Cindy Chavez Swenson is a first-generation academic, born and raised in Santa Clara, CA, a child of Mexican immigrants, whose research focuses on urban education and medical humanities.
Chavez Swenson received her doctorate from the University of Southern California in Urban Education Leadership, with an emphasis in Educational Psychology. Her dissertation focused on analyzing the International Science Fair STEM, STEAM, and STEM-I curricula and the impact of multinational corporations (MNCs) and globalization within disenfranchised and underserved communities in Costa Rica and Brazil.
Additionally, she received a graduate degree from Universidad Autonoma de Madrid in cultural studies and North American philology, having also completed the double-MA program at Saint Louis University (Madrid Campus) in English (Research). There, she analyzed thinkers like Trinh Minh-ha, Cathy Caruth, Jacques Derrida, and Ruth Bienstock Anolik and how feminism, trauma and disability studies explain how societal différance (Derrida) often stand in for trauma to the embodied self. Only by understanding how stereotypes of the marginalized body serve to support the primacy of the norm can society establish a new writing voice for marginalized groups.
The initial foundation to her scholastic endeavors began while completing her BA in modern literature and journalism at the University of California, Santa Cruz, a community college transfer student, where she did a year abroad at the University College of London, and wrote two senior theses on patriarchal binaries and toxic masculinity: Orpheus and Eurydice: The Lyre vs. The Liar and I don’t just eat rice and beans: Latina Stereotypes within 100 years of American films.
Having taught first-year composition for over 17 years, including in South Korea and Spain, her passion for enhancing studies in feminist disability theory, trauma theory, and medical humanities by creating a new theoretical writing voice is indeed a passion Chavez Swenson shares in her courses.