Professor Dr. Tiffany Ana López is a 2015 Latina of Influence named by Hispanic Lifestyle. Professor López is being recognized for her professional accomplishments in the area of education and commitment to produce programs that inspire our community. Hispanic Lifestyle’s 2015 Latinas of Influence will be recognizing Dr. Tiffany Ana López and her fellow Latinas of Influence during a luncheon held in their honor on at Latina Conference 2015.
Dr. Tiffany Ana López is Professor in the Department of Theatre. Since her hire to UCR in 1995, she has developed and taught courses on Latina/o drama, literature, and art across genres, mediums, and disciplinary locations. In addition to her undergraduate courses in Theater, as a faculty member in the MFA Program, she teaches in the Department of Creative Writing.
Dr. López has over twenty years experience as a leading scholarly voice that fosters dialogue and programming among academics, artists, practitioners, and audiences and a national reputation for her work within Chicana/o and Latina/o arts communities. As a dramaturge and community outreach scholar, Dr. López has worked with such creative artists as Maria Irene Fornes, Cherríe Moraga, Culture Clash, Luis Alfaro, Denise Uyehara, Kate Rigg, Joshua Sobol, Robert Schenkkan, Kosmond Russell, Migdalia Cruz, Evelina Fernandez, Josefina Lopez, Adelina Anthony, and Janine Salinas. As a community artist, Dr. López has collaborated with theaters such as The Mark Taper Forum, The Latino Theater Company, and Breath of Fire Latina Theater Ensemble. She is an ensemble member of Company of Angeles.
Dr. López’s research, teaching, and creative activities focus on issues of trauma and violence and the ways that theater, literature, and art provide avenues for personal healing, community building, and social change. She teaches undergraduate courses on such topics as: Theater for Social Change; Culture Clash – Latinas/os on Stage and Screen; Growing Up Narratives; Women and Theater; and Global Theater History. Her graduate seminars have explored such issues as: Violence as a Critical Discourse; U.S. Latina/o and Latin American Theater; Latina/o Literature and Cultural Studies; and Feminist Theater and Performance Studies. She has also taught workshops on “Getting Through College Despite Life.” Among her publications, Dr. López is editor of the anthology Growing Up Chicana/o (William Morrow & Co., 1993) and Chicana/Latina Studies: The Journal of Mujeres Activas en Letras y Cambio Social (2005-2012). She has published numerous essays, articles, chapters, and reviews in books and journals, including Theatre Journal, Aztlan – A Journal of Chicano Studies, Art Journal, Frontiers – A Journal of Feminist Studies, Paso de Gato Revista Mexicana de Teatro, Prose and Cons – Essays on Prison Literature in the United States, Ethnic Literary Traditions in American Children’s Literature, The Blackwell Companion to Twentieth-Century American Drama, and Performing the US Latina and Latino Borderlands. She is presently completing a book project, The Alchemy of Blood, about art as a form of engaging with issues of trauma and violence, and collaborating on a biography with visual artist Barbara Carrasco.
During her time at UCR, Dr. López has sponsored two University of California Regents Professorships held by MacArthur fellow and playwright, Luis Alfaro (1999-2000) and muralist and arts activist Barbara Carrasco (2002-2003). She has also organized several conferences (Revolution & Resistance: A Conference on the State of Chicana/o Art and Activism, The Transnational Imaginary: Evolving Issues of Identity and Community in the Face of Global Migration) and symposium (Chicana/os in Higher Education, Chicana/o Arts & Social Action) and brought to campus many visiting lecturers, including photographer and literary artist Harry Gamboa, Jr.; visual artist Alma López; and writer and performer Monica Palacios. A participating faculty member in the CHASS First Year Experience Program and the Mentoring Summer Research Internship Program, Dr. López’ work with students has been recognized by a Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Mentoring Undergraduate Research (2009). Among her awards, Dr. López is a 2004 Fulbright Scholar to Spain and the recipient of grants from the Ford Foundation and Rockefeller Foundation for her work on intellectual diversity and the creative arts. Among her involvement in national organizations, she is a member Campus Women Lead and the National Advisory Board of Mujeres Activas en Letras y Cambio Social. She is a faculty advisory board member for the Barbara and Art Culver Center of the Arts and member of a Mellon working group on medical narratives.
Notably, Dr. López is the first in her family to have graduated high school and gone on to college. She began her educational journey as a community college transfer student whose initial goal was to obtain an AA and manage a fast food restaurant. Through the support of fellowships and student programs, she transferred to California State University, Sacramento where she completed a bachelor’s degree in English under the mentorship of poet Olivia Castellano. After spending a year post-graduation participating in creative writing workshops with foundational figures such as Sandra Cisneros and Rudolfo Anaya, she then earned a scholarship to complete her Master’s degree and her Doctorate at the University of California, Santa Barbara. As a hybrid scholar and creative artist, Dr. López has dedicated her career to expanding opportunities in higher education through the arts and literature and staging conversations about their role in fostering personal transformation and social change.