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Motherhood: The Experiences of Domestic Workers in Contemporary Latin American Cinema

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This paper explores the psychological experiences of domestic workers in three contemporary Latin American films: Roma (Mexico, 2018), Crímenes de familia (Argentina, 2020) and Que Horas Ela Volta? (Brazil, 2015). Specifically, the motherhood of these three protagonists is explored and

This paper explores the psychological experiences of domestic workers in three contemporary Latin American films: Roma (Mexico, 2018), Crímenes de familia (Argentina, 2020) and Que Horas Ela Volta? (Brazil, 2015). Specifically, the motherhood of these three protagonists is explored and analyzed using psychological research that pertains to motherhood, trauma, and the relationships between domestic workers and the families that employ them. This paper reveals that contemporary Latin American cinema portrays domestic workers as having negative experiences of motherhood as a direct result of their occupation and proposes for further protections, policy change, and psychological research to take place for domestic workers in Latin America and beyond.

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2021-05

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The temporal trope of the ghost and the rhetorical figure of the family in hispanic horror films of the 2000s

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This dissertation analyzes three films from Mexico, Spain, and Argentina--Kilómetro 31, El orfanato, and Aparecidos (2007)--and their interplay with the historicism that has traditionally served as the default referent for "reality" in Western narrative. While grounding my approach in temporal

This dissertation analyzes three films from Mexico, Spain, and Argentina--Kilómetro 31, El orfanato, and Aparecidos (2007)--and their interplay with the historicism that has traditionally served as the default referent for "reality" in Western narrative. While grounding my approach in temporal critique, I borrow from deconstruction, psychoanalysis, and queer theory to explore ways in which ghosts and the rhetorical figure of the family are manipulated in each national imaginary as a strategy for negotiating volatility within symbolic order: a tactic that can either naturalize or challenge normative discourses. As a literary and cinematic trope, ghosts are particularly useful vehicles for the exploration of national imaginaries and the dominant or competing cultural attitudes towards a country's history, and thus, the articulation of a present political reality. The rhetorical figure of the family is also pivotal in this process as a mechanism for expressing national allegories, for articulating generational anxieties about a nation's relationship with its history, and for organizing societies and social subjects as such, interpellating them into or excluding them from national imaginaries according to its grammar/logic. The proposed trajectory through these films will help facilitate a study of the potential of these rhetorical figures to either reinscribe or question two of the most fundamental processes that go into the cartography of ideology: the imposition of (a) time and the negotiation of social subjectivity within it. Competing political narratives may use any number of rhetorical strategies to position themselves in time to promote their agendas while continuing to reinforce the overall framework that determines the parameters of what is visible, and thus debatable. As temporal anomalies who are defined by their (in)visibility, ghosts can be used to either reinforce this framework or they can be used to articulate alternative relationships to time, and consequently, other political possibilities. Ghosts, families, and children are especially volatile rhetorical figures because of their potential to expose the mechanisms of societal organization--the construction of social subjects through their relationship to the time and the families of which they are presumably products--as negotiable processes rather than self-evident truths.

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2013

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A history of emotions in Spanish American narrative (novel and film): Argentina and Chile 1960-21st century

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Due to its interdisciplinary nature, the history of emotions has engaged much scholarly interest. This project draws from the historical, sociological and philosophical research on emotions to analyze the representation of emotions in narratives from Argentina and Chile. This historical

Due to its interdisciplinary nature, the history of emotions has engaged much scholarly interest. This project draws from the historical, sociological and philosophical research on emotions to analyze the representation of emotions in narratives from Argentina and Chile. This historical investigation posits that socio-political, cultural and economic forces, which are represented in literature and film, shape emotions and emotional standards. The analysis of Rayuela (1963) by Julio Cortázar and Raúl Ruiz’s Tres Tristes Tigres (1968) is centered on the impact of Existentialism, capitalism and modernity on the construction of emotional standards in urban societies. The impact of militant groups in the shaping of collective emotions in Latin America during the 1960s and 70s is examined in Reina Roffé’s novel Monte de Venus (1973) and Aldo Francia’s film Ya no basta con rezar (1972). The analysis of Alberto Fuguet’s Las películas de mi vida (2002) and Pablo Larraín’s No (2012) sheds light on the paradigmatic shift in the construction of emotional standards resulting from the implementation of neoliberalism through dictatorships as well as the insertion into the globalized consumerist culture by way of technology and media. Finally, this project encourages future research of the emotions in literary and cultural studies of Latin America.

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2016