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Michelle Habell Pallan

Michelle Habell-Pallán


Michelle Habell-Pallán is an Associate Professor in the Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies Department and an adjunct in the School of Music.  Her book, Loca Motion: The Travels of Chicana and Latina Popular Culture (NYU Press, 2005) received an MLA book prize honorable mention. In her role as guest curator of the award-winning  traveling exhibit American Sabor:  U.S. Latinos in Popular Music, a collaboration between the University of Washington and The Experience Music Project Museum, she is engaged in developing public humanities projects.   She is also a past recipient of the  Rockefeller Foundation Humanities Research Award as well as a Woodrow Wilson Foundation Research Award for her research and writing on gender, popular music and culture.  Her new book, Beat Migration: Chicano/a Roots/Routes of American Pop Music is currently in-progress.

  • Ph.D., Literature and Cultural Studies, University of California at Santa Cruz, 1997
  • M.A., American Literature, University of California at San Diego, 1993
  • B.A., English, San Diego State University, 1989

Research Areas

Cultural Studies Methodologies. Chicana Feminist Theory and Methodologies. Politics of Representation in Latina/o cultural production (including performance, music, and museum presentation).  Feminist Pop Music and Pop Culture Criticism. Public Humanities/Engaged Scholarship. Cultural Politics of Immigration Discourse.

Selected Publications

  • Loca Motion: The Travels of Chicana and Latina Popular Culture. New York: New York University Press, 2005
  • Latina/o Popular Culture. Habell-Pallán, Michelle and Mary Romero, eds., New York University Press, 2002
  • "'Don't Call US Hispanic': Popular Latino Theater in Vancouver" in Latina/o Popular Culture. Habell-Pallán, Michelle and Mary Romero, eds., New York University Press, 2002
  • "'Soy Punkera, y Qué?': Sexuality, Nation, and Punk." In Rockin' Las Americas: The Global Politics of Rock in Latin America.  Deborah Pacini Hernández and Eric Zolov, eds.  Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press. 2004: 160-178.
  • "Alice Bag's Vexing Voice:  The Unlikely Influence of Mexican Cancion Ranchera on 1970s Hollywood Punk," forthcoming

Selected Fellowships and Grants

  • Rockefeller Foundation Humanities Fellowship. The Dynamics of Chicana/o Literacy Center. Center for Chicano Studies. University of California at Santa Barbara.  2002-2003.
  • A.W. Mellon Foundation. Career Enhancement Fellowship for Underrepresented Junior Faculty. Administered by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. 2001-2002.
  • Rockefeller Foundation Research Team Fellow. Rockin' Las Americas: The Global Politics of Rock [Music] in Latin America. Rockefeller Foundation Study and Conference Center at Bellagio (Italy). Summer 2002.

Public Scholarship/Community Engagement


The first interactive and interpretive bilingual traveling exhibit featuring the profound influence of Chicano/Mexican-American and Puerto Rican/Cuban American communities living in the U.S. on the sound of rock and roll and Top 40 for the past 50 years. The American Sabor exhibit includes 5,000 square feet of historical artifacts including recordings, costumes, and posters.

Focus on early rock, salsa, Tex-Mex, Latin rock, punk, hip hop, banda rap, reggeaton, and Top 40.

Highlights Ritchie Valens, Cannibal and the Headhunters, Santana, Linda Ronstadt, El Vez, Alice "Bag" Armendariz, Tito Puente, Celia Cruz, Willie Colon, Los Illegals, The Brat, The Zeros, The Plugz, Lysa Flores, Quetzal, Juan Barco, Little Joe y La Familia, Los Lobos, AKWID, and many more.

Major collaborative effort between the University of Washington and the Experience Music Project Museum. Sponsored in part by the University of Washington Simpson Center for the Humanities, American Music Partnership Seattle (AMPS), and Experience Music Project/Science Fiction Museum.

  • Museum of the Instrument.  Phoenix.  February 2011-April 2012
  • Museum of Texas State History. Austin. February 2010 - May 2010
  • Museo Alameda. San Antonio. June 2009 - September 2009
  • Miami Museum of Science. Miami. October 2008 - February 2009
  • Experience Music Project/Science Fiction Museum. Seattle. October 2007 - September 2008


See Michelle Habell-Pallan's faculty page for more information about her current work.

Contact: mhabellp@uw.edu