Michael Andrew Parra


Michael Andrew Parra

Assistant Director, Global Latinidades Center

Michael Andrew Parra completed his B.A. in English (African American Studies minor) at the University of California Berkeley in 2012 and later obtained his M.A. in English Literature in 2018 at San Francisco State University. His master’s research focused on the relationship fiction has with empirical reality and historical realities, and how that differed from nonfiction, particularly philosophy, and law. Understanding that authors organize the disorderly, chaotic world in written form, Parra’s thesis project, Breaking Through Ideology: Deconstructing “I” and the “Me” Who is Not “Myself,” immerses into the fiction/nonfiction binary to address the following question: what is being organized and made orderly in the structure of the narrative form of the novel?

He is an English Ph.D. student at the University of California Santa Barbara, with doctoral emphases in Feminist Studies and Global Studies, as well as a 2022 Ford Foundation Pre-Doctoral Fellow. At the doctoral level, Parra has attained admissions into Cornel's School of Criticism & Theory (Summer 2022) and Harvard's Institute for World Literature (Summer 2023).
Through his academic and research interests, Parra aims to raise the social and cultural consciousness of Latinized bodies that are always already enmeshed in material and linguistic closets and cages at multilayering ideological conjunctures. Combining philosophy and literature to engage the tensions between empirical reality, fiction, and the self, he is researching homosocial desires and intimacies as part of a critical masculinity studies analysis of Chicano, Latino, and Latin American literature. His future dissertation project pursues a pan-American research focus and includes supra-América spatial ontologies that expand static notions and enunciations of Latinidades. Parra is the author of “The Rhetorization of the Abject’s Grammatical Positionality (in Wide Sargasso Sea)” in Critical Insight: Postcolonial Literature (Salem Press, 2017); “The Materialist Conception of Fiction (and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn)” in Critical Theory and the Humanities in the Age of the Alt-Right (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019); and "On Becoming Chicano in Europe: John Rechy’s Immanently Queer Latino Soldado Razo Flâneur in Paris, 1950-52" in Aztlán: A Journal of Chicana/o Studies (Spring 2023). 
Currently, Parra serves as the Assistant Director of the Global Latinidades Center and works closely with Director Olguín to promote research and programming in neglected areas of Latinx Studies in local and global contexts. His Center-wide work includes a grant writing team that secured a $20,000 Social Justice Research Grant for a UCSB partnership with the Immigrant Legal Defense Center (ILDC) whose mission is to provide legal counseling and representation to indigent immigrants facing deportation. In addition to managing the Center's administrative infrastructure, Parra is the Editorial Assistant for a special double-dossier project titled "Global Latinidades" with Aztlán: A Journal of Chicana/o Studies (48.1 Spring 2023 and 48.2 Fall 2023), and an anthology project titled, In the Long Run: Luis J. Rodríguez’s Life and Literary Legacy—Essays, Interviews, and Reflections with Selected new Writings by the Author (Edinburgh University Press). This work compounds his experience navigating institutions and discursive structures, and undergirds his approach to critical ethnic, gender, and sexuality studies, with a particular interest in critical Latinx masculinity studies through literature, film, and philosophy.