Kaelyn D. Rodríguez

Kaelyn Rodriguez

Kaelyn D. Rodríguez

Assistant Professor

Cohort 2014-15

Office: 7349 Bunche Hall

Email: Rodriguez_Kaelyn@smc.edu


Kaelyn D. Rodríguez is a Black Chicana from Los Angeles. She earned her Ph.D. in Chicana/o Studies from UCLA. She holds master’s degrees in the History of Art from UC, Riverside and in Chicana/o Studies from UCLA. Kaelyn is a Full-Time Assistant Professor of Art History at Santa Monica College, an alumni from UCLA’s Urban Humanities Certificate Program, a 2018 Smithsonian Fellow and a 2020 Edward A. Dickson Fellow in the History of Art.

Under the guidance of Professors Judith F. Baca, Charlene Villaseñor Black and Gaye Theresa Johnson, Kaelyn’s thesis in Chicana/o Studies combined art making, art history, geography and social activism in Watts. The final project yielded a mural, inspired a mapping methodology, served the community of Watts and produced a 90-page thesis. She has since published on this mapping methodology in Dialogo Journal and applied this methodology in her 2018 fellowship with the National Trust for Historic Preservation. For her doctoral dissertation, she digs even deeper into the history of Los Angeles to celebrate connections between Black, Latina/o/x and Afro-Latina/o/x communities’ shared spaces and histories of visual culture. Here, she advances exciting concepts of Black, Latina/o/x and Afro-Latina/o/x solidarity via visual arts throughout Los Angeles’s rich history–a concept she calls Afro-Latinx Futurism. Kaelyn is currently working on an exhibition with Dr. Josh T. Franco and the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art on her dissertation topic that is expected to displayed around 2021.

When Kaelyn is not reading, writing, or teaching, she’s cooking, gardening or making magic in her kitchen.


  • Ph.D., Chicana/o Studies, University of California, Los Angeles
  • MA, Chicana/o Studies, University of California, Los Angeles
  • MA, History of Art, University of California, Riverside
  • BA, Art, California State University, Fresno 


  • Art Historiography of Black and Brown Los Angeles
  • Development of Black and Brown Art enclaves & Movements 
  • Afro-Latinx futurism

Selected Publications

  • “Emoji Mapping in Watts: Making Space and Marking Race with Anticolonial Cartographies” Dialogo Journal,Vol. 21, no. 2 (2018) 83-90.
  • “Dancing Periphies” Cities in Common: Los Angeles, Tijuana, Mexico City. Urban Humanities Initiate Journal (2018) 114-124.
  • “Storyboarding Ms. Burton” Cities in Common: Los Angeles, Tijuana, Mexico City Urban Humanities Initiate Journal (2018) 16-21.
  • “Chicana Art Futurity: A letter to ‘Chicana Artists Who Paved the Way” National Women’s Caucus for Art, Spring 2015.
  • “Tuesday Night”, Bozalta Journal. Spring 2014
  • “Women are Beautiful in the Streets” in Confessions of a Male Chauvinist Pig: Rethinking Winogrand’s Women, (Riverside: UCR ArtsBlock Press) 2013.


  • Black and Brown Art History of Los Angeles: Race, Space and Visual Culture
  • Research Rookies