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Save the Date for LAII Latin American Film Symposium

From February 6 to 7, 2014, the LAII will hold its third annual Richard E. Greenleaf Symposium on Latin America. In 2014, the symposium focuses on "1920s to 2020s: To Hollywood and Back: Latin American Cinema and Gender in a Global Context." We invite our friends and colleagues to save the date, and hope you will be able to join us for this remarkable two-day symposium.

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"1920s to 2020s: To Hollywood and Back: Latin American Cinema & Gender in a Global Context" is an interdisciplinary symposium focused on stimulating cross-disciplinary dialogue among UNM faculty and invited scholars from across the country whose work involves Brazilian Studies, Chicana/o Studies, Cuban and Caribbean Studies, International and Area Studies, Language and Linguistics, and Spanish and Portuguese. The symposium will consider the ebbs and flows of actors, directors, films and ideas between Hollywood and Latin America. The focus of the panelists will be on questions of gender, be it in the form of appropriation of actors and actresses from Latin America by Hollywood, the socio-political positioning of gender rights vis-á-vis an international cinematic stage, the growth of other directorial voices that challenge -- or not -- the traditional heteronormative male gaze, or the use of film and its growing accessibility as a socio-political forum that traverses borders.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, the relationship of Hollywood to Latin American cinema has been both productive and contentious. For example, in the 1920's Brazil began importing increasingly significant numbers of Hollywood films, which proved devastating to the burgeoning national production of the 1910s. Mexico, for its part in the 1920s, was almost without a national film industry as it emerged from the Revolution and political turmoil. During this time period, Hollywood became a major exporter of films to Latin American and at the same time began "importing" Latin American talent. One of the first international female stars from Latin America, Dolores del Río, began her career in Hollywood in the 1920s only later to become an icon of the Golden Age of Mexican cinema. Carmen Miranda immigrated to Hollywood in the 1940s, gaining the infamous nickname of the "Brazilian Bombshell" that would haunt her career.

The contemporary period again has seen a growing number of individuals transiting from Latin America to Hollywood and back including, for example, directors such as Fernando Meirelles, Guillermo del Toro and Alejandro González Iñárritu, as well as actors such as Wagner Moura and Gael García Bernal, who are increasingly international figures. These flows of talent, in unison with the grow of international cinematic co-productions, underlie the organization of this symposium.

A tentative agenda is available for the conference, including details concerning our invited panelists. Additional information will be made available in January, 2014, as planning progresses.

--Posted Monday, December 16, 2013.