Campus event: Lecture on Latina In/Visibility in Pop Culture

The Center for Women’s and Gender Studies here at UT (where I earnt my MA) are sponsoring a lecture next Wednesday at 4pm which will be of interest to those of you interested in the representation of women of colour in popular culture … looks good!

  Wednesday, October 29, 2014  4:00 PM - 5:00 PM  BUR 214  Latinas Only Latinas Can See: Tween TV Stars, Ambiguous Latinidad, and Questions of Empowerment  Mary Beltrán  While the rising visibility of actors of Latina/o descent in children’s and other television programming since the early 2000s can be viewed as progressive, the young actors in these roles and the characters they play in recent years are often of partial Latino descent and play characters that may be difficult to distinguish from non-Latina/os. Scholars have yet to explore the implications of this new visual and narrative ambiguity in Latina/o televisual representation. When televisual Latinidad in the form of subtle cultural markers—described by some advertisers as a “Latino wink”—and Latina and Latino stars may be recognized as such only by Latina/o viewers,what are the implications regarding how Hispanic cultures and identities are valued within the American imaginary? And is semi-Latina status now anecessity for Latina teen performers to garner media industry backing? Through contrasting the construction of Latina teen characters and stars on popular tween-targeted series of the early 2000s and early 2010s and the case studies of their stars, actresses Christina Vidal and Selena Gomez, this study explores the evolving construction of Latinidad in girls'media culture. It also raises larger questions regarding how feministmedia studies can make sense of shifts in racial and gendered representation in response to ongoing concerns of the influence of the media on young viewers.  Bio  Mary Beltrán is an associate professor of Radio-Television-Film and an affiliate of Gender & Women’s Studies and Mexican American Studies. Her research is focused on the construction of race, class, and gender in U.S. television, film, and celebrity culture, particularly in relation to Latina/o representation in and production of U.S. film and television. She is the author of Latina/o Stars in U.S. Eyes and co-editor (with Camilla Fojas) of Mixed Race Hollywood.  For more information, please call the Center for Women's & Gender Studies at 512-471-5765

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