Carnegie Mellon University

Kenya C. Dworkin y Méndez

Kenya C. Dworkin y Méndez

Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies with a Courtesy Appointment in English

341 Posner Hall
Department of Modern Languages
Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Education: Ph.D University of California, Berkeley (1994) Hispanic Literatures and LInguistics. MA University of Hawaii, Manoa (1986) Spanish; BA University of Hawaii (1985) Spanish.


I was born in Havana, Cuba, raised in New York City, and 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,” “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 a Spanish-language, community affairs radio program, Barrio Latino, here in the city. I also recently 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, Cincinnati, OH (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