Carsey-Wolf Center
Annual Conference

Thursday–Saturday, April 26–28, 2018

How do we conceptualize the study of media in the Americas in the twenty-first century?

The Carsey-Wolf Center’s 2018 conference will explore the nexus of cultural creativity between North and South, South and South, and the varied heritage of media in Latin America and its diaspora. To date, scholars have expanded our study of media in the Americas to include film, television, radio, and electronic media, as well as information and social media. They have challenged the presumed unity of regional nomenclatures and explored new approaches to exhibition and reception studies, culture and consumption, space and affect, transnational corporate industries and intermedial practices, politics and activism, as well as new approaches to the study of the archive. Media in the Americas seeks to build upon this work, bringing together an interdisciplinary group of scholars in an effort to expand and refine our understanding of intellectual histories, cultural policies, institutional frameworks, bordering cultures, technological changes, and, most urgently, contested notions of democracy in local and transnational contexts. We are interested in exploring concepts and approaches generated by feminist and queer theories, critical race and postcolonial scholarship, and activism throughout the Americas, including the work of indigenous groups and alternative networks of media production.

Media in the Americas

2628 April 2018

Thursday 26 April 7:00 PM

9:00 PM


Friday 27 April 9:009:15 AM

9:15–10:30 AM




10:30–10:45 AM

10:45 AM–12:00 PM





12:00–1:00 PM

1:00–2:15 PM




2:15–2:30 PM

2:30–3:45 PM




3:45–5:00 PM





Saturday 28 April 10:00–11:15 AM




11:15 AM–12:30 PM




12:30–1:45 PM

1:45–3:00 PM




3:003:15 PM

3:15–4:30 PM





Film screening (TBA)

Post-screening discussion


Introduction + Welcome: Patrice Petro + Cristina Venegas  

Panel 1: Politics, Territories, Multitudes  

Cristina Venegas, Moderator  

Jon Beasley-Murray, “Post-Televisual Politics in the Americas: Media and Multitude”  

Bishnupriya Ghosh, “Southern Territories: Tracking Che in India”  


Panel 2: Mexico on Film  

Veronica Castillo-Munoz, Moderator  

Colin Gunkel, “Esto es serio/This Is Serious: Mexican Film Culture, the Question of Cultural Value,

and the Logistics of Transnational Research”  

Amaru Tejeda, ““Trademark Your Cultura:” Reflecting on Disney’s Coco”  


Panel 3: Translation  

Suzanne Jill Levine, Moderator  

Inès Casillas, “Download or Press Play: The Racial Politics of Rosetta Stone, Translation Texts, and Language Learning Technologies”  

Marisa Venegas, “Bridging the Audience Divide: The Challenge and Importance of Bilingual, Multi-Platform Collaborations”  


Panel 4: Technopolitics   

Lisa Han, Moderator  

Anita Say Chan, “Of Data Cultures and Data F(r)ictions: Notes on Decentering Data Futures from Latin American Startup Ecologies  

Tyler Morgenstern, “Protocol/oniality: Territorial Unmattering in the ALOHAnet”  

Panel 5: Porn and Economies of Intimacy  

Constance Penley, Moderator  

Jennifer Tyburczy, “Pornoterrorismo”  

Ana López, “Transnational and Intermedial: An Approximation to Pornographic Cinema in Latin America”  


Panel 6: South-South Solidarities  

Patrice Petro, Moderator  

Bhaskar Sarkar ”Mrinal Sen’s America (A Southern Perspective)”  

Bianka Ballina, “Mediating Cuban Solidarity during the Ebola Crisis”  

Panel 7: Institution Building  

Ross Melnick, Moderator  

Rielle Navitski, “Transatlantic Cinephilia: Institution-Building and Global Art Cinema Between Latin America and France, 1945-1965”  

Pedro Butcher, “The Early Years of the Film Industry in Brazil: Notes on the Circulation and Distribution of Motion Pictures”  


Panel 8: Indigenous Media  

Eloi Grasset, Moderator  

Freya Schiwy, “Thresholds of the Visible. Activist Video, Militancy and Prefigurative Politics”  

Amalia Cordova, “The Cinemas of Abya Yala Project: Locating Archives of Indigenous Audiovisual Memory”  


Panel 9: Spectacles of Mediation 

Ben Olguín, Moderator  

Juan Llamas-Rodriguez, “Tunnel Warfare and the Mediation of Border Spectacles”  

Yeidy Rivero, “The Original Miami Sound Machine: Miami’s Emergence as a Production Center for the U.S. and Latin America”  

Closing remarks: Cristina Venegas  

Conference participants:

Bianka Ballina is a PhD candidate in Film and Media Studies at UC Santa Barbara. Her dissertation is entitled “Vital Exports: Mediating Cuban Solidarity and Global South Imaginaries in the Post-Socialist Era.” It explores media’s role in the discourses and practices of Cuban internationalism and South-South solidarity. Bianka’s research interests include media globalization and its effects on the Global South, Latin American and Latinx media cultures, post-socialist Cuban media, feminist and queer theories, and migration. She received an MA in Latin American Studies from Tulane University and BA degrees in Economics and Women’s Studies from the University of Florida. Bianka is the Coordinating Editor of Media Fields Journal.

