He is a Latin Americanist working with 19th and 20th century canonical and non-canonical productions such as narrative, essay, poetry and popular music. In exploring the social dynamics of power in these texts, he finds cultural studies, Marxist theory, post-colonial theory, post-structuralism and gender studies to be crucial tools. However, he also enjoys cultural theories not only as tools or methods, but as fascinating and imperative genres in their own rights. Parker has found a way to engage all of these interests as he begins his dissertation about the Boy Scouts movements in Chile and Brazil. His dissertation, titled “Citizenship, Militarism and Masculinity: A Cultural and Literary History of Boy Scouts in the Southern Cone,” will situate Scouting texts, such as manuals, essays and magazines, as a brand of unique national literature within the greater Southern Cone’s literary and intellectual currents (for example, the region’s “civilization vs. barbarism” debate) from the turn of the last century up to the present. This dissertation will present the first literary and cultural study of the Scouting movement in South America. The study will theorize the ways in which Scouting functions as a unique cultural site through which specific articulations of the themes of citizenship, militarism, gender formation, and literary discourse (e.g. moralizing essay, adventure literature, travel writing and even literary criticism) combine and interact to construct particularly influential visions of national identity. Latin American Scouting remains almost entirely overlooked as an object of scholarly and critical reflection. And Scouting’s literary characteristics –the organization’s appropriation and re-signification of canonical literature, as well as its tendency to produce its own original literature– remain largely unstudied. Parker looks forward to bringing much-needed scholarly attention to this overlooked and intriguing cultural history.
- BA, Spanish, University of Utah (2005)
- MA, Latin American Literature, University of Utah (2007)