Photo of Julia Balén

Julia Balén

Professor, English

Contact Information

Education

Ph.D. Comparative Cultural and Literary Studies, The University of Arizona, 1993

Biography

Julia Balén came to CSUCI from the University of Arizona where she served as Associate Director of the BA and MA programs in Women's Studies. During her tenure she worked with others to develop strong MA and internship/service learning programs as well as an innovative concentration in Chicana Studies. She was also principle investigator on a faculty/curriculum development grant funded by the Ford Foundation through the Institute for Public Media Arts to produce a year-long, team-taught course that addressed oppressive practices and issues of diversity through a combination of theory, experiential learning, and video production. The course, "Crossing Boundaries: Diversity and Representation," engaged cultural, critical race, and feminist theories with creative writing and video production. Since 2011 she has worked with students in her LGBT Studies class to bring research on bullying to local community leaders through and annual Anti-Bullying Summit (video link below).

She earned her Ph.D. in Comparative Cultural and Literary Studies from the University of Arizona with a focus on embodiment and power relations and has published numerous articles on topics ranging from feminist humor to activism and pedagogy. She currently has two projects in different stages of development: a collection of essays on the central project of Monique Wittig's work, "Annulling Gender," and a study of the LGBTIQ choral movement, "A Queerly Joyful Noise." Her areas of specialization include twentieth and twenty-first-century world literature, feminist studies, post-colonial philosophy, activism and social change, sexuality and gender studies.

Trained in facilitation and mediation processes, she combines this practice with the research she has done on engaging differences productively--to see their differences as a source of vitality. Currently she is proud to be working as a Faculty Lead on Project ISLAS an HSI initiative. She consults in the community and nationally with organizations interested in social justice that want to better align their decision-processes with their ideals. (See Liberating Group Wisdom link below).

Before and during the process of earning her degrees she worked as a carpenter, building everything from furniture and cabinets to houses and apartment complexes, and teaching carpentry skills to women and underprivileged teens. But the job she loved best--besides teaching--was delivering singing telegrams.

Representative Courses Taught

  • ENGL 349 Multicultural Literature
  • ENGL 432 Arts of the Harlem Renaissance
  • GEND 433 Intro to LGBT Studies
  • ENGL 354 Studies in Cultural Literature
  • GEND XXX Soon: courses in Freedom and Justice Studies

Scholarship

Keywords

twentieth and twenty-first-century world literature, feminist studies, post-colonial philosophy, activism and social change, sexuality and gender studies

Additional Teaching and Research Information