Jon Beasley-Murray is Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies at the University of British Columbia. His first book, Posthegemony: Political Theory and Latin America, was published by the University of Minnesota Press in 2010 and won honorable mention in the MLA’s Katherine Singer Kovacs Prize for “an outstanding book published in English or Spanish in the field of Latin American and Spanish literatures and cultures.” His current book projects include “American Ruins,” on the significance of six ruined sites from Alberta, Canada, to Santiago de Chile and a project on “The Latin American Multitude,” which traces the relationships between Caribbean piracy and the Spanish state, and indigenous insurgency and the discourse of Latin American independence.

Pedro Butcher is a Brazilian journalist, film critic, curator, and researcher. He is now a Fulbright visiting researcher at the Film and Media Department of UC Santa Barbara, where he is developing part of his PhD research about the early years of the film industry in Brazil. He concluded his master’s degree in 2006 at the School of Communication of the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ). He is the author of Abril Despedaçado – História de um filme (2002), Cinema, desenvolvimento e mercado (2003), Cinema Brasileiro Hoje (2004) and Cine Brasileño: La Camera Lucida (2010), with José Carlos Avellar.

Dolores Inés Casillas is Associate Professor in the Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies and a Faculty Affiliate of Film & Media Studies and Applied Linguistics at UC Santa Barbara. She is the author of the award-winning book Sounds of Belonging: U.S. Spanish-language Radio and Public Advocacy (NYU Press, 2014) and co-editor with María Elena Cepeda (Williams College) of the Routledge Companion for Latina/o Media (Routledge, 2016).

Anita Say Chan is an Associate Research Professor of Communications in the Department of Media and Cinema Studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Her research and teaching interests include globalization and digital cultures, innovation networks and the “periphery”, and science and technology studies in Latin America. Her first book, Networking Peripheries: Technological Futures and the Myth of Digital Universalism (MIT Press, 2014), is about the competing imaginaries of global connection and information technologies in network-age Peru. She is the 2017-18 Faculty Fellow with the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, and the 2017-19 Faculty Fellow with the Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory at UIUC.

Amalia Cordova is a filmmaker, curator, and scholar specializing in Indigenous film. She is the Latinx Digital Curator at the Smithsonian Institution’s Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, and was previously a Latin American program specialist for the Film + Video Center of the National Museum of the American Indian in New York City. Her publications include essays in The Routledge Companion to Latin American Cinema (2018), In the Balance: Indigeneity, Performance, Globalization (2017), New Documentaries in Latin America (2014), Film Festival Yearbook 4: Film Festivals and Activism(2012) and Global Indigenous Media (2008). She holds a Ph.D. in Cinema Studies and an M.A. in Performance Studies from NYU. She is from Santiago, Chile.

Bishnupriya Ghosh teaches postcolonial theory, contemporary 20th and 21st literatures, and global media studies at UC Santa Barbara’s Departments of English and Global Studies. Her first monograph, When Borne Across: Literary Cosmopolitics in the Contemporary Indian Novel (Rutgers UP, 2004) addressed cultural globalization and the market for world literatures; and her second, Global Icons: Apertures into the Global (Duke UP, 2011) focused on globally circulating iconic images that constitute media environments. She is currently engaged in writing her third monograph, The Virus Touch: Theorizing Epidemic Media, and co-editing The Routledge Handbook on Media and Risk (forthcoming 2018).

Colin Gunckel is an Associate Professor of screen arts and cultures, American culture, and Latina/o studies at the University of Michigan and the author of Mexico on Main Street: Transnational Film Culture in Los Angeles before World War II (Rutgers University Press, 2015). He has published essays in a number of scholarly journals, including American QuarterlyAztlán: A Journal of Chicano StudiesFilm HistorySocial Justice, and Velvet Light Trap. He is the editor of research guides on both the East LA cultural arts center Self Help Graphics and Art and the photographer Oscar Castillo. He also serves as Associate Editor of the “A Ver: Revisioning Art History” monograph series on individual Latina/o artists.

Juan Llamas-Rodriguez is Assistant Professor of transnational media in the School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication at the University of Texas at Dallas. His research focuses on media distribution, creative labor, border studies, and Latin American film and television. His work has been published or is forthcoming in Feminist Media HistoriesFilm QuarterlyJump Cut, and Cinema Journal. His current book project, Trafficking Tunnels and the Infrastructures of the Border, examines how fictional media and digital technologies shape the popular conception of illicit underground tunnels and, subsequently, the dis/ordering of transnational borders.

