People / Faculty


Lorena Oropeza


Chicanx Latinx Studies

Chicanx History, Gender, Oral History, Race and Empire

Ethnic Studies

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Bio and Research Interests

I mostly study 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, my research and teaching reflect my desire to harness what I consider the subversive potential of history to prompt new ways of thinking among academics and members of the public alike.

Most of my research stands at the intersection of race and empire. My first book looked at the Chicano Movement’s protest to the Vietnam War. My 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, I often employ oral history in my research, which has allowed me 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, I also am 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 mine, advancing faculty diversity.












  • The King Of Adobe: Reies López Tijerina, Lost Prophet Of The Chicano Movement, University of North Carolina Press, 2019.
  • Enriqueta Vasquez And The Chicano Movement: Writings From El Grito Del Norte, Arte Público Press, 2006, Lead Editor.
  • ¡Raza Sí! ¡Guerra No! Chicano Protest And Patriotism During The Viet Nam War Era, University of California Press, 2005.

Awards and Honors

  • Fellow, Academia de Liderazgo, Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities, 2020
  • Norris & Carole Hundley “Outstanding Book” Award 2020, Pacific Coast Branch of the American Historical Association for The King of Adobe
  • American Historical Association Equity Award, 2018
  • UC Davis Chancellor’s Award for Community and Diversity, 2017
  • PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Literary Award for Multicultural Excellence, 2007
  • International Latino Book Award Winner, Award for the Best History Book in English, 2006 for Enriqueta Vasquez and the Chicano Movement