Vanessa Rosa

  • Class of 1929 Dr. Virginia Apgar Assistant Professor of Latina/o Studies
Vanessa Rosa

Vanessa Rosa is Class of 1929 Virginia Apgar Assistant Professor of Latina/o/x Studies at Mount Holyoke College. Her research explores dynamic and deceptive relationships between state-level diversity management efforts, on the one hand, and community organizing in the context of structural inequality, on the other. Rosa is currently completing a book manuscript titled Precarious Constructions: Race, Class, and Urban Revitalization (UNC Press) which investigates the national-identity making effects of the urban revitalization of two public housing projects in Toronto, Ontario. She has also begun archival research on her new project which explores Puerto Rican women’s tenant activism in New York City from 1945-1970. She has published in the Journal of Critical Race Inquiry, Meridians, Canadian Journal of Urban Research, and Critical Dialogues in Latinx Studies (NYU 2021). Rosa was awarded a 2017-2019 Duke University Mellon Mays SITPA Fellowship. She was named a finalist for the 2019 Ernest A. Lynton Award for Engaged Scholarship and serves on the national steering committee for the Consortium for Faculty Diversity.

At Mount Holyoke, Rosa teaches Introduction to Latinx Studies, Race, Racism, and Power, Latinx Urbanism, Latina Feminism, Nueva York, and Latinxs and Housing. In Rosa’s courses, she incorporates community engaged learning opportunities for students, including projects with various local organizations in Holyoke and Springfield, Massachusetts.


  • Ph.D., York University
  • M.A., University of Toronto
  • B.A., University of Ottawa

Happening at Mount Holyoke

Recent Campus News

At Mount Holyoke’s Final Lecture, students got some parting wisdom — and a just-written-for-them song.

Data collected by Mount Holyoke students has shown a major policy flaw in a program originally meant to fight housing blight.

Vanessa Rosa, assistant professor of Latino/a Studies at Mount Holyoke, and students reveal fatal flaws in Springfield receivership program.

Recent Publications

Rosa, V. (2021). Colonial Projects: Public Housing and the Management of Puerto Ricans in New York City, 1945–1970. In A.Y. Ramos-Zayas and M.M. Rúa (Eds.) Critical Dialogues in Latinx Studies (pp.186-196). NYU Press.

Recent Honors

Was interviewed on Boston Public Radio about research she conducted with students in her Latinxs and Housing seminar. This research was also highlighted in an article by WGBH news on March 7, 2022. Additionally, Rosa chaired a session at the Eastern Sociological Society’s annual conference on March 7 and was invited to present her research on race and public housing in New York City at the New England Consortium for Latina/o Studies on March 25, 2022.

Was invited to speak at the closing session for the Fall 2020 Campus Compact Symposium, “Advancing Equity Through Publicly Engaged Scholarship: Transforming Faculty Reward Policies and Practices.” Vanessa also spoke about her research at the Meridians: feminism, race, transnationalism Volume 19 symposium and celebration in November 2020.

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