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Alexandra Cavallaro

Alexandra Cavallaro

Associate Professor, Project Director


Associate Professor
Office Phone(909) 537-3831
Office LocationUH-301.20
Project Director
UEC - Miscellaneous Projects & Grants
Office Phone(909) 537-3831
Office LocationUH-301.20


Dr. Alexandra J. Cavallaro is an associate professor in the English Department and director of the Center for the Study of Correctional Education. Her research focuses on three interconnected areas of interest: literacy studies, critical prison studies, and queer studies. At the heart of this work is her interest in the silences and gaps in the official record, the edges of the canonical tradition, and the populations at the margins of institutions. Her teaching, for which she was awarded the 2021 Excellence in Instructional Activities Award, is rooted in critical and feminist philosophies of education. This entails a commitment to making connections between knowledge and power, and particularly between personal experience and larger political and historical contexts. She believes that truly meaningful pedagogy happens when we practice the belief that people deserve more dignity, humanity, and freedom than institutions currently give them. In her role as Director of the CSCE, she facilitates prison educator trainings and coordinates the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program at CSUSB.


Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

M.A., University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign

B.A., Kutztown University


Undergraduate:First-Year Writing 

Writing in the Public Sphere 

Writing Center Studies 

Graduate:Computers and Composition 

Writing Center Studies 

The Western Rhetorical Tradition II 

(Alternative) Sites of Praxis: Writing Pedagogy and Rhetorical Education in an Age of Mass Incarceration 



Research and Teaching Interests

Literacy Studies; Rhetorical Education; Queer and Feminist Theory; Multimodal Composition; Critical Prison Studies; Prison Education

Selected Publications:

Cavallaro, Alexandra J. “Making Citizens Behind Bars (and the Stories We Tell About It): Queering Approaches to Prison Literacy Programs.” Literacy in Composition Studies 7.1 (2019).

Rowan, Karen, and Alexandra J. Cavallaro. “Toward a Model for Preparatory Community Listening.” Community Literacy Journal 13.1 (2018).

Cavallaro, Alexandra J. and Melissa K. Forbes. “Inside Voices: Collaborative and Multimodal Writing in a Prison Environment.” Harlot: A Revealing Look at the Art of Persuasion 16 (2016).

Cavallaro, Alexandra J. “Fighting Biblical ‘Textual Harassment’: Queer Rhetorical Pedagogies in the Extracurriculum.” enculturation: a journal of rhetoric, writing, and culture 18 (Spring 2015).

Cavallaro, Alexandra J. and Patrick W. Berry, with Elaine Vázquez, Carlos R. DeJesús, and Naomi García. “Sustaining Narratives of Hope: Literacy, Multimodality, and the Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos High School.” English Education 46.4 (July 2014): 279-299.

Cavallaro, Alexandra J. and Patrick W. Berry, with Elaine Vázquez, Carlos R. DeJesús, and Naomi García. “(Re)voicing Teaching, Learning, and Possibility in Paseo Boricua.” Youth Community Inquiry: New Media for Community and Personal Growth. Eds. Bertram C. Bruce, Ann Peterson Bishop, and Nama R. Budhatoki. New York: Peter Lang Press, 2014.