Dr. Alicia Gaspar de Alba

California, United States

Member Since: 09/29/2012

A professor, founding faculty member, and former chair of the UCLA César E. Chávez Department of Chicana/o Studies, and former Chair of the LGBTQ Studies Program (2013-2019), Alicia Gaspar de Alba holds a PhD in American Studies and has taught at UCLA since 1994, proud to have mentored several generations of “bad” queer Chicana/o writers, teachers, artists, performers, and activist scholars. 


Gaspar has published 12 books. Her most recent book of fiction is The Curse of the Gypsy: Ten Stories and a Novella(2018). Her most recent academic book, [Un]Framing the "Bad Woman": Sor Juana, Malinche, Coyolxauhqui and Other Rebels with a Cause(2014), is a collection of twenty years of scholarly essays that examine the "bad woman" stereotype in Chicana/o and Mexicana/o culture—the bad mother/daughter/sister. She has also published three novels, two collections of poetry, and an award-winning short story collection. Her creative writing has been translated into Spanish, German Italian, and French. Her novel, Sor Juana’s Second Dream(1999)—a Chicana lesbian interpretation of the life of Mexico’s “tenth muse,” the 17th-century nun/poet/scholar Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz-- has been adapted to play, opera, and screenplay. In Fall 2019, the two-act opera adaption will premiere at UCLA. There is also a forthcoming movie adaptation starring Ana de la Reguera as Sor Juana.






Gaspar de Alba has received numerous awards for both her scholarly work and creative writing. She received a Poetry Award from the Massachusetts Artists Foundation in 1989; the Ralph Henry Gabriel American Studies Association Award for Best Dissertation in 1994; Premio Aztlán for Emerging Chicana/o Fiction Writers for her short story collection, The Mystery of Survival and Other Storiesin 1994; in 1999, the Rockefeller Fellowship for Latino/a Study at the Smithsonian; in 2005, her mystery novel, Desert Blood: The Juárez Murderswon both a Lambda Literary Foundation Award for Best Lesbian Novel and a Latino Book Award for Best Mystery in English; in 2008, the UCLA Gold Shield Faculty Award for Academic Excellence; and in 2015, [Un]Framing the "Bad Woman" won the Book Award of the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education (AAHHE).






Originally from the El Paso/Juárez border, Gaspar lives in Los Angeles, California with her wife, digital artist and muralist Alma López, their daughter, Azul, two cats—Ruby and Luna—and two dogs—Penelope and Lucy. 



Website: www.aliciagaspardealba.net

Twitter Username: @LaProfe


  • Sor Juana's Second Dream , University of New Mexico Press (March 1999)
  • Desert Blood: The Juarez Murders , Arte Publico Press (March 2005)
  • Calligraphy of the Witch , Arte Publico Press (November 2012)
  • La Llorona on the Longfellow Bridge: poetry y otras movidas, 1985-2001 , Arte Publico Press (August 2003)
  • The Mystery of Survival , Bilingual Review/Press (March 1993)
  • Chicano Art Inside/Outside the Master's House: Cultural Politics and the CARA Exhibition , University of Texas Press (February 1998)


  • Lambda Literary Foundation Award for Best Lesbian Mystery(2005)
  • Latino Book Award for Best Spanish Language Mystery(2009)
  • Latino Book Award for Best English Language Mystery(2005)
  • Premio Aztlan for Emerging Chicana/o Fiction(1994)
  • Massachusetts Artists Foundation Award in Poetry(1989)


  • Professor of Chicana/o Studies, English, Gender Studies at UCLA (July 1994 - )


  • Doctoral Degree in American Studies from University of New Mexico (May 1994)
  • Master of Arts in English-Creative Writing from University of Texas at El Paso (December 1983)
  • Bachelor of Arts in English from University of Texas at El Paso (December 1980)

Genres of Interest

Fiction, Screenwriting, Children's literature , Poetry