Cristina Serna

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Cristina Serna

Assistant Professor of Women's Studies

Department/Office Information

Women's Studies, LGBTQ Studies
120B East Hall


I am a transborder scholar with interests in queer Chicana, Mexicana, and Latin American transborder activism and art. Through my research I examine the cultural, aesthetic, and political practices of feminist and queer artists within 20th and 21st century U.S. Latina/o and Latin American social movements. 

My specialties include Chicana/ Latina visual and performance art, U.S. Latina and Latin American feminisms, transnational gender and sexuality studies, transnational and decolonial feminisms, including Xicana indigenous feminisms.

I hold a Ph.D. and M.A. in Chicana and Chicano Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara, a Master of Arts in Teaching and a B.A. in History from Occidental College. As a bi-nationally trained scholar, I was a UC MEXUS Fellow and Visiting Scholar in Gender Studies at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM). I also completed a Specialization in Mexican Art History through UNAM’s Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas.

My interest in queer Chicana/Latina feminist art activism grows out of my work as a founding member of various queer women of color organizations in Los Angeles. While living and studying in Mexico City I became interested in documenting the transborder networks and archives that connect queer Chicana and Mexican lesbian feminist artivists across the border.

  • PhD, Chicana and Chicano Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara, 2014  
  • MA, Chicana and Chicano Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara, 2007  
  • Master of Arts in Teaching, Occidental College, 2000 
  • BA, History, Occidental College, 1998
  • Introduction to Women’s Studies
  • Feminist Methodologies: Theory & Praxis
  • Queer Latina Visualities: Art, Theory, and Resistance
  • Communities & Identities: Mexico
  • Biography and Autobiography in Chicana/Latina Cultural Production
  • Women of Color: Race, Class, Ethnicity
  • Chicana Art and Feminism
  • U.S. Third World feminisms, decolonial feminisms
  • Feminist & queer methodologies, Chicana, Latina, & Latin American feminisms
  • Queer Chicana Latina  art 
  • Transborder cultural studies
  • Colgate University Research Council, Major Grant, 2017-2018
  • UC MEXUS Dissertation Research Grant, 2012
  • Humanities and Social Science Research Grant, 2012
  • Graduate Research Mentorship Fellowship, 2010-2011
  • National Science Foundation UC DIGSSS Summer Research Fellowship, 2010
  • Graduate Opportunity Fellowship, 2006-2007
  • “It’s Not About the Virgins in my Life, Its About the Life in my Virgins,” in Our Lady of Controversy: Alma López’s Irreverent Apparition, Alicia Gaspar de Alba and Alma López, eds. University of Texas Press, Chicana Matters Series, April 2011:165-194.


  • “Locating A Transborder Archive of Queer Chicana Feminist and Mexican Lesbian Feminist Art,” Feminist Formations, (forthcoming, 2017).


  • “Decolonial Aesthetics in Mexican and Xicana Fiber Art: The Art of Consuelo Jiménez Underwood and Georgina Santos,” book chapter for Consuelo Jiménez UnderwoodArt, Weaving and Vision, Laura E. Pérez, ed. (under review).

Deconstructing the Nation: Queer and Feminist Art in Mexican and Chicana/o Social Movements.

In my present book manuscript, Deconstructing the Nation: Queer and Feminist Art in Mexican and Chicana/o Social Movements, I use ethnography, artist interviews, archival research, and visual analyses to examine the interventions made by queer Chicana feminist and Mexican lesbian feminist artists in post-1960s social movements. In addition to analyzing visual art, performance, and literature by contemporary Mexican and Chicana artists, I examine transnational encuentros that link U.S. Latina and Latin American art and activist communities across the border. This book also investigates the artistic influence that Chicana feminist art has exerted in Mexico in order to chart the course of transborder cultural exchanges that flow in multiple directions across the border thus challenging the idea that postcolonial/decolonial cultural practices can be understood as geographically bounded and separate cultural, political and economic entities.