“How do we look at the past? How do we look at all types of literature canon that is out there? You go out there and read it,” said Dr. David Barrera, assistant professor for English at California State University, Bakersfield. These words may sound familiar or just like plain common sense, but they resonate deeper with every page one decides to turn.
Barrera joined the Arts and Humanities department faculty at CSUB this Fall, 2023, teaching lower and upper-division courses in Ethnic literature, Chicano literature, and literature of women of color and children’s literature. Hailing from El Centro in Southern California, Barrera’s path of studies has been extensive, commencing from El Centro to Long Beach, UC Davis, and now, Bakersfield, California.
Aubrianna Martinez, a senior English major, is currently enrolled in two of Barrera’s classes. “In class, there is always a rational and sound answer to whatever question we may have. These courses have literature that can be very ambiguous and subjective, so there is hardly a yes or no answer. He’s is really great about understanding the literal aspects and the extra layers of texts in our material,” said Martinez.
Monica Ayuso, professor of Ethnic and World Literature, was on the panel interviewing prospective instructors. “Dr. David Barrera was one of twelve candidates chosen in an international search. The announcement was placed in universities throughout the United States, and candidates had to have a Ph.D. by the time classes started in the Fall,” said Ayuso.
“I got into teaching out of a desire to make a change in students learning and literacy. As I first generation student, I always aspired to become an educator myself and help students gain essential skills in reading and writing. I want to strive to include all students, from different cultural backgrounds to be included in the lessons I teach in my classes,” said Barrera.
There are many cultural similarities and cultural differences from all around the world. Reading into literature and comprehending these subjects requires an open mind and willingness to understand various perspectives. These qualities that Dr. Barrera encompasses and will undoubtedly integrate into the CSUB Humanities department.