Alberto López Pulido, PhD

Alberto López Pulido
Phone: (619) 260-4022
Office: Maher Hall 212A

Professor, Ethnic Studies

When I teach, I challenge my students to look within themselves through reflexive assignments through the writing of autoethnographies. The majority of traditional “academic scholarship” is examined in my courses in relation to the knowledge we “produce” following a participatory action research paradigm that honors and values knowledge that comes from community members and elders.

This “community knowledge” requires an ethnic studies paradigm as it juxtaposes the community counter narratives against the traditional master narratives that have been framed and dominated by what we describe as “truth” within the corridors of higher education. Part of my challenge is to instill confidence in my students as they are being forced to think about knowledge production in such different ways that require them to affirm that their voice(s) are valid and central to our pedagogical and scholarly endeavor. In the end, my pedagogy introduces students to emerging epistemologies that force us to ask ourselves what does it mean to be an educated person in this twenty-first century complex, global and diverse world that we inhabit?  Some of the most important questions regarding the future of inclusion and diversity in higher education are situated within this intellectual question and challenge.

Two major influences in my life have been my mother Velia and her father Antonio - my grandfather. Both instilled in me the value of education as I grew up in the agricultural community of Oxnard, California. However, this was no ordinary education – but rather it was the culturally specific value of educación that took on such a very different and transformative meaning for me throughout my intellectual life.

Educación is all about educating the whole person – the mind, body and spirit – not simply the mind – as we tend to emphasize in the North American educational system. Instead, to educate what the Latin American (Uruguayan) writer Eduardo Galeano describes as El Sentir (Feelings) and El Pensar (Thinking) aspects of ourselves. This Sentipensante-self is integral to our educational identity as thinking and feeling human beings – the whole person. It represents who I was taught to be, but more importantly who I have become as an educator. It arose from within by the time I began to attend college, and I incessantly sought to find it within my mentors and teachers throughout my educational career. By the end of the journey, I discovered that all my paths for becoming a persona educada that had been instilled in me as a small child led me back to my community, my elders and myself. The words of T.S. Eliot who wrote in The Four Quartets ring so true, deep within me:

We shall not cease from exploration

And in the end of all our exploring

Will be to arrive where we started

And know the place for the first time

My values as an educator come from my family and community. My elders have exhibited excellent leadership qualities that for me were identified within higher education in my life. They have guided me through my many years in the academy, seeking to transform the academic landscape with the counter narrative and presence of inclusion and diversity in higher education. What remains present in my mind, body and spirit is the value of being open to knowledge, pedagogy and leadership that comes from within – where I first began – and know the place for the first time in order to challenge and transform higher education through my teaching and scholarship.

It is this perspective and understanding that his guided my career as teacher, scholar and professional educator.


Areas of Expertise

Chicana/Chicano Studies, Chicana/Chicano Sacred Worlds, Chicana/Chicano Material Cultures, Community Studies, Emotive Pedagogy.

Scholarly Work

 Curriculum-Vitae Upon Request