College Of Humanities and Fine Arts

Gloria Lopez

Dr. Gloria Lopez (she, her,ella) is a first-generation college graduate, a Latina of Salvadoran and Mexican descent, and an Assistant Professor of History at Chico State. She earned her Ph.D. in Historyfrom Indiana University, Bloomingtonand is a public historian, specializing in twentieth-century U.S. History, the history of museums and historic sites, and the history of Los Angeles. 

Before moving to the Midwest from her hometown of Los Angeles, Dr. Lopez earned her M.A. in History with a Concentration in Oral & Public History from California State University, Fullerton and her B.A. in History from California State University, Dominguez Hills.  


Her current research addresses the role heritage and ethnic diversity played in fashioning the public memory of Los Angeles during much of the twentieth century at the El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument, the birthplace of the city. By targeting Olvera Street (1930), the Chinese American Museum (2003), and La Plaza de Cultura y Artes (2011) as three individual case studies contained within the monument, she uncovers a highly politicized negotiation process that is seldom studied.  

After World War II, Angelenos from historically oppressed communities argued over ownership of the historic property, its cultural meaning, and competed over the boundaries of what belongs to each group. As they demanded “shared authority” over their own “cultural heritage,” they called out the veiled racism in City Hall’s continued celebration of the California’s Mission era. Modern ethnic heritage at this site is celebrated as a negotiation of past and present in pursuit of a uniquely multiethnic L.A. story.  

Current Courses Offered

  • HIST 130: United States History 
  • HIST/CHLX 235: Mexican American History 
Portrait of Gloria Lopez