Mario Alberto Obando

Assistant Professor

Mario Obando

Office: H324-A



With familial roots in the pueblos of Palmichal and Tabarcia and the barrios of Desamparados, Costa Rica, Dr. Mario Alberto Obando Jr., Ph.D (he/him/his) was born in San José, Costa Rica. His family migrated to the U.S. in the early 1990s and he lived most of his life in Whittier, California. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from Whittier College with a major in History and a minor in Political Science. He also was a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow at Whittier College. He completed his dissertation and earned his Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in 2018. Dr. Obando’s teaching, research and writing holds dear the queer and feminist of color interventions into transnational American studies, Chicanx, Latinx and Central American studies and critical and relational ethnic studies. At CSUF, Dr. Obando has been the adviser of the student organization Central Americans for Empowerment (CAFÉ), serves as a faculty mentor in the Faculty-Graduate Student Mentorship Program and participates in the Summer Undergraduate Research Academy (SUReA) as a Faculty Mentor. At SUReA, his research teams have been building an archive of oral history interviews of Latinx experiences during the first year of the COVID-19 Pandemic entitled Archives of Mortality. Working with Dr. Daniel Topete, his public pedagogy on holistic ethnic studies includes co-creating, co-hosting, and co-writing The Alchemist Manifesto Podcast.


Selected Scholarly and Creative Activities

Obando Jr., Mario Alberto. “Rest and the Five Remembrances” Arrow: Journal of Wakeful Society, Culture & Politics, “Rest and Creativity” Vol. 9, Issue 1, Spring 2022, pp. 18-25.


Obando Jr., Mario Alberto. “Beyond Essential Workers, Towards Globalized Mortals in and Beyond the Ethnic Studies Classroom during the Early Months of the COVID-19 Pandemic” Kalfou: Journal of Comparative and Relational Ethnic Studies, Special Issue “The Enduring Dangers of Essentializing Labor and Laborers”, Temple University Press, Vol. 8, Issue 1, December 2021, pp. 154-167.


Obando Jr., Mario Alberto. “Centering Interracial Solidarity” Latinx Talk, “Latinx for Black Lives” 1 September, 2021,


Obando Jr., Mario Alberto. “Archives of Pain, Methodologies of Care: Caring for the ‘Gold’ and ‘Diamonds in the 1992 Notes of Al Moreno”, Journal of American Ethnic History, Volume 39, Number 4, “Undocumented Histories: Generative Approaches to Undocumented Immigrant Experience and Immigration Histories”, 2020, pp. 75-86.


Obando Jr., Mario Alberto. “Luna Lovers” Sparked: George Floyd, Racism and the Progressive Illusion, “Part 1: Wonderful/Wretched Memories of Racial Dynamics in the Twin Cities” Minnesota Historical Society, Published and In Print since May 18, 2021.


“Review of Maritza E. Cárdenas' Constituting Central American- Americans” Latino Studies Journal, Vol. 17, Issue 4, 2020.

“Review of Alfredo Vea Jr.’s The Mexican Flyboy” Kalfou: A Journal of Comparative and Relational Ethnic Studies, Special Edition: The Emboldening and Transformative Imaginary of Dr. George J. Sanchez, Winter 2018.


“Performing Collisional Ethnic Studies: an (im)possible and (un)expected archive,” Special Issue on “Archiving Performance” Performance Matters Journal 1.1, May 2015.


“Queerness as Conviviality: Race, Risk, and Sexuality in Instructions not Included,” “New Queer Theory on Film” Cinephile 10.2, Winter 2015.


Podcast Episodes


“Season 2: Pandemic Manifestos of Collaboration, Critical Theory and Writing “

Episode 1: “Sounds From the Other Side: A Conversation with Dr. Elliott Powell”, Release Date: April 4th, 2021, Running Time: 75 Minutes


Episode 2: “Contemplating the Dangers of Essentializing Labor and Laborers: A Conversation with Dr. Lilia Soto y Dr. Salvador Zarate” Release Date April 8th, 2021, Running Time: 73 Minutes


Episode 3: “’We Have Worthy Work to Do Anywhere We Are’: A Conversation with Dr. George Lipsitz and Janelle Levy”, Release Date April 11, 2021, Running Time: 62 Minutes


Episode 4: “The Wonderful and the Wretched: A Conversation with the Editors of Sparked: George Floyd, Racism and the Progressive Illusion” Release Date: June 9th, 2021, Running Time: 82 Minutes


Episode 5: "Turning Poison into Medicine:" Contemplating Race, Meditation and Buddhism, Release Date: October 29th, Running Time: 1hr, 15minutes


Episode 6: "Transformative Manifesting:" Healing with the Editors and Writers of Transmovimientos: Latinx Queer Migrations, Bodies and Spaces, Releasea Date: November 24th, Running Time: 1 hour, 23 minutes


“Season 1: The Alchemist Manifesto: Towards a Holistic Ethnic Studies”

Episode 1: Getting to Know Us, Part I: Interview with Dr. Daniel Topete”, Release Date: January 12th, 2021, Running Time: 47 minutes


Episode 2: “Getting to Know Us, Part II: Interview with Dr. Mario Obando”, Release Date: January 12th, 2021, Running Time: 46 minutes


Episode 3: “Y Aprendar a Ver” Liberating our Hearts in Teaching and Learning”, Release Date: January 24th, 2021, Running Time: 48 minutes


Episode 4: “Levántate y Mira La Montaña: Liberating Our Hearts in Teaching and Learning, Part II” Release Date: February 3rd, 2021; Running Time: 48 minutes


Episode 5: “Anhedonia y Amistad, Part I” Release Date: February 26th, 2021, Running Time: 72 minutes


Episode 6: “Anhedonia y Amistad, Part II” Release Date: March 29th, 2021