Ana M. López is the director of the Cuban and Caribbean Studies Institute and Professor in the Communication Department and Associate Provost of Tulane University. Her scholarship and publications are focused on Latin American film, media, television, and popular culture. She has also worked extensively with Latino cultural production in the U.S. Her work has been widely published in film and Latin American studies journals and she is the co-editor of the volumes Mediating Two Worlds (BFI, 1993), The Ethnic Eye: Latino Media Arts (University of Minnesota, 1996), and the three-volume Encyclopedia of Latin American Culture (Routledge, 2000).

Tyler Morgenstern is a PhD student in the Department of Film and Media Studies at UCSB, and a Doctoral Fellow of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. His research focuses primarily on the technopolitics of empire and colonialism, considering how a wide range of technical systems become enfolded within the biopolitical and territorial operations of colonial statecraft. His current project, Programming the Settler Modern: Colonial Recursions on the ‘Cybernetic Continent,’ considers how computing and information technologies became involved in US and Canadian efforts to at once reassert and reconfigure the lineaments of settler sovereignty vis-à-vis the Indigenous in the post-World War Two period. Tyler is also a member of the Media Fields Editorial Collective at UCSB.

Rielle Navitski is Assistant Professor of Film Studies in the Department of Theatre and Film Studies at the University of Georgia. Her research takes a comparative perspective on Latin American visual cultures, with a focus on cinema and the illustrated press in the first half of the twentieth century. She is the author of Public Spectacles of Violence: Sensational Cinema in Early Twentieth-Century Mexico and Brazil (Duke University Press, 2017) and co-editor of Cosmopolitan Film Cultures in Latin America, 1896-1960 (Indiana University Press, 2017).

Yeidy M. Rivero is Chair of the Department of Screens Arts and Cultures, Professor of Screen Arts and Cultures and American Culture. Her research centers on television history, media and globalization, and race and ethnic representations in media. She is the author of Tuning Out Blackness: Race and Nation in the History of Puerto Rican Television (Duke University Press, 2005), Broadcasting Modernity: Cuban Commercial Television, 1950-1960(Duke University Press, 2015), and co-editor (with Arlene Dávila) of Contemporary Latino Media: Production, Circulation, Politics (New York University Press, 2015). Her new book project examines propaganda-oriented entertainment radio produced in Miami and targeted to Cuba and Latin America during the 1960s.

Bhaskar Sarkar is the chair of the UCSB Department of Film and Media Studies. His primary research interests include risk and speculative media; post-colonial media theory; political economy of global media; and history and memory. Sarkar is the author of Mourning the Nation: Indian Cinema in the Wake of Partition (Duke University Press, 2009), a critical exploration of the cinematic traces of a particular historical trauma. He is coeditor of Documentary Testimonies: Global Archives of Suffering (Routledge, 2009), and a special issue of BioScope: South Asian Screen Studies on “Indian Documentary Studies.” At present, he is completing a monograph titled Cosmoplastics: Bollywood’s Global Gesture, and a co-edited collection of essays, Asian Video Cultures: In the Penumbra of the Global (Duke University Press, forthcoming).

Freya Schiwy is an Associate Professor in the Media Cultural Studies Department and a cooperating faculty member in the Hispanic Studies Department at the University of California, Riverside. She is author of Indianizing Film: Decolonization, the Andes, and the Question of Technology (Rutgers UP, 2009), co-editor of Adjusting the Lens. Community and Collaborative, Video in Mexico (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2017), Digital Media, Cultural Production, and Speculative Capitalism, (Routledge, 2011), and (In)disciplinar las ciencias sociales (UASB, 2002). Her most recent monograph, The Open Invitation. Video Activism and the Politics of Affect, is currently under review.

Amaru Tejeda is an MA/PhD student in Film and Media Studies at UC Santa Barbara. His research interests include Latinx media, media industry studies, and environmental media, with a particular focus on the question of power and its uneven concentration on the side of corporate interests. He received his BA in Media Studies from Pomona College in 2013, and taught critical media literacy to high school students in his hometown on the Eastside of Los Angeles before joining the Film and Media Studies department. Amaru is a member of the Media Fields Editorial Collective at UCSB.

Jennifer Tyburczy is Associate Professor of Feminist Studies and affiliated faculty in the Department of Theater and Dance and the Latin American and Iberian Studies Program. Her first book, Sex Museums: The Politics and Performance of Display (University of Chicago Press, 2016), won the 2017 Lambda Literary Award in LGBTQ Studies. Tyburczy curated the award-winning exhibition Irreverent: A Celebration of Censorship for the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art in New York. She is currently at work on a second book project, Sex After NAFTA: Crossing Borders and the Economy of Intimacy, in which she employs an interdisciplinary methodology to trace the influence of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) on everyday practices of intimacy.

