Diversity Programs brings you a series of one-hour, guided lecture style discussions and performances with distinguished professors on culturally varied subjects. Join us for happy hour during office hours with Dr. Oona Paredes this February as we partner with the UCLA Pilipino Alumni Association to bring you this special event.
Oona Paredes is an anthropologist and ethnohistorian who specializes in the study of indigenous minorities in Southeast Asia. While her field research focuses on the Higaunon Lumads of northern Mindanao, her teaching encompasses a wide range of subjects related to the regional study of Southeast Asia including ethnic identity, colonialism, environmental politics, religion, and the supernatural.
Her most significant publications include a book – A Mountain of Difference: The Lumad in Early Colonial Mindanao (Cornell SEAP, 2013), a book chapter – “Custom and Citizenship in the Philippine Uplands,” in Citizenship and Democratization in Postcolonial Southeast Asia (Brill, 2016); and several journal articles: “Indigenous vs. Native: Negotiating the Place of Lumads in a Bangsamoro Homeland,” Asian Ethnicity (2015); “Rivers of Memory and Oceans of Difference in the Lumad World of Mindanao” TRaNS (2016); “Projecting Order in the Pericolonial Philippines: An Anthropology of Catholicism beyond Catholics” TAJA (2017); and “The Business of Being Indigenous: Preserving Lumad ‘Tradition’ in the Modern Philippine Context” JSEAS (2019). She is currently conducting research for a book on Indigenous leadership and customary law among the Higaunons of Mindanao, and is supervising the compilation and transcription of Higaunon oral traditions, for future use in local Higaunon schools as a native text.
A native of Misamis Oriental province in Mindanao, she migrated to the United States with her family in 1985. She later completed her M.A. and Ph.D. in Anthropology at Arizona State University, and her B.A. in Anthropology (with a minor in History) at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Since July 2019, she has been Assistant Professor of Southeast Asian Studies at UCLA’s Department of Asian Languages and Cultures. Prior to UCLA, she was at the Department of Southeast Asian Studies at the National University of Singapore from 2011 to 2019. In 2017, she was appointed as the inaugural Strom Visiting Professor in History at the University of Toronto.
As a graduate student, she was a Graduate Fellow of the National Science Foundation, and an American Fellow of the American Association of University Women, and has also received grants from (among others) the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, the Firebird Foundation for Anthropological Research, the Vatican Film Library, the Newberry Library, and Spain’s Escuela de Estudios Hispano-Americanos (EEHA).
She recently established a foundation called Todak, meaning ‘seed’ in Hinigaunon, to support Higaunon children complete college degrees, and to support literacy in the Higaunon language.
UCLA is a multifaceted, vibrant and dynamic community. Diversity Programs in UCLA Alumni Affairs offers multiple ways to connect students and alumni to one another through our signature programming that supports and connects alumni through culturally relevant topics and interests.
Diversity Programs fosters an inclusive alumni community by offering ways for alumni to connect based on individual interests, building diverse networks, helping to build student-to-alumni pipelines and implementing cultural programming.
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