Veronica Paredes is a media and cultural studies scholar. Her research interests include media histories, feminist research and pedagogical practices, Latinx studies, and Los Angeles historiography, especially related to its vintage movie theaters and designated screen landmarks. She has written about the role of former movie palaces as churches, filmic representations of the 1943 Zoot Suit Riots in Los Angeles, and her experiences with media-based organizing. Individually written work has been published in Catalyst: Feminism, Theory, Technoscience, Feminist Media Histories, and Amodern, and work she has collaboratively written was published in Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies.
She is working on a book manuscript about LA’s Historic Theater District titled Surviving Cinema: Historic Places and Screened Latinx Representation in Downtown Los Angeles. In the book, Paredes challenges the narrowly constructed historical narratives traditionally told by preservationist groups on walking tours that mirror the portrayal used by politicians shaping city policy. Paredes demonstrates how this hegemonic perspective affects how the film and television represent downtown as an area while focusing on one historically significant street, South Broadway. Mainstream historical accounts reinforce a conflated racial and media form segregation by repeatedly portraying a bustling and exciting historic district as belonging to a time before white flight in the 1950s, and its cinematic relevance as belonging to historical periods up to the Second World War. Taking a different route temporally, Paredes counters popular purist refrains like ‘bring cinema back,’ which carry tacit racial meanings shot through with nationalist nostalgia, by showing how the cinematic can instead be creatively interpreted within the corners and passageways of the district.
Paredes’s second book project examines networked media-based organizing and everyday sense-making within contemporary digital media genres, including so-called content creation, project-focused activist media, and institutionally affiliated media lab and media art collectives.
Before arriving at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, Paredes taught at The New School, New York University, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. At the University of Illinois, she was a faculty affiliate in the Arts and Humanities research area at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications. Paredes received her Ph.D. from the Media Arts + Practice program at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts.