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Elena Avilés
Elena Avilés

Dr. Avilés joined the faculty at PSU in 2014 as an Assistant Professor of Chicano/Latino Studies. She earned a Ph.D. in Hispanic Languages and Literatures (2014) and M.A. in Spanish (2008) at the University of New Mexico (UNM). Her research brings new insights to the study of contemporary U.S. Latina/o and Chicana/o cultural produciton with over a decade of experience in higher education focusing on issues related to the humanities. She has had the opportunity to develop programs and academic initiatives focusing on issues related to U.S. Spanish and Spanish as a heratige language. Her teaching and research are informed by the fields of feminist, gender, and ethnic studies as well as by the literary and visual arts. Her teaching interests cover various topics related to Chicano/Latino literature and Chicana feminist politics across art and literature as they relate to new work in urban humanities. She uses the humanities as praxis to engage students in transnational/global exchanges and with the histories and cultures of US women of color. She is currently eleaboration upon the artistic and literary work by Chicanas drawing from feminism, ethnography, and critical heritage studies to theorize how women construct a verbal and visual signifier of poer in the figure of La Malinche.