Vinodh Venkatesh is Associate Professor of Spanish in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures at Virginia Tech. Presenting a comprehensive overview of recent queer cinema in Latin America, this talk will discuss a new vein of filmmaking that promotes affective relationships between viewers and homo/trans/intersexed characters. Prof. Venkatesh will discuss a number of recent examples of Mexican films to show how their use of an affective poetics situates and regenerates viewers in an ethically productive cinematic space. He further demonstrates that New Maricón Cinema has encouraged the production of “gay friendly” commercial films for popular audiences, which reflects wider sociocultural changes regarding gender difference and civil rights that are occurring in Latin America.
The talk will take place on Thursday, April 6, 2017, at 4:00 PM in the Z. Smith Reynolds Library Auditorium, Room 404. A reception will follow. The event is free and open to the public.
At 6 pm, Prof. Venkatesh will take part in a film screening and discussion.
Film description: The phrase "bad hair" is often used in Caribbean countries to refer to the tight curly hair of people of African heritage. These negative preconceptions have become a problem for Junior, a young boy being raised by a single mother in a working class neighborhood in Caracas, Venezuela. Junior's anxiety about his upcoming school photo has him trying every trick he can think of to straighten his hair and achieve a new look inspired by a famous pop star. But Junior's mother, Marta, is troubled, fearing that the absence of a male figure at home is having an undesirable effect on her son. Before long, Junior will have to make a painful decision.
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