UW Today

This is an archived article.

April 3, 2001

UW professor wins fellowship to finish book on Chicano performers

Michelle Habell-Pallan, a University of Washington assistant professor of American ethnic studies, has been awarded a career enhancement fellowship by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation.

She will use the fellowship to complete her book “Chicana and Latino Performance in the New Transnational Era.”

Habell-Pallan, who has been on the UW faculty since 1998, also was awarded a Rockefeller Fellowship, but had to decline that honor because it ran concurrently with the other award. Before coming to the UW, she was an assistant professor of Chicana and Chicano Studies at Arizona State University. She earned her doctorate in literature from the University of California, Santa Cruz, in 1997.

Her book will explore the social function of Chicana and Latino performance and theater how they transform as they move through Mexico, the United State and Canada.

“These forms are a window into demographic shifts going on in North America,” she said. “Seattle is the last major American city where the Latino influence isn’t felt every day. Twenty years from now Seattle will be much different in terms of its ethnic mix.”

By contrast, the Latino influence is much stronger in central and eastern Washington and in sections of Vancouver, British Columbia, Habell-Pallan said. The number of Spanish-speaking people in Washington increased significantly in the past decade and will only continue to grow, she added. Vancouver’s Latino population was boosted in the 1970s by exiles from Chile and Argentina and now has a vibrant arts scene, according to Habell-Pallan.

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For more information, contact Habell-Pallan at (206) 543-6363 or mhabellp@u.washington.edu