Photo of Jennie Luna
Associate Professor: Chicana/o Studies

Contact Information


B.A. Chicana/o Studies-Third World College, U.C. Berkeley, 1999
B.A. Mass Communications, U.C. Berkeley, 1999
Ed.M. Philosophy of Education, Teachers College, Columbia University, 2001
M.A. Native American Studies, U.C. Davis, 2006
Ph.D. Native American Studies, U.C. Davis, 2012


Dr. Jennie Luna was born and raised in East San José, California. Granddaughter/Daughter of migrant farm workers and cannery workers, she is first in her family to attend and graduate college. She received her undergraduate degree in Chicana/o Studies under the "unaffiliated" designation, as it represented a product of the 1969 Third World Liberation Front, as well as her simultaneous B.A. in Mass Communications. She received her Masters in Education from Teachers College, Columbia University and her Ph.D. in Native American Studies from U.C. Davis. She has been teaching Chicana/o Studies and Native American Studies for over ten years at various institutions including U.C. Davis, Mills College, DeAnza College, San José State University, and New Mexico State University. Currently, she is an Assistant Professor in Chicana/o Studies at California State University, Channel Islands since Fall 2014.

Dr. Luna’s research focuses on the contemporary history of Danza Mexica/Azteca tradition and its impact on Xicana Indígena identity formation. As a danzante for over twenty years, Dr. Luna presents an ethnographic perspective and addresses the diaspora of Danza in the U.S. She is interested in notions of cultural consciousness as a tool for decolonization and healing, especially amongst transnational Indigenous Mexican migrant communities.

Dr. Luna’s research incorporates Nahuatl language study, representations of Indigeneity, and the role of women in the Intercontinental and global Indigenous movements. As a practicing doula/labor assistant, her other research interests include Indigenous women’s reproductive rights, traditional birthing methods and reproductive justice. Her work has been published in Border-Lines: Journal of Latino Research Center at the University of Nevada, Reno, and Diálogo: Center for Latino Research, DePaul University in Chicago. This latter piece, entitled, “La Tradición Conchera: The Historical Process of Danza and Catholicism” was recently awarded the 2014 Antonia I. Castañeda Prize at the National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies. She has worked as both scholar and community organizer in California and New York City as co-organizer of La Red Xicana Indígena international network and co-founder of Cetiliztli Nauhcampa Quetzalcoatl Danza circle.

Dr. Luna is proud owner of a Xoloizcuintli dog named Yolotzin and enjoys taking her for walks on the beach. She also promotes and centers on a decolonized diet, honoring body, mind, and spirit. She enjoys cooking Indigenous foods and learning about sacred medicines and herbs used for healing.

Representative Courses Taught

  • CHS 100 Chicanas/os in Contemporary Society
  • CHS 331 Transborder Perspectives
  • CHS 343 Health Issues in the Latina/o Community
  • CHS 491 Theoretical Foundations of Chicana/o Studies
  • CHS 383 Chicana/o Latina/o Identity and Empowerment
  • CHS 352 Aztec Dance and Culture



Danza Mexica/Azteca Scholarship, Nahuatl Language and Nahua Culture, Xicana Indigena Identity and Spiritualities, Hemispheric Indigenous Studies, Reproductive Justice, Decolonial Knowledges and Scholarship

Additional Teaching and Research Information