Orlando Lara
Scholar, Cultural Worker, Educator

As a scholar, cultural worker, and educator, I focus on the melding of art, ethnography, and community organizing. Currently, I am a graduate student in Anthropology at UC Irvine working on an ethnography of citizenship review and invalidation in the Southwest borderlands. I am a member of the Sin Huellas Artist/Activist Collective, which created the multi-media exhibit, "Detention Nation." The work has been shown in Houston, Denver, Topeka, and Lubbock. I am also a co-founder and facilitator for the Ethnic Studies Network of Texas, a network of scholars, educators, and leaders committed to growing Ethnic Studies in K-16 Texas public ed.

Previously, I served as the inaugural Associate Director of the Department of Comparative Race and Ethnic Studies at TCU, the first Ethnic Studies Department in Texas. Before that, I was Mexican American Studies Faculty and the lead Puente Instructor for the Puente Project at Lee College.

I am a proud Chicanx Studies major and hold an MFA in Creative Writing from Cornell where I taught freshman writing and creative writing. Before that, I obtained a Master's degree in Anthropology and a Certificate in Culture and Media from NYU and a BA in Chicana/o Studies with Honors from Stanford. While in New York City, I worked with undocumented youth during the early "coming out as undocumented" and Dreamer movement. Through my creative, academic, and political work, I work with a variety of communities to build intersectional and intergenerational knowledge, relationships, and power.

Works and Projects

Latino/a Studies K-12 Guidebook (Co-Authored)
"Walkers in the Maze""

Art and Design:
Detention Nation (Multimedia Installation)
Know Your History, Know Yourself (Mural)
Sed: A Trail of Thirst (Installation)
Wounds in the Sand (Web)

"Caravana 43 - Anayeli" (Co-Produced)
"Arpa Viajera"
"Elizabeth's Story"
"El Buddha"

Creative Writing:
El Ciudadano (novel in-progress)
For When I Am Weak (novel in-progress)

Academic Interests

Migration, citizenship, and citizenship invalidation
Detention, deportation, and resistance
Social movement theory and community organizing
Critical ethnography and multimodal anthropology
Chicanx/Latinx Studies
Critical Race and Ethnic Studies

Social Media

Design by olara@orlandolara.com