Associate Professor


  • Role:

  • Position:

    • Associate Professor
  • Department:

    • Ethnic Studies
  • Education:

    • B.A. Rutgers University, New Brunswick, M.A. University of California, Berkeley, Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley


RESEARCH: Food Justice; Afro-Caribbean Diaspora and Feminism(s)

TEACHING: ETST 520 Race and U.S. Social Movements, WS 495 Independent Studies, ETST 411 Black Feminism(s), ETST 405 Ethnicity, Class, and Gender in the U.S., ETST 371 The Modern Caribbean, ETST 354 A Century of Black Cinema, ETST 205 Ethnicity and the Media, ETST 100 Introduction to Ethnic Studies

Karina Lissette Cespedes was born in Havana, Cuba and migrated with her family to the U.S in 1980. She grew up in the port city of Elizabeth, New Jersey and received her B.A. in Puerto Rican and Hispanic Caribbean Studies and English from Rutgers University. She received her M.A and Ph.D in Ethnic Studies from U.C Berkeley. Her research and writing is dedicated to the study of U.S. Women of Color feminist praxis as well as Cuban tourism and sex work. Some of her work has been published in the collections A Window into Cuban and Cuban American Studies (2010) and Technofuturos: Critical Interventions in Latina/o Studies (2007), as well as in the journal Callaloo: A Journal of African Diasporic Arts and Letters(2007), the anthologies This Bridge We Call Home... (2003) and Tortilleras: An anthology of Queer Latinas and Performance(2002).


Selected Publications:

Edited Journals Issues

Co-Authored with Shona Jackson. 2007. Callaloo: A Journal of African Diaspora Arts and Letters (20th anniversary issue). Vol. 30, No.1. John Hopkins University Press.

Refereed Chapters in Books

Cespedes, Karina. 2010. “Runaway Jineteras and Addicted Pingueros: the Narrative Crafting of Special Period Heroes and Devients.” In: A Window into Cuba and Cuban Studies. Eds. The UC-Cuba Academic Initiative: Amalia Cabezas, Rodigo Lazo, et al,.. Ediciones Callejon. Pp.77-106.

Cespedes, Karina. 2007. Talking Across Latinidades: Disidentificatory Feminism in El Mundo Zurdo. In: Technofuturos: Critical Interventions in Latina/o Studies, edited by Nancy Mirabal. New York: Lexington Press. Pp.101-116.

Cespedes, K., 2003, "Cuban Bomberas on Stage: Carmelita Tropicana at the Feet of Madness, Fate, and the State." In:Tortilleras: An Anthology of Queer Latinas and Performance, edited by Lourdes Torres. Temple University Press.

Co-Authored: Sarah Cervenak, Karina Cespedes, Andrea Straub and Caridad Souza. 2002. “Imagining Differently: Rethinking The Politics of Listening in a Feminist Classroom.” In: This Bridge We Call Home: Radical Visions for Transformations. Eds.Gloria Anzaldua and Ann Louise Keating. Routledge. Pp. 341-356.


Refereed Journal Articles

Cespedes, Karina. 2011. “A Call to Action, Spiritual Activism… an inevitable unfolding.” In: Bridging: How and Why Gloria E. Anzaldúa’s Life and Work has Transformed Our Own, Ed. AnaLouis Keating. Austin: University of Texas Press.

Cespedes, K., 2008, Cuban Tourism: Sex and Displacement. Phoebe: Journal of Gender and Cultural Critique. Vol. 19, No. 2, Spring 2008. Pp. 1-17.

Cespedes, Karina.2007. “Spam in the Cuban Ajiaco.” Callaloo: A Journal of African Diaspora Arts and Letters. Vol. 30, No.1 Spring 2007. John Hopkins University Press. Pp.71-74.

Cespedes, Karina and Martha Arevalo Duffield. 2002. A Report on Practicing Transgression: 20 years after “This Bridge.”Meridians: feminism, race, transnationalism. Vol.3, No.1 pp.125-132.

Co-Authored: Mattie Richardson, Karina Cespedes, Yolanda Venegas and Lettie Rossi. 2001. Twenty Years After This Bridge… a revised Bibliography. This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color. 3rd Edition. Third Woman Press: Berkeley. Pp.288-330.

Manuscripts Accepted for Publication (in press)

Co-authored: Cespedes, Karina and Paul Taylor. 2013 “¿Tienes Culo? How to Look at Vida Guerra.” In: Beauty Unlimited. Ed. Peg Zeglin Brand. Indiana University Press.