Barrera, Magdalena L.

Barrera, Magdalena L.

Associate Professor and Minor Advisor, Mexican American Studies




Preferred: (408) 924-5583

Office Hours

Mondays 10:00-11:45am; Tuesdays 2:00-4:00pm; and by appointment.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, Modern Thought and Literature, Stanford University, 2006
  • Bachelor of Arts, English (with Honors) and Latin American Studies, University of Chicago, 1997


Magdalena L. Barrera is an Associate Professor of Mexican American Studies at San Jose State University. She received a B.A. in English Literature and Latin American Studies from the University of Chicago (1997), and a Ph.D. in Modern Thought in Literature from Stanford University (2006). Magdalena joined SJSU after a postdoctoral fellowship in Stanford’s Introduction to the Humanities program, where she taught first-year students everything from seventeenth-century political philosophy to twenty-first century opera, and literary works from Beowulf to Beloved. She currently teaches courses in Chicana/o history, literature, film, comparative ethnic studies, and public speaking.

Magdalena situates her research at the intersection of literary/visual studies and cultural history; her primary agenda is the textual recovery of Mexican American experiences in the early twentieth century, particularly around narratives of immigration, citizenship, gender and cultural adaptation. Her essays and reviews have appeared in Journal of Latinos and Education, Aztlan: A Journal of Chicano Studies, Bilingual Review, Women's Studies, Revista Camino Real, and Sexualities in History: A Reader. She was honored to serve as the first Faculty Coordinator for SJSU’s Division of Interdisciplinary Race and Gender Studies. Magdalena is a former Mellon-Mays Undergraduate Fellow and spent the 2011-2012 academic year on a research sabbatical, thanks to a Junior Faculty Career Enhancement Fellowship through the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation.