With Alexis Salas

Understanding cinema as one of the most active forces in the visual, political, and social structure of place, we will screen and discuss films that have acted as social agents in the Americas. We will read major thinkers on class, social movements, and colonialism such as Hegel, Marx, Fanon, Malcom X, Castro, Marti, and Anzaldua. Thinking in dialogue with manifestos and cultural histories, we will screen films that challenge narrative structures, cinematic techniques, notions of political activism, means of distribution, and even the very notion of cinema. In concert, these radical visualities foment understandings of the moving image’s capacity to enact discourses and changes in society, culture, and history. Thematic topics include cultural cannibalism, neo-colonization, cultural difference in theoretical paradigms, Third Cinema, plagiarism and cultural appropriation, the mockumentary, mestizaje (cultural mixing) and cultural syncretism, the history of anthropology and racial typing, the 1968 student movement and massacre, sur-realism (realism from the Global South), as well as self-representation and indigenous cinema. Projects include one creative work based on the films screened as well as film analysis and several presentations. Knowledge of Spanish, Portuguese, and cinema is welcome but not necessary.

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