Karen Mary Davalos is Professor of Chicano and Latino Studies at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. She has published widely on Chicana/o art, spirituality, and museums.

Among her distinctions in the field, she is the only scholar to have written two books on Chicana/o museums, Exhibiting Mestizaje: Mexican (American) Museums in the Diaspora (University of New Mexico Press, 2001) and The Mexican Museum of San Francisco Papers, 1971-2006 (The Chicano Archives, vol. 3, UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center Press, 2010, the Second Place winner of the International Latino Book Award for Best Reference Book in English).

Her research and teaching interests in Chicana feminist scholarship, spirituality, art, exhibition practices, and oral history are reflected in her book, Yolanda M. López, (UCLA CSRC Press with distribution by University of Minnesota Press, 2008), the recipient of two book awards: 2010 Honorable Mention from the National Association of Chicana and Chicano Studies and 2009 Honorable Mention from International Latino Book Awards (Nonfiction, Arts–Books in English).

As lead coeditor of Chicana/Latina Studies: The Journal of Mujeres Activas en Letras y Cambio Social (2003-2009), she revitalized the journal from its earlier incarnation of Voces into the only interdisciplinary, flagship, peer-review journal of a Latina/o professional organization.

She serves on the Board of Directors of Self Help Graphics and Art, the oldest Chicana/o – Latina/o arts organization in Southern California. Her latest book, Chicana/o Remix: Art and Errata since the Sixties is due in July 2017. It is informed by life history interviews with eighteen artists, a decade of ethnographic research in southern California, and archival research examining fifty years of Chicana/o art in Los Angeles since 1963.

She was an executive member of the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center’s advisory committee, L.A. Xicano, an initiative of the Getty Foundation Pacific Standard Time, which produced six Chicana/o art exhibitions in one season. Her research contributed to three of these exhibitions. In 2017, she will contribute to three Pacific Standard Time exhibitions, including the solo exhibition of Gilbert “Magu” Sanchez Lújan’s work at the University of California, Irvine. In 2012 she received the President’s Award for Art and Activism from the Women’s Caucus for Art.

Educational Background & Specialties
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Educational Background

  • B.A.: Anthropology and Drama, Stanford University
  • M.A.: Anthropology, Stanford University
  • Ph.D.: Cultural Anthropology, Yale University


  • Chicana/o art and culture; Latina/o spirituality; museum studies; midwestern Latino ethnography; oral history and the archive; feminist theory and editorial praxis; community-based learning and decolonial methods; arts organizations and artist collecti...