Dr. Charles Sepulveda
Charles Sepulveda (Tongva and Acjachemen) is an Assistant Professor at Cal Poly Pomona. He earned his PhD in Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Riverside in 2016. He grew up in the San Jacinto Valley, attended community college and graduated with a B.A. in American Studies from UC Santa Cruz. His fields of research and teaching include California Indian History, Native Studies, Ethnic Studies, and Californio History. He is currently at work on his first book project tentatively titled “The Spanish Imaginary: Settler Colonialism and the Dispossession of California Historiography.”
The manuscript disputes the mythologizing of the genocidal Mission period in California and its use by the Americans to connect themselves to the original colonial project that devastated California Indian worlds. The book considers the legacies of the romantic fantasy heritage and its historiography, what he has named “the Spanish Imaginary,” through an analysis of documents, architecture, plays and the canonization of padre Junípero Serra in 2015 as the “founder of California.” Professor Sepulveda is also in the process of publishing an article titled Our Sacred Waters: Theorizing Kuuyam as a Decolonial Possibility in which he examines the destruction to the Santa Ana River vis-á-vis a heteropatriarchal logic of submission and domestication. He offers a decolonial reframing of human relationships to place as a potential yet challenging solution to the continuing destruction of Indigenous homelands.