Magdalena L. Barrera

Professor, Chicana and Chicano Studies, San José State University. Vice Provost for Faculty Success in the Office of the Provost.
Graduation Year
Dissertation Title
​ "Estamos Sumidos: Reading, Hearing and Seeing Mexican America, 1910-1941​"

Magdalena L. Barrera is the Vice Provost for Faculty Success at San José State University. In this role, she supports faculty throughout the different stages of their professional development, enabling them to meet their individual goals as well as contribute to the collective mission of SJSU. Dr. Barrera helps develop hiring strategies for tenure-line and lecturer faculty members, while supporting the provost in creating the broader faculty hiring plan for the Academic Affairs division. Critically, she establishes the direction and format of training provided for new faculty recruits, hiring committees, and retention, tenure, and promotion (RTP) committees. Prior to joining the Office of the Provost, Dr. Barrera served as Professor and Department Chair of Chicana and Chicano Studies; inaugural Director of the Ethnic Studies Collaborative in the College of Social Sciences; Faculty-in-Residence for Diversifying the Faculty in the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; and Faculty Fellow at the Chicanx/Latinx Student Success Center.

As a faculty member, Dr. Barrera taught courses in Chicanx history, literature, film, families, and comparative ethnic studies. Her research agenda spans two areas: The first focuses on the intersection of literary/visual studies and cultural history, with a focus on 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. Dr. Barrera’s work has appeared in a wide range of academic journals, edited collections, and higher education news outlets. She is currently co-authoring a guide (under contract with Duke University Press) for Latinx students who are interested in pursuing master’s and doctoral degrees in the Humanities and Social Sciences.

In addition to her Ph.D. in MTL, Dr. Barrera holds a bachelor’s degree in English and Latin American Studies from the University of Chicago. She began her faculty career at SJSU in 2008, following a postdoctoral teaching fellowship in Stanford’s Introduction to the Humanities program.