the Mexican American Studies Department at San José State University in 2000.  I designed and teach the core graduate seminars in Theory (MAS 210) and Methodology (MAS 275); and undergraduate courses in  Gender and Sexuality (MAS 160), Human Immigration (MAS 175), Political Economy (MAS 120),  Leadership and Advocacy (MAS 196E), and Race & Ethnicity in Public Space (MAS 30).  

 I have contributed to the department curriculum offerings by developing MAS 11 (which is now MAS 30 a GE Area D1 course), MAS 175, MAS 196 (an experimental class on leadership and advocacy), MAS 210 - the core Theory Graduate course for our department, and revamped the MAS 275 Research Methods Course.  I  successfully retained GE status for MAS 160 in Area S.  

In 2014-15 I did a good deal of the work for the proposal for the major and I developed the MAS 001-Introduction to Chicana and Chicano Studies which will serve as the introduction for our BA major. I assisted in the development of MAS 2 (Library Skills), MAS 151 (Spanish for Spanish Speakers) and MAS 152 (Theory) 007-Floklorico, and the 147-Mexican Music .  I led the work on the Program Self-Study for Program Planning in 2014 and did the preliminary work for the Department Major. I represented the department at the Undergraduate Studies Committee meetings fielding questions on our proposal.  I assisted with language for revisions requested by both the UGS and Curriculum & Research Committees. 

In 2016 I celebrated my 15th year at SJSU and was referred to as a "Millenial Professor" along with all faculty hired in 2000 at SJSU!  I am keeping that title-because it inspires me.


I served as Undergraduate Adviser for MAS from 2000-20012. I have served on various university, department and college committees (Research, Curriculum, Program Planning, RTP, etc).  From 2006 to 2012 I organized the department graduation ceremony. I am a proud senator representing the College of Social Sciences on the SJSU Academic Senate since 2015 and a member of the Organization & Development Policy Committee.  I have attended the SJSU Commencement at Spartan Stadium as greeter, hooder, and marshall every year since 2001 (my first spring at SJSU), except 2017 when I was on sabbatical.  While we were part of the College of Social Work, I attended all College Graduation Ceremonies. I was once a speaker for the December graduation of the department of Sociology invited by the students.  In 2018 I was a name reader for the SJSU Commencement at Avaya Stadium for the College of Social Sciences.

Professional Memberships and Leadership Positions Held

I am a member of  the National Association for Chicana & Chicano Studies (NACCS), the Oral History Association, and the American Sociological Association.

I am a lifetime member of the Chicano/Latino Faculty and Staff Association and have served as it's President (2010-2012), Scholarship Coordinator (2013 to present) and Ex-Oficio President (2012-2013).  With the CLFSA I coordinate the Dr. Ernesto Galarza Scholarship for SJSU continuing student activists for the Chicana/o community and transfer students primarily from SJCC and EVC.

In 2019 because of the Wang Family Excellence Award I was invited to join the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi.  

Since  2014  with support of former University Provost, Andy Feinstein I  worked on the development of our Immigrant Student Resources. I have received release time from the Exceptional Service to Students  4 semesters in support of this work.  As of spring 2018 we have an UndocuSpartan Resource Center at SJSU!