Dr. Yolanda Leyva
Former Chair of the Department of History and an Associate Professor
Liberal Arts, Rm. 311
Dr. Yolanda Chávez Leyva is a Chicana historian and writer who was born and raised on the border. She is the Former Chair of the Department of History and an Associate Professor. She has spent her life listening to and now documenting the lives of people who live on la frontera. Her life calling is that of temachtiani, Nahuatl for teacher, and she works to learn from the huehuehtlahtolli, the ancestral teachings of ancient Mexico.
Professor Leyva specializes in border history, public history, and Chicana history. She has directed various public history projects focusing on the U.S.-Mexico border over the past decade. Most recently, she served as Project Developer for “El Paso: The Other Side of the Mexican Revolution,” a groundbreaking museum exhibit on El Paso’s role in the Revolution. She is also co-directing the creation of Museo Urbano 2010, a museum that emphasizes historic buildings as artifact. In the past, she has directed an oral history project with the Socorro community and a “museum for a day” project involving UTEP graduate students and high school students as well as the creation of a website, “Border Public History.”
Dr. Leyva is currently revising a manuscript titled, Cruzando la Linea: Mexican Children on the Texas-Mexico Border, which investigates the ways in which the presence of children has shaped the border historically. She is also working on a manuscript titled Calling the Ancestors: Historical Memory, Indigenous Identity, and Chicana/o History, which explores the ways in which Chicana/os have lost, denied, and reclaimed ourselves as indigenous people from this continent. She has published numerous articles on Chicana, lesbian and border history. In addition, she has published poetry in Ixhua, La Voz de Esperanza, and Cantos al Sexto Sol.