Teresa Mc Kenna

Associate Professor Emerita of English

Research & Practice Areas

(Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles, 1980) Associate Professor of English and ASE: Chicano/a and Latino/a literature; 20th century American literature and culture; ethnic American literature; gender and race.

Center, Institute & Lab Affiliations

  • Tomas Rivera Center, Postdoctoral Fellow


  • Ph.D. Comparative Literature, University of California – Los Angeles, 6/1980
  • M.A. Comparative Literature, University of California – Los Angeles, 6/1974
  • B.A. English, University of California – Los Angeles, 6/1972
    • Visiting Professor of English, University of Texas at Austin, 1983-1984
  • Tenure Track Appointments

    • Associate Professor of English, University of Southern California, 09/1979 –

    PostDoctoral Appointments

    • Visiting Professor of English, The University of Texas at Austin, 1983-1984

    Visiting and Temporary Appointments

    • Visiting Professor, The University of Kansas, 1988-1989
    • Visiting Professor of English and Chicano Fellows Program, Stanford University, 1986-1987
  • Summary Statement of Research Interests

    Professor McKenna studies 20th-century American literature, comparative literature (politics and the novel), literatures of the Americas in cross-cultural perspective, Chicano and Chicana literature of the 20th century, Third World women in literature. Throughout her career, she has researched the study of literature and cultural theory, literature and psychoanalysis, literature and politics, and gender issues.

    Chicano/Latino Studies; American Studies; Feminist Theory; Race and Representation

    Research Keywords

    chicano and latino studies, american studies, feminist theory, race and representation, literature and psychoanalysis, literature and cultural theory, gender issues

  • Conference Presentations

    • Bringing ‘Las Americas’ Back Into the American Classroom , National Council of Teachers of EnglishKeynote Lecture, Invited, University of San Francisco, 2002-2003
    • Reflections on the Chicano Movement: A Memoir , The Chicano Movement: A RetrospectiveLecture/Seminar, Invited, University of California Riverside, 2002-2003
    • The Obsidian Mirror:Claiming the Stranger’s Face in Chicano/Latino Studies Lecture/Seminar, The Department of English and Center for Mexican A, Invited, The University of Texas at Austin, Fall 1997
    • The Feast of Time:Politics and the Comic in Rolando Hinojosa’s “Klail City Death Trip Series” , The Rolando Hinojosa SymposiumLecture/Seminar, Invited, Spring 1997
    • Migrant Song: Continuity and Change in Chicana/o Literature and Art , Redescubriendo Nuestra Historia, Mexican Los Angeles, 1781-1996Lecture/Seminar, Mexican Consulate and City of Los Angeles, Invited, Los Angeles, California, Spring 1996
    • Issues in Latino/Hispanic Literature: Regionalism and Multiethnicity in U.S. Literature , American Studies InstituteLecture/Seminar, Invited, University of California Los Angeles, Spring 1994
    • Estoy Bailando: Pat Mora’s Border Aesthetics , American Literature AssociationLecture/Seminar, San Antonio, Texas, Fall 1993
    • Roses are [not] Rosas: Chicano Movement Rhetoric Counters Modernism in “The Ballad of Billy Rivera,” by Juan Gomez-Quinones , American Studies AssociationLecture/Seminar, Boston, Massachusetts, Fall 1993
    • Politics, Process and Pedagogy: Walking the Thin Line of Difference in Multicultural Theory and Practice , Conference on Ethnic StudiesLecture/Seminar, Invited, Pennsylvania State University, Spring 1993
    • The CARA Exhibition Project: A Case Study of Collaboration on the Arts , European American Studies AssociationLecture/Seminar, Seville, Spain, 1991-1992
    • Ballads and Balladeers: The Corrido Tradition and the Construction of Gendered Narrative Voice in Two Chicano Poems , Meetings of the Society for the Study of Narrative LiteratureLecture/Seminar, Nice, France, Spring 1991
    • Engendering the BorderL Towards a Chicana Aesthetic Lecture/Seminar, Invited, Stanford University, Spring 1991

    Other Presentations

    • Chicano Art Collectors Anonymous Exhibition: Perspective, Scholars Convocation, Los Angeles, California, 2000-2001
  • Administrative Appointments

    • Director, Chicano/Latino Studies, 09/2000 – 08/2004
    • Director (Iterim), Program in American Studies and Ethnicity, 2002-2003
    • Chair, Department of English, 07/1993 – 08/1998
    • Director, Chicano/Latino Studies, 09/1994 – 08/1995


    • Member, Executive Committee, Department of English, 2007-2008
  • Administative Appointment

    • Executive Committee and Editorial Committee, 09/1988 – 08/1991


    • Member, Executive Committee, Department of English, 2009-2010
    • Chair, Search Committee, Ethnic Literatures, 2007-2008
    • Member, Executive Committee, Program in American Studies and Ethnicity, 2006-2007
    • Chair, Selection Committee, Mellon Postoctoral Fellow, Spring 2007

    Conferences Organized

    • Planning Committee Member, Redescubriendo Nuestra Historia/Mexican Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, 09/1994 – 07/2000
    • Member, Planning Committee, American Studies Association, Miami , 1987-1988

    Editorships and Editorial Boards

    • Co-Editor, Aztlan: International Journal of Chicano Studies, 09/1970 – 09/1985

    Professional Memberships

    • American Studies Association, 09/2006 – 09/2009

    Review Panels

    • Ford Foundation, Humanities Panel, 09/1990 – 06/2004

    Reviewer for Publications

    • SIGNS, Chicana/Latina literature, 1988-1989
    • PMLA, Modern Language Association, Chicano/Latino Literature, 09/1988 – 07/1989
    • The Norton Anthology of American Literature, The Modern Language Association, Chicano/Latino Literature, 1987-1988

    Media, Alumni, and Community Relations

    • Board of Directors, Latino Museum of History, Art and Culture, 09/1999 – 09/2005
    • Scholar Consultant, “!Chicano!” A Documentary History of the Chicano Movement, 09/1993 – 06/1996
    • Chair, Executive Committee, CARA: Chicano Art, Resistance and Affirmation, An Interpretive Exhibition of Chicano Art, 09/1988 – 07/1990

    Other Service to the Profession

    • Ford Foundation Liaison,