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Magdalena L. Barrera
Graduate Dissertation Fellow 2004-05, Modern Thought and Literature

Magdalena L. Barrera is Assistant Professor, Mexican American Studies at San Jose State University. Her dissertation entitled, "Domestic Drama: Visions of Mexican Families and American Identity, 1910-1941," examines how people of varying class and ethnic backgrounds use the concept and discourse of "family" to tighten (or, in some cases, to loosen) the borders of American identity in the early twentieth century. Barrera, a Ph.D. Candidate in Modern Thought and Literature at Stanford, focuses on three types of texts: literature, music and photography. Rather than provide a seamless definition of "the Mexican family," she uses an interdisciplinary framework to explore the gendered creation of "Mexican American" identity, and how it affected the notion of what it means to be "American" during this time period.