Oscar Muñoz, Ph.D.

MunozAssistant Professor
Email: [email protected] | Office: AL-321

Oscar Muñoz, a first-generation immigrant from Costa Rica, grew up in Southern California. He received his master’s in public history, with a research-focus on Native public history, and his Ph.D. from the University of California, Riverside. For ten years he served as the cultural archives specialist for the Cultural Resources Department of the Pechanga Band of Payómkawichum Indians, where he assisted in the development and preservation of their archival holdings and of material items of cultural, historical and artistic significance to the Pechanga People.

Professor Muñoz’s research and upcoming manuscript, titled “Haní’-cha Fiesta-yk: ‘Let's go to the fiesta,’” focuses on Southern California Native fiestas. Although Native fiestas appear in various narratives concerning Southern California Native history, there is to date no manuscript solely dedicated to analyzing the significance and impact of these events to Southern California Native and regional history. The manuscript aims to trace Native events of tradition, later deemed fiestas by Spaniards, from traditional Native narratives of creation and their Spanish pre-invasion origin, and follow fiesta activity throughout the Mission, Californio, and Euro-American Periods. Significantly, this manuscript will introduce a new analysis of Native fiestas, which have traditionally been understudied by academia, in order to present a new historical lens through which to consider and to promote Southern California Native and regional history.