Barrera, Magdalena L.

Barrera, Magdalena L.




Preferred: (408) 924-2405


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


Dr. Magdalena L. Barrera is Professor of Chicana and Chicano Studies at San José State University. Hailing from the Midwest, she received a B.A. in English Literature and Latin American Studies from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in Modern Thought and Literature from Stanford University. Dr. Barrera joined SJSU in 2008 after a postdoctoral teaching fellowship in Stanford’s Introduction to the Humanities program. Her teaching interests include Chicanx history, literature, and film.

Dr. Barrera has two areas of research: The first focuses on the intersection of literary/visual studies and cultural history; she is interested in how Mexican Americans are represented in early twentieth century American literature, music, photography, and government publications. The second area centers on the experiences of historically underserved students and faculty in institutions of higher education. An experienced speaker and workshop facilitator, she provides programming at SJSU, local universities, and national organizations on academic resilience and applying to graduate school for undergraduates and on navigating the tenure and promotion process for junior faculty.

A first-generation scholar and former Mellon-Mays Undergraduate Fellow, Dr. Barrera spent the 2011-2012 academic year in Texas on a research fellowship, thanks to the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation's Junior Faculty Career Enhancement Fellowship. An avid photographer, lifelong bookworm, and dog lover, she enjoys traveling the world with her husband, most recently visiting India, Peru, Bolivia, Australia, Spain, and Portugal.

Dr. Barrera is currently serving in the role of Vice Provost for Faculty Success in the Office of the Provost. In that capacity, she supports all faculty through each stage of their professional development, enabling them to meet their individual goals, as well as contribute to the collective mission of San José State.