C. Alejandra Elenes earned her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She joined the ASU faculty in 1992 and has spent her academic career conducting research, teaching and volunteering her service on the university's West campus.
Dr. Elenes describes her research as centering on the application of borderland theories to study the relationship between Chicana cultural productions and knowledge as they relate to pedagogy and epistemology. The focus on borderland theories allows her to develop multilayered methodologies that examine and provide understanding to the complex interrelationship between Chicanas' everyday cultural practices and how these can be interpreted as transformative feminist pedagogies and epistemologies. In this vein she studies the pedagogies and epistemologies represented in feminist interpretations of La Virgen de Guadalupe, Malinche/Malintzin, and La Llorona.
Additionally, Dr. Elenes is interested in examining the experiences of Chicanas in women's studies as well as the contributions of Chicana feminist thought to the development of intersectionality models and transnational feminism in women's studies.
Her book Transforming Borders: Chicana/o Popular Culture and Pedagogy was published by Lexington Books (2011).
She is co-editor of "Chicana/Latina Education in Everyday Life: Feminista Perspectives on Pedagogy and Epistemology," published by SUNY Press and winner of the 2006 American Educational Studies Association book critics' award. She has completed a book manuscript, "Transforming Borders: Chicana/o Popular Culture and Pedagogy."
Other recent publications include the chapter "Continuity and Change in Women's Studies Programs: One Step Forward, Two Steps Backward" in "The Evolution of American Women's Studies: Reflections on Triumphs, Controversies, and Change," along with the co-authored "Latina/o Education and the Reciprocal Relationship between Theory and Practice: Four Theories Informed by the Experiential Knowledge of Marginalized Communities" in the "Handbook of Latinos and Education."
Dr. Elenes teaches courses including "Race, Class, and Gender," "Latina/Chicana Representation," "Pro-Seminar Theory and Methods in Women's Studies," as well as courses in New College's Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies (MAIS) program.