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Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics


SP LA Cinema: Cinema and the Politics of Representation in Latin America

SP LA Cinema: Cinema and the Politics of Representation in Latin America

Course Convenor: Dr Geoff Maguire (, Section of Spanish & Portuguese

This module offers students the opportunity to explore an exciting range of films from Latin America that have addressed key political themes and reshaped our understanding of political cinema. Taking us from the early films of the 1920s to contemporary productions, the module will examine questions of biopolitics, violence, neocolonialism, globalization, and sexuality, and their (often very innovative) representation in fiction and documentary films.

Students are strongly encouraged to read a number of the following texts as advance preparation for the module in Latin American Film and Visual Arts. The aim is to familiarize yourself with some of the key historical contexts, major movements and conceptual frameworks relating to film, photography, painting and other forms of art and visual culture in Latin America. The list is not prescriptive: students should choose 3-4 texts that they are able to access without too much difficulty.  

This is a particularly popular module and there is a maximum capacity for this module of 10 students.  Priority will be given to students who have degree-level Spanish or Portuguese and who are writing a dissertation in a directly related field, but even if these requirements are fulfilled, it does not guarantee a place in cases where the module is highly over-subscribed.  Non-enrolled students will not be permitted to ‘audit’ (observe) sessions due to constraints on the module.

  • Ades, Dawn, ed. Art in Latin America: The Modern Era, 1820-1980 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1989)
  • Folgarait, Leonard. Seeing Mexico Photographed: The Work of Horne, Casasola, Modotti, and Álvarez Bravo (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2008)
  • King, John. Magical Reels: A History of Cinema in Latin America (London: Verso, 1990)
  • Mosquera, Gerardo, ed., Beyond the Fantastic: Contemporary Art Criticism from Latin America (London: Institute of International Visual Arts, 1995)
  • Nelmes, Jill, ed. Introduction to Film Studies, 5th edn (London and New York: Routledge, 2011) 
  • OlesJames. Art and Architecture in Mexico (London: Thames and Hudson, 2013)
  • Podalsky, Laura. The Politics of Affect and Emotion in Contemporary Latin American Cinema: Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, and Mexico (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011)
  • Shohat, Ella and Robert Stam. Unthinking Eurocentrism: Multiculturalism and the Media (London and New York: Routledge, 1994)

See for further information including Key Issues and Texts (note: page to be updated over the summer).

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