Barrera, Magdalena L.

Barrera, Magdalena L.




Preferred: (408) 924-5583

Office Hours

Tuesdays 9:00 - 11:40am 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 Professor and Department Chair of Chicana and Chicano Studies at San José State University. Hailing from suburban Chicago, Illinois, 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. Magdalena 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.

Magdalena 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 teaching and mentoring of historically underserved students and faculty in institutions of higher education. An experienced speaker and workshop facilitator, she frequently facilitates programming for undergraduates on academic resilience and applying to graduate school and for junior faculty on navigating the tenure and promotion process.

Magdalena is a first-generation scholar and a former Mellon-Mays Undergraduate Fellow. She spent the 2011-2012 academic year in Austin, 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.