With support from the U.S. Department of Education's Title VI NRC program, the Latin American and Iberian Institute and the Department of Spanish and Portuguese collaborated on a new hire in the language, literatures, and cultures of Brazil. Dr. Jeremy Lehnen comes on board as a new Assistant Professor in August 2011. Dr. Lehnen contributes an exciting research agenda to a burgeoning program in Brazilian Cultures and Literatures. His scholarship looks at how contemporary Brazilian and Mexican film expresses social anxieties about urban violence and thus helps to create an imaginary of social exclusion. Dr. Lehnen wrote his dissertation on "Masculinity, Marginality, Mayhem and Middle Class Anxieties: Imaginaries of Masculinity and Urban Violence in Contemporary Mexican and Brazilian Film" (UNM 2010). His recent and forthcoming scholarly articles include "Constructing the Man, Constructing Narratives of Fear: 'O homem do ano,'" in Literatura e Autoritarismo: Dossiê "Cultura Brasileira Moderna e Contemporânea," (2009), "Violence and the Peripheral Male Subject" in Brazilian Popular Culture (2011), and "Disjunctive Urbanisms," in Mexican Studies / Estudios mexicanos (forthcoming).
Dr. Lehnen brings a wealth of teaching experience in both Spanish and Portuguese, having taught classes at Macalester College and UNM on the topics of Brazilian, Mexican, and Latin American Film, Human Rights in Literature and Film, Brazilian Masculinities, Latin American Popular Culture, the Influence of Electronic Media in Contemporary Latin American Cultural Production, and Narratives of Fear. He is a charismatic and demanding teacher, who inspires students and whom they find energetic, funny, and excellent at explaining concepts. His classes are "not for the faint-hearted."
The LAII is grateful for the support of Provost Suzanne Ortega and Dean Brenda Claiborne in strengthening a program that focuses on Latin America's rising cultural, economic, and political powerhouse, an understanding of whose peoples and society are of vital importance for the U.S.
--Posted Wednesday, April 6, 2011.