- New Latin American Cinema
- World Cinema
- Latina/o Media Studies
- Media and Citizenship
- Global Media
- Sex and Gender in Latin American Film
- Media and Drug Violence in Latin America
- Theory and Criticism of Media
- Documenting the Self
- Race, Ethnicity and Communication
- Transcultural Communication
- Postmodernism, Poststructuralism, and the Search for Meaning
- Media and Culture
- Communication, Gender and Identity
Below I expand on a few of these courses to give you a sense of how I approach the teaching of media.
Introduction to Global Media
This course gives students a critical understanding of the roles communication and media have played in the constitution (and dissolution) of national identities, particularly as these identities are shaped by national and international communication flows. These flows work within nations to consolidate an identity and, simultaneously, work across nations in ways that challenge national identities. This complex duality of communication and media flows must be grasped in reference to the economic, technological, and cultural relationships that contextualize them, including colonialism and post-sovietization.
New Latin American Cinema
This course provides students with a historical and critical perspective on New Latin American Cinema (NLAC). This brand of filmmaking, which originated in the 1950’s in reaction to Hollywood practices, emphasized the social and political dimensions of cinema. Often called Third Cinema, NLAC became quite relevant to the Latin American and Third World cultural environments (from the 60’s to the 80’s) where it became equated to ‘revolutionary cinema.’ NLAC was understood as revolutionary because it used a radical aesthetics to express the reality of oppression and the possibility of freedom in nationally specific ways. Your historical and critical perspectives will be informed by examining the social conditions, philosophical-aesthetic positions, narrative strategies, and particular national histories of relevant NLAC films of the last 40 years. In addition to examining the highly political type of filmmaking coming from Latin American since the 1950s, we’ll also look a contemporary Latin American cinema to analyze the implications that globalization has for these filmmakers and their aesthetic and political propositions.
Latina/o Media Studies
This course is designed to introduce students to critical analyses of media texts, media industries, and media audiences that help explain the locations of Latinas/os in America. Media are central to understanding the historical, cultural, and social roots of modern conceptions of Latinas/os in the United States, because media offer us ways of seeing things and people, constructing, alongside other cultural institutions such as education, a pool of accepted ideas, accepted feelings, and accepted actions about others and ourselves.
This course offers a comparative survey of the cinemas of Europe, Africa, Central and South America, the Middle East, India, and Asia, with an introduction to the film histories, stylistic tendencies, generic trends, and production modes of each region. Additionally, we will investigate classical, avant-garde, and “third cinema” aesthetics, as well as concepts of nationhood and national cinemas, cinema’s status in the public sphere, and postcolonial film theory. The final section of the course will be devoted to transnational and diasporic filmmaking and theory. Course requirements will include regular class attendance and participation, two papers and a final exam. The course is cross-listed as GETR 374 and MDST 377 and will be co-taught by Professors Laura Heins (German) and Hector Amaya (Media Studies). Students enrolled in the GETR section of the course will be expected to write their papers on topics related to German cinema. No prerequisites.
Media and Citizenship
This course provides a critical perspective on the relationships of media to citizenship. It asks questions central to explaining the role of media in political and national life, including the following: What notions of national and political membership are forwarded by mainstream media? What media spaces are viable for the political agency of racial, sexual, and economic minorities and how do these spaces work? Does media shape citizenship or is it the other way around? When it comes to media, what are the more productive ways of thinking about citizenship? Is citizenship a cultural phenomena? Is citizenship a legal construct? Is citizenship a political fiction?