Dr. Theresa (Isa) Arriola, PhD

Assistant Professor, Sociology and Anthropology

Dr.  Theresa (Isa)  Arriola, PhD
Phone: (514) 848-2424 ext. 2117
Email: theresa.arriola@concordia.ca
Availability: Office Hours: Every Wednesday, 1:00-3:00 pm via zoom (appointment via email)


Isa Arriola (Chamorro) was born and raised on the island of Saipan in the Northern Mariana Islands. Her life's work has centered on exploring the complexities of social life among the Indigenous Chamorro people, as well as the Refaluwasch community in the Marianas and Micronesia more broadly. Her early research interests were sparked by the concern over the staggeringly high rates of suicide throughout Micronesia. This early interest led her to explore the role of the Marianas in the context of United States imperialism and militarism globally. Isa's dissertation research focused on the complex intersections of militarism, indigeneity and the environment in the Northern Mariana Islands amidst the contemporary restructuring of United States forces in the Asia-Pacific region. Her work draws on the intersection of various fields including: Indigenous Studies, Pacific Island Studies, Anthropology and Political Ecology. As an educator, Isa's research is inextricably linked to her personal commitment to decolonization throughout Oceania. 

Research & Teaching Interests

Isa's research centers Indigenous perspectives and explores the role of indigeneity in the context of imperialism throughout Oceania. Areas of interest: Indigeneity, Indigenous Peoples, Oceania, Pacific, Militarization, Militarism, Imperialism, Environment, Climate Change 


PhD, University of California at Los Angeles
MA, University of Hawai'i at Manoa
BA, Brown University 

Professional & Community Affiliations

AAA, American Anthropological Association
NAISA, Native American and Indigenous Studies Association
ASAO, Association for Social Anthropology in Oceania 

Chair, Our Common Wealth 670 (Saipan, CNMI)

Teaching activities

Assistant Professor

Critical Indigenous Studies 

Research activities

Presentations & Workshops

2021, Humanities Guahan Webinar Launch of Unincorporated Magazine 
2021 Closing Keynote, Marianas History Conference 
2020 Panelist, CNMI Women's Summit (Military build-up)
2019 Panelist, National Humanities Conference
2019 Presentation, AAA Empire: Past is Present
2019 Discussant, Irregular Ecologies Symposium Rachel Carson Center (RCC) for the Environment
2019 Panelist, NAISA Panel: Post Which Human? NAIS and Posthumanism 
2018 Presenter, Race and Pedagogy National Conference 

2018, Irregular Ecologies Symposium, Rachel Carson Center (RCC) for the Environment 
2017 Summer Institute on Global Indigeneities (SIGI) Fellow

Current Research Projects

Feminist Participatory Action Research Grant 2020-2022

Asia-Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD) 



Arriola, T. (2020). "Securing Nature: Militarization and the Environment in the Northern Mariana Islands," Micronesian Educator. 31. 

Arriola, T. (2020). “Scenes from Everyday Life in the Northern Mariana Islands during the COVID-19 Pandemic," Oceania. DOI: 10.1002/ocea.5264

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