Graduate Director Message


Professor Michelle Hall Kells
Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies, Director Graduate Studies

Director of Graduate Studies Welcome Message:

¡Bienvenidos! Greetings!

Welcome to Chicana and Chicano Studies! Our faculty, staff, and students welcome you to the Chicana and Chicano Studies family here at UNM, a vibrant network extending more than fifty years across diverse intellectual operating spaces, disciplinary frameworks, and discourse communities.  Our story reaches across transcultural, transnational, transdisciplinary, transracial, transgendered, and translingual boundaries in New Mexico and throughout the Southwest region where we share our querencia and acknowledge the indigenous ancestry of this land that is our institutional home at UNM:

Founded in 1889, the University of New Mexico sits on the traditional homelands of the Pueblo of Sandia. The original peoples of New Mexico – Pueblo, Navajo, and Apache – since time immemorial, have deep connections to the land and have made significant contributions to the broader community statewide. We honor the land itself and those who remain stewards of this land throughout the generations and also acknowledge our committed relationship to Indigenous peoples. We gratefully recognize our history.  

The Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies seeks to support, inspire, and cultivate transformative leadership across academic, professional, and civic spheres through transrhetorical and transgenre curricula and community-engaged opportunities. Chicana and Chicano Studies begins and ends in community. As defined by our faculty and students:

Chicanx Studies is a field that critically examines the social, political, economic and cultural conditions of Mexican, Mexican American, Hispanics, Chicanx, Latinx, Indigenous and AfroLatinx communities in the hemisphere. As a field grounded in social movements and community struggles, scholars analyze the historical and contemporary experiences of Chicanx/Latinx communities to establish methods, theories and practices that support just and dignified and ways of living.

Our CCS faculty represent a rich constellation of scholars, artists, poets, film makers, activists, writers, leaders, and teachers dedicated to mentoring and supporting our students in envisioning their futures, defining their needs, and reaching their goals. We share a commitment to educating new Chicana and Chicano leaders in law, education, medicine, public health, government, business, architecture, community planning, art, music, engineering, etc. to serve our communities locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally.  


                                                                                                                                                     Dr. Michelle Hall Kells

                                                                                                                                                     Director Graduate Studies