Program in Comparative Literature

Michael Reyes

PhD Candidate, University of Texas at Austin

Michael Reyes



Caribbean and Latin American literature, Afro/Latina/o and Black Diasporas, French Atlantic, Carceral Narratives. Languages: Spanish, French, and Portuguese.


Michael grew up in several cities within the San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys of Los Angeles County, San Bernardino County, and lived various years between the city of Xalapa, Veracruz and the pueblo of Tequila, Jalisco. After finishing high school in Mexico, he returned to California obtained a GED, enrolled in Citrus Community College in the city of Glendora, and transferred to The University of California, Los Angeles where he graduated in 2014 with a B.A. in English and a minor in French. He entered the Graduate Program in Comparative Literature at the University of Texas at Austin in the fall of 2014. His dissertation, “Writers with Rap Sheets: Towards a Comparative Archive of Carceral Narratives and Penal Colony Heritage,” examines social constructions of race and crime in carceral narratives from France, Cuba, Puerto Rico and the US, alongside the commemoration practices of the penal colony heritage in French Guiana. Fellowships from UT Austin, the Ford Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, and the Mellon Foundation support his research.