Carnegie Mellon University

Kenya C. Dworkin y Méndez

Kenya C. Dworkin y Méndez

Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies with a Courtesy Appointment in English

Department of Languages, Cultures & Applied Linguistics
4980 Margaret Morrison St
Posner Hall 341
Pittsburgh, PA 15213


Ph.D, Hispanic Literatures and Linguistics, University of California, Berkeley
M.A., Spanish, University of Hawaii, Manoa
B.A., Spanish, University of Hawaii


I was born in Havana, Cuba, and raised in New York City. I have been a professor of Hispanic studies at Carnegie Mellon University since August 1993. My Ph.D. is from the University of California, Berkeley; my research interests include Cuban, U.S. Latino and Latin American Jewish and Sephardic literary and cultural studies. I am currently completing Cuban to the Core: How Performance, Politics, and Place-Making Shaped the Future of Cuba in South Florida, 1886-1960. My books include Spanish and Empire, En otra voz: Antología de la literatura hispana de los Estados Unidos and Herencia: The Anthology of U.S. Latino Literature in the United States. Among my most recent articles are “Latin Place Making in the Late 19th & Early 20th Centuries: Cuban Émigrés and their Transnational Impact in Tampa, FL”; and “Tablas sin fronteras: ‘leyendo a Cuba’ en el teatro cubano de Tampa en los 1920” and “Language & the Promised Land: Passage & Migration to a 'Third Place.”

In Pittsburgh, in addition to being a faculty member at CMU, I am currently the executive director of Coro Latinoamericano and its CORITO children’s choir, co-president of the Latin American Cultural Union, and a writer and co-anchor for the Spanish-language, community affairs radio program Barrio Latino in Pittsburgh. I also served for two years on the Development Committee of the Casa San Jose’s Board of Directors and co-founded a Hispanic children’s outreach program CIRCULO, with two CMU colleagues, in 2007.

  • Cuban Studies
  • Latino Studies
  • Sephardic Studies
  • Translation
  • Community-based Teaching and Research
  • Diaspora Crossings and Contested Identities in AfricAmérica
  • Transformative Learning through Cross-Cultural Analysis
  • Translation Workshop I
  • Studies in Spanish & Latin American Literature & Culture: Colonialism & collateral damage in the Hispanic Caribbean: A comparative view of Cuba and Puerto Rico.
  • Contemporary Latin American Texts: Revision, Rewriting and Representation.
  • The Mark Gelfand Award for Educational Outreach, 2011
  • Outstanding Role Model, Pan-Hellenic Council, Carnegie Mellon, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008
  • Fellow, Jacob Marcus Rader Center, American Jewish Archives, 2004
  • “Working Group on Cuban Deliberative Democracy: Capacity Building for Independent Cuban Civic Leaders and Practitioners of Deliberative Democracy.” National Endowment for Democracy. Washington, D.C. (2018).
  • “One Book at a Time: Reading, Identity, and Social Competence for Latino Children & Youth in Beechview.” Pittsburgh Foundation (2018).
  • Co-President, Latin American Cultural Union
  • Executive Director, Coro Latinoamericano-Pittsburgh
  • Founder and President, CubaCivica
  • Co-Founder, Círculo Juvenil de Cultura
  • Member, Editorial Board, Latinx Pasados: A Journal of Recovering the US Hispanic Literary Heritage Project (and several others)
  • (2018). "Latin Place Making in the Late 19th & Early 20th Centuries: Cuban Émigrés and their Transnational Impact in Tampa, FL.” In ELN: Latinx Lives in a Hemispheric Context (Spring 2018): 124-142.
  • (2018). “Los retos del foto activismo y su traslado, traducción e interpretación: Una mirada privilegiada hacia Cuba Profunda con Juan Antonio Madrazo.” In Voces del Caribe 10: 1: 539-588.
  • (2019). “Círculo Juvenil de Cultura: A Ten-Year Experiment in Service Learning and Community Engagement.” In Languages in Communities (Routledge): 153-72 (With Mariana Achugar & Felipe Gómez).
  • (2002). "En otra voz: antología histórica de la literatura hispana en los Estados Unidos." (Eds.) Nicolás Kanellos with Kenya C. Dworkin y Méndez et al. Houston: Arte Público Press.
  • (2001). "Herencia: A Historical Anthology of U. S. Hispanic Literature." (Eds.) Nicolás Kanellos, Kenya C. Dworkin y Méndez et al. Oxford University Press.

Department Member Since 1993