Friday, November 11, 2011
3:30 PM - 4:30 PM
317 Folwell Hall
Next Friday the 11th of November the Spanish & Portuguese Research Group (SPRG) is launching its second forum of the year! Two of our department's graduate students (Daniel Arbino and Scott Ehrenburg) will be presenting their research.
"The Trauma of Europeanness in Los soles truncos with Daniel Arbino
What happens when society changes and the protagonist no longer wants to belong? In this presentation I argue that orphans coping with trauma participate in their own alienation and displacement by eschewing societal transformations that directly weaken the colonial class status that they covet: that is, they elect precisely not to belong. Los soles truncos (1958) by René Marqués makes use of traumatized orphans of the decaying bourgeoisie, intent on maintaining their separation from other racial sectors, to criticize what the author perceives to be an oppressive U.S. regime in Puerto Rico through criollo protagonist self-victimization and longing for power. What I postulate is that though these orphans are employed to show opposition to U.S. occupation, they can also be read as favoring an outdated colonial racial hierarchy that alienates them from their changing society. Due to a fear of change that will cause the bourgeoisie to relinquish their privilege, the protagonists are unable to promote racial equality for the largely Afro-Antillean masses. Instead, trauma centers on the subjects of a crumbling plantocracy, creating sympathy for them as victims of history, despite their previous role as aggressors.
"Navigating Transgressive Desire: Maleness, Sexuality, and the Performative in João Pedro Rodrigues' Morrer Como Um Homem with Scott Ehrenburg
João Pedro Rodrigues has been described a mystérieux Portugay director whose work has reached critical acclaim primarily through a "trilogy" of queer films: O Fantasma (2000), Odete (2005), and Morrer Como Um Homem (2009). This paper explores the final film, one in which Rodrigues addresses the complexity of trans-identity by taking the viewer on the journey of a career drag queen, Tonia, who not only performs theatrically on stage but also assumes multiple gendered roles in both public and private realms. Using a Butlerian framework of performativity, it is my contention that in the complexity and richness of these spaces the director deconstructs prefabricated notions of maleness and sexuality through a lens saturated with cinematic elements/structures that problematize gendered notions of subjectivity. In addition, Rodrigues' film acts as a key intervention by challenging our understanding of a camp, queer, and transgressive desire as he re-appropriates traditional symbols, styles, and techniques in a progressive even pioneering way, that demonstrates the need for a continued Queer cinema.