Sandoval, Chela 1951-

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Sandoval, Chela 1951-


Born July 31, 1951, in Portland, OR; daughter of Jose Machlavio (a machinist) and Antonia Pearl (a forklift driver) Sandoval; married Ro Villafañe, 1979 (divorced, 1991); children: Almanda, Jason, Ariel, Adam, Nina Simone, Aaron. Ethnicity: "Chicana/Native American." Education: Attended San Jose City College and San Jose State University; University of California, Santa Cruz, B.A., 1979, Ph.D., 1994.


Office—Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106. E-mail[email protected].


University of California, Santa Barbara, assistant professor, 1993-99, associate professor of Chicana and Chicano studies, 1999—, department chair, 2003—.


Methodology of the Oppressed, foreword by Angela Davis, University of Minnesota Press (Minneapolis, MN), 2000.

(Editor, with Chon Noriega, Karen Mary Davelos, and Rafael Perez-Torres) The Chicano Studies Reader: An Anthology of Aztlán, 1970-2000, Center for Chicano Research, University of California (Santa Barbara, CA), 2001.

Contributor to books, including Mestizaje As Method: Feminists of Color Challenge the Canon, edited by Carla Trujillo, Third Woman Press, 1998; and New Sciences:Cyborg Feminism and the Methodology of the Oppressed, edited by Jenny Wolmark, University of Edinburgh (Edinburgh, Scotland), 1999.


Chela Sandoval told CA: "I was raised in a working-class family. My life goals were directed by my machinist/philosopher father, my warehouse-forklift-driver/spiritual-activist mother, and my two dreamer/sisters. I was raised and educated in San Jose, California. I was encouraged to enter the life of the mind by extraordinarily brilliant and generous friends/teachers/mentors at the University of California in Santa Cruz, including Hayden White, Donna Haraway, James Clifford, and Teresa de Lauretis.

"I love reading science fiction, watching television and film, and meditating. My favorite activity is watching the rain while drinking tea and eating apples with jack cheese. My life is made meaningful by my biological family and by my extended family of intellectual, queer, feminist, spiritual, and Third World activists.

"Research interests: My interdisciplinary book, Methodology of the Oppressed, is a study of the forms of oppositional consciousness that develop in resistance to social hierarchy. My current research is on the subjects of cyberspace, cinema, shamanism, and the digital divide.

"Teaching style: I take my students seriously as scholars and intriguing people. I learn from their thinking exercises, their group discussions, and their writing projects. I believe that good teachers never underestimate the intelligence and abilities of their students, never condescend to students, never ignore their reservations or opposition, and never ask students to repeat in their work what professors have already said in class. I evaluate students according to whether or not they have acquired the confidence and skills to produce new knowledge out of what we are studying.

"I love learning anything new: creative pursuits like writing, reading, video, thinking, collective action; brilliant theory books; New York City; relaxing at home with friends and family.

"The most important things to learn in college are to open yourself to what is different, strange, and unusual; learn to find what is new in all you read; push yourself, test yourself, try what you are afraid of trying, and learn to ask for help; discover new intellectual terrain; enjoy knowledge as play; relax; and stretch beyond all knowledge and wisdom.

"My advice for new students is: find at least one element to become excited by and explore in each of your books, classes, lectures, encounters; learn to love this method of learning; and enjoy the fruit of that love for the rest of your lives."



Signs, autumn, 2003, Luz Calvo, review of Methodology of the Oppressed, p. 254.