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Paul Michael Leonardo Atienza

Paul Michael Leonardo Atienza (@pmlatienza) is a 1.5 generation Tagalog Filipino American who recently completed their Ph.D. in anthropology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Starting Fall 2022, they will be an Assistant Professor of Asian American Studies in the Department of Critical Race, Gender & Sexuality Studies at Cal Poly Humboldt. A multidisciplinary scholar, Dr. Atienza’s broad research interests and activism coalesce into the study of mediated bodies in performance. They translate these into multiple projects that include 1) an ethnographic study of gay Filipino men and their mediated lives on and about mobile digital media and 2) a drag performance practice as Maria Arte Susya Purisima Tolentino, or Ma Arte for short (@dragMaArte). Dr. Atienza received BA degrees in music and English at the University of California, Riverside (UCR) in 2002. He then transitioned into a 10-year career at UCR as a professional academic advisor for various departments and programs in the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences. While working full time at UCR, he became one of the first to earn an MA in Southeast Asian Studies from UCR’s SEATRiP program. He also served as lead vocalist for keroncong ensemble Orkes Pantai Barat.