Raised on L.A. radio, Michelle Habell-Pallán grew up in Southeast Los Angeles County California. She is a professor of Chicana/Latina Studies in the Department of Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies and adjunct in the School of Music and Communication at the University of Washington.  She was awarded a PhD in Literature and Cultural Studies from the University of California at Santa Cruz.

A respected cultural critic, digital archivista, and  curator, she authored Loca Motion: The Travels of Chicana/Latina Popular Culture (NYU Press) and coedited Latino/a Popular Culture (NYU Press).  She guest-curated the award-winning bilingual and currently traveling exhibit American Sabor:  Latinos in U.S. Popular Music hosted by Smithsonian Institution’s Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES).  As a digital feminista she transforms digital humanities through community engagement, as co-director of University of Washington Libraries Women Who Rock: Making Scenes, Building Communities Oral History Archive.  

A former UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellow, Habell-Pallán is recipient of a Rockefeller Foundation Humanities Research Award, Woodrow Wilson Foundation Research Award as well as a UW Royal Research Fund Award, for her innovative research on gender, popular music and culture.   In 2014 she received a Digital Commons Faculty Fellowship, sponsored by UW Simpson Center for Humanities and underwritten by the Mellon Foundation to support the Women Who Rock:  Making Scene,  Building Communities Oral History Archive. 

She makes community &  music with the Seattle Fandango Project and is a member of the Fembot Collective|Gender, New Media & Technology, as well as the Women Who Rock: Making Scenes, Building Communities Collective, whose free and family-friendly annual Seattle unConference/Encuentro will take place on March 7, 2015. 

Recent publications include, “‘Death to Racism and Punk Revisionism’: Alice Bag’s Vexing Voice and the Unspeakable Influence of Canción Ranchera on Hollywood Punk,” in Pop When the World Falls Apart: Music in the Shadow of Doubt (Duke University Press, 2012) and her new in-progress,  single-authored manuscript, Beat Migration: Transmediating “American Sabor” for the Digital Humanities. Finally, she is a completing a co-authored book based on the American Sabor exhibit with Marisol Berrios-Miranda and Shannon Dudley. 

Contact her at


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