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Oriel María Siu - Loyola Marymount University. Los Angeles, CA, US

Oriel María Siu Oriel María Siu

Visiting Assistant Professor Chicana/o and Latina/o Studies | Loyola Marymount University


Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts


Dr. Siu was born in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. She migrated to Los Angeles at the age of 16. She has since dedicated herself to the creation of cultural and academic spaces for the growing U.S. Central American and Latino communities, helping to establish the first Central American Studies Program at California State University, Northridge in 1999, and founding the Latina/o Studies program at the University of Puget Sound in 2012. Her research and teaching interests include contemporary Central American cultural productions of the diaspora, the production of literature by migrant subjectivities, and defiant Latina/o cultural productions that interrogate the operations of race and racism in the U.S. She has published multiple articles, book chapters, and academic works on these topics, and has presented her work in numerous national and international settings. More recently, Dr. Siu completed her children’s book project, Rebeldita la Alegre en el país de los ogros, to be published by Izote Press in Spring 2019. In this series, Dr. Siu centralizes the power of children vis-a-vis destructive ogre-forces living amongst U.S. communities of color. Professor Siu is also a mother and a dancer. She lives in Long Beach, California.

Education (3)

University of California Los Angeles: PhD

UC Berkeley: MA

California State University, Northridge: BAs

Areas of Expertise (6)

U.S. Ethnic Studies

Diasporic Migrant Latina/o Literatures

Central American Studies

Latina/o migrant cultural productions

Central American cultural productions

Narratives of race in U.S. Latina/o cultural productions

Sample Talks (1)


“Family Separation and the Racialized U.S. Deportation Regime - from Past to Present“ University of Puget Sound, Fall 2018.

“Separating Families of Color: The Racialized U.S. Deportation Regime from Past to Present” Keynote Speaker, Glendale Community College. Fall 2018.

“Literatures from the Central American Diasproa” Cal Poly Pomona. January 2018.

“La íntima muerte en la primera novela centroamericana de la diáspora:
Inmortales (1983)” Latin American Studies Association (LASA). New York. May 2016.

Guest Lecture, Chicano Studies Department CSUN: “War Without End and the Disobeying Signs of the Central American Diaspora: On Survival and Resistance” California State University Northridge, Chicano Studies Department. April 2016.

Keynote Address, “Decolonizing the University: Transcending it through Beautiful Struggle.” For “Latinos in Education” Lecture Series, Bellevue College, Seattle. October 2015.

“Disposable Bodies: On the Racialized U.S. Deportation and Incarceration Regimes.” Yellow House Lecture Series. University of Puget Sound, October 2015.

“The Tattooed Soldier and Central American Cultural Productions in Diaspora.” Invited guest speaker. University of Puget Sound LAS, October 2015.

“El gato de sí mismo y la desobediente palabra: Sobre otras formas ser y migrar en la narrativa centroamericana de la diaspora”. Latin American Studies Association (LASA). San Juan, Puerto Rico. 2015.

Keynote Address, Students of Color Graduation Ceremony. “On the Colonial Legacy of Universities, the Transcendence of Struggles and Building Communities of Resistance.” University of Puget Sound, May 2015.

Courses (1)

Courses taught in U.S. Ethnic Studies and Hispanic Languages & Literatures:

CLST 1998 – Race in Contemporary Society (Loyola Marymount University)

CLST 1116 – Introduction to Chicana/o and Latina/o Studies (Loyola Marymount University)

LTS 400 – On Whiteness and the Pervasive Cultures of Racism: Towards a De-Linking (A Special Topics Latino Studies Seminar, University of Puget Sound)

LTS 400 – The Coloniality of Power and the Latino Experience in These Times of War: Immigration, Detentions, Race, and Resistance (A Special Topics Latino Studies Seminar University of Puget Sound)

LTS 300 – U.S. Latina/o Literatures: Transgressive, Disobedient Enunciations from Latina/o America (University of Puget Sound)

LTS 200 – A Critical Introduction to Latina/o America (University of Puget Sound)

LTS 401 – Independent Research in the Latino Community: A Capstone Course for the Latino Studies Minor (University of Puget Sound)

SPAN495 – Undoing Central American Invisibility in the U.S: An Oral History Project (University of Puget Sound)

SPAN 495 – Remapping Central America through Literature: A Close Study of Three Seminal Novels from the Diaspora (University of Puget Sound)

SPAN 310 – Central American Literatures: On Margins, Banana Books, War, Diaspora, and Disenchantment

SPAN 300 – Literatura, teoría y práctica: Hacia una aproximación crítica al estudio de las literaturas latinoamericanas

SPAN 212 – Cultures of Resistance in Latina/o America

SPANISH – All levels of Spanish language, from introductory courses, to Spanish for heritage speakers and advanced research

Articles (1)

The Presence of Coloniality in Central American-American Fictions Oxford Encyclopedia

Siu, Oriel

The Spanish invasion of 1492 was the first marker and constitutive element of coloniality. The presence of coloniality is critical for the explication and reflection on racialized and subalternized relations of dominance/subordination in the Americas and all other places affected by European colonization. In 1992, Peruvian sociologist Aníbal Quijano introduced the category of coloniality of power, further developed in 2000 by Walter Mignolo in his work Local Histories/Global Designs. Coloniality not only constituted a pattern of continual production of racialized identities, and an unequal hierarchy whereby European identities and knowledge were considered superior to all others in what amounted to a caste system; it also generated mechanisms of social domination that preserved this social classification into the present. Coloniality is not limited to the colonial period, which ended for most of Latin America in the first quarter of the 19th century. Despite political independences from Spain and Portugal, the pattern articulated by Quijano continues to our day, structuring processes of racialization, subalternization, and knowledge production. This is the reason Mignolo labels coloniality a “matrix of power.” The literature examined in this article concerns itself with revealing the markers of coloniality on the Central American social body in diaspora. This article contends that diasporic Central American literatures produced within the United States represent not only the experience of exile and migration, but also an experience of continued war and perpetual violence, as Central American bodies discover in this US diasporic landscape, the racialization of their bodies, and how they in turn become disposable as a result of their status.

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