headshot of Lorena Oropeza

Research Expertise and Interest

Chicanix history, gender, oral history, race and empire

Research Description

Lorena Oropeza is a professor of Chicanix Latinx Studies in the Department of Ethnic Studies. She mostly studies people who during the 1960s raised hell because they wanted to stop a war, or fight racial injustice, or overthrow patriarchy. Inspired by these activists, her research and teaching reflect her desire to harness what she considers the subversive potential of history to prompt new ways of thinking among academics and members of the public alike.

Most of her research stands at the intersection of race and empire. Her first book looked at the Chicano Movement’s protest to the Vietnam War. Her second is an award-winning biography of Chicano Movement leader who rose to fame by decrying the legacy of the U.S. takeover of northern Mexico in 1848. As a former journalist, she often employs oral history in her research, which has allowed her to incorporate women’s experiences that might otherwise be overlooked.

Delighted to be a member of the Chicanx/Latinx Studies Program within the Ethnic Studies Department, she is also a senior member of the Latinx Democracy Cluster (LDC), a group of scholars who were hired across several disciplines to advance Latinx-focused research across campus. The LDC directly aligns with another long-term interest of hers, advancing faculty diversity.

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