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Race and ethnicity

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Latin American and Iberian Studies series begins with Sept. 9 film

A film and lecture series exploring issues of race and ethnicity in the Americas will open Sept. 9 with the screening of a film from Peru and Colombia.

The Latin American and Iberian Studies Program at the University of Delaware will launch its 2015-16 film and lecture series, “Engaging Race and Ethnicity in the Americas,” on Wednesday, Sept. 9, with the film Contracorriente (Undertow).

The film will be shown at 5:30 p.m. in Room 111 Memorial Hall. Like other events in the series, it is free and open to the public.

“I chose the focus of this academic year's series because of the need to maintain an open dialogue about race, one of the most difficult topics to discuss in the United States,” said Carla Guerrón Montero, director of the program and associate professor of anthropology, who also has joint appointments in the departments of Black American Studies and of Women and Gender Studies.

“Race matters in the U.S. and the Americas at large, and the series will offer opportunities to address the topic openly and candidly.”

is a 2009 film from Peru and Colombia described as “quietly impassioned and sensual … with a breathtaking natural setting.” It deals with issues of gender performance and sexual orientation in a small, deeply religious town and contains elements of magical realism.

The screening will be presented by Persephone Braham, associate professor of foreign languages and literatures.

The fall semester portion of the series will include four other events. Unless otherwise noted, they have been organized  by the Latin American and Iberian Studies Program with support from UD’s Center for Global and Area Studies.

Thursday, Sept. 17, 7 p.m., Trabant University Center Multipurpose Room — Annual Latino Heritage Month Extravaganza, featuring Sonia Manzano. As the character Maria on Sesame Street, Manzano was one of the first Hispanic characters on national television and has won numerous awards as a writer and performer, including 15 Emmy Awards.

This event is organized by UD’s Center for Black Culture and will be presented by Kasandra Moye, the center’s director.

Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2 p.m., Trabant Theatre — Guest lecture by Amy Ritterbusch of the Universidad de los Andes, Bogota-Colombia. The lecture, “Mobilities at Gun Point: The Geographies of (Im)mobility of Transgender Youth in Colombia,” will draw from her research exploring the marginalized youth populations in Colombia, including transgender youths who were forced to leave their birth cities and rural communities.

The talk is organized by the Latin American and Iberian Studies and the Sexuality and Gender Studies programs at UD and will be presented by Pascha Bueno-Hansen, assistant professor of women and gender studies.

Wednesday, Oct. 7, 5:30 p.m., 111 Memorial Hall — Eternal Amazon, a 2013 film from Brazil that presents a critical analysis of how the largest tropical forest in the world is understood and underutilized. It features nine successful projects for sustainable rainforest use, which directly benefit the local population and foster good economic partnerships.

The Eternal Amazon program will be presented by Eve Buckley, assistant professor of history.

Saturday, Nov. 14, (time to be determined), Morris Library — “Highlights from Latin American Videogame Design.” The program will introduce the audience to a variety of games from Latin American developers and help explain how they fit into the global video game industry. Participants will be able to play examples of games from Mexico to the Southern Cone, a region where game design is booming.

The event is organized by the UD Library and will be presented by Phillip Penix-Tadsen, assistant professor of foreign languages and literatures.

Series to continue next semester

The “Engaging Race and Ethnicity in the Americas” series will continue during spring semester, with details about those events to be announced later. The sessions will include two films and a symposium.

The 2014 film Panama Canal Stories will be shown on Thursday, Feb. 25, and Relatos Salvajes (Wild Tales), a 2014 film from Argentina that critics consider one of the best films of the decade, will be shown on Tuesday, March 15.

A two-day symposium, “Where You Were Never Meant to Be?” an open discussion about race and ethnicity in the Americas, will be held April 7-8. It will feature a workshop by the Theatre of the Oppressed and a variety of presentations and panel discussions.

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