Paul Michael (Mike) Leonardo Atienza

Assistant Professor


Paul Michael (Mike) Leonardo Atienza, Ph.D. teaches courses in Asian/American Studies, transnational gender and sexuality studies, performance studies, media and cultural studies, and science and technology studies (STS). Their research interests include digital media, feminist technoscience, performances of the everyday, queer studies, affect, Philippine diaspora in the United States, Southeast Asian/American Studies, and U.S. empire. Mike's current book project is a multi-sited ethnography that investigates the lived experiences of queer Filipino men in Manila and Los Angeles. Looking specifically at digital media platforms on mobile phones and the allure of instant and limitless intimate social bonds, Mike examines how transnational connections of technology and intimacy shape people’s notions of time and space, emotional attachments, self-presentation, and concepts of social difference such as race, class, sex, and gender. Their scholarship has been published in The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology, the edited collection Q&A: Voices from Queer Asian North America (Temple University Press 2021), and Asian American Society: An Encyclopedia (Sage 2013). They are currently co-editing a special issue of Philippine Studies: Historical and Ethnographic Viewpoints with Dr. Kathleen Cruz Gutierrez, assistant professor of history at UC Santa Cruz. They are curating work that explores the limits and possibilities of a transnational and transgenerational science and technology studies (STS) focused on issues on and about the Philippines and its diaspora.

A collaborator with performance artist Maria Arte Susya Purisima Tolentino (formerly Aloha Tolentino) or Ma. Arte for short, they use the form of drag to analyze transnational media representations and discourse about the lives of Filipina/o/x people. Tolentino interrogates in/visible Filipina/o/x embodiments that inform the artist's notions of femininity, mother/land, and the trans/migrant self. Ma. Arte was featured as a cover artist for Frontiers: A Journal of Women StudiesThey have performed at Marshall University, Northwestern University, UCLA, UC Riverside, the University of California Humanities Research Institute, and the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Their expertise led to an invitation to co-curate and exhibit titled In Her Closet-How to Make a Drag Queen at the Spurlock Museum of World Cultures. A classically-trained tenor, Mike is one of the original vocalists for the California-based keroncong musical group, Orkes Pantai Barat 

Mike was a certificate of merit recipient from NACADA, The Global Community for Academic Advising with ten years of student academic advising experience assisting several departments and programs in the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences at the University of California, Riverside. They were also a board member for the Riverside Asian American Community Association where he developed and managed their college internship program.