Latinxs in American Cinema
Cinema has the power to give greater visibility to minority groups, just as it is also used to render those groups invisible or distort understandings of their lived experiences. This course explores the construction of ethnic identity and difference on the screen, focusing in particular on the diverse Latinx representations in U.S. narrative cinema. We will look at the questions, problems, and meanings that arise from Latinx images, as well as how the creative labor and self-representation of Latinx performers and filmmakers have served as artistic expression and social protest from the margins of the industry. As you learn about the styles, themes, politics, and contexts important to this history, you will also gain the cultural competencies to read film texts from a critical ethnic studies perspective. Course topics will include the following: relationships between and among ethnicity, class, gender, and sexuality; national borders and undocumented citizenship; diasporic communities and migration stories; the Good Neighbor Policy; the Chicano Movement; transnational filmmaking and crossover audiences; Latinx embodiment and autobiography; and the “global” auteurism of New Mexican Cinema.