Marisa Venegas is an award-winning television Executive Producer specializing in long-form non-fiction content. Over two decades working at major television networks, she has participated in the launch and development of landmark prime-time newsmagazine shows and created hundreds of hours of visual narratives. Her recent documentaries have been recognized with numerous broadcast and investigative reporting honors, including two News and Documentary Emmys for Outstanding Investigative Reporting in Spanish (2014, 2017), the Gerald Loeb Award (2017), the New York Press Club Award (2017), the National Headliner Award (2017), the Society of American Business Editors and Writers Award (2017), the George Polk Award for Television Reporting (2014); the Investigative Reporter and Editors Gold Medal (2014); Society of Professional Journalists’ Sigma Delta Chi, New America (2014) and Sunshine State First Place awards for Investigative Reporting (2015, 2017).

Conference moderators:

ronica Castillo-Muñoz studies transnational migration to Mexico and Mexican migration to the United States. Her first book, The Other California: Land, Identity, and Politics on the Mexican Borderlands (UC Press, 2016), examines how communities of laborers changed the racially and ethnically diverse social landscape of the Mexico-U.S. borderlands. Her second book project, Women and Revolution: A Tale of Violence and Deception on the Mexico-U.S. Borderlands, uses photographic representations and testimonies of border women to examine their participation and experiences in the Mexican Revolution (1910–1920). 

Eloi Grasset is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at UCSB, where he teaches Hispanic Literature and Film. He has published widely on many aspects of Iberian cultures. He is now working on a book manuscript, tentatively titled Modernity and Mother Tongues in Iberian Literatures, where he explores the literary aesthetics that is peculiar to writers choosing to write in a non-native language. Other projects include the study of emotions and affects in contemporary Spanish cinema.  

Lisa Han is a PhD candidate in Film and Media Studies at UC Santa Barbara. Her research focuses on the intersections between environmental media, science and technology studies, and information cultures. Her dissertation examines the mediation of seabed landscapes in relation to extraction and excavation, with particular attention to offshore drilling, deep sea mining, and nautical archaeology. She has also published work on fetal ultrasound, abortion discourse on social media, and internet freedom in Turkey. Lisa is a member of the Media Fields Editorial Collective.  

Suzanne Jill Levine is a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Spanish & Portuguese at UCSB, editor of Penguin’s paperback classics of the works of Jorge Luis Borges, and noted translator of Latin American prose and poetry by important writers such as Guillermo Cabrera Infante, Julio Cortázar, Carlos Fuentes and Adolfo Bioy Casares. Director of Translation Studies at UCSB, Professor Levine is author of several books including The Subversive Scribe: Translating Latin American Fiction (1991, 2009), Manuel Puig and the Spiderwoman: His Life and Fictions (FSG, 2000, 2002). Her latest translation is Puerto Rican filmmaker Eduardo Lalo’s novel USELESSNESS, published Fall 2017 by University of Chicago Press. 

Ross Melnick specializes in media industry history and analysis, U.S. and global film exhibition, film, radio, and television history, archival theory and practice, silent cinema, early radio and media convergence, and moving image journalism. His first book is American Showman: Samuel ‘Roxy’ Rothafel and the Birth of the Entertainment Industry, 19081935 (Columbia University Press, 2012). He was named an Academy Film Scholar in 2017 by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship in 2015–2016, and was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry at Emory University in 2010–2011. Melnick is currently finishing his second book, Screening the World: Hollywood’s Global Exhibition Empires. 

Ben V. Olguín is the Robert and Liisa Erickson Presidential Chair in the English Department at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Olguín’s interdisciplinary areas of expertise include Chicanx and Latinx Literary and Cultural Studies, Critical Race and Ethnic Studies, American and Latin American Studies, Postcolonial Studies, Speculative literature and film, Human Rights theory and praxis, Marxist and materialist theories, Medical Humanities, and Creative Writing. His research, writing, teaching, and service activities explore the complex relationships between vernacular culture and performances of power and counter-power in local, transnational, cross-border, and hemispheric venues. 

Constance Penley is Professor of Film and Media Studies and Founding Director and Co-Director Emeritus of the Carsey-Wolf Center at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her major areas of research interest are film history and theory, feminist theory, cultural studies, contemporary art, and science and technology studies. Penley is a recipient of the MacArthur Foundation Digital Media and Learning Award and the Kenneth Burke Society Prize in Rhetorical Criticism.  

Conference organizers:

Patrice Petro is Professor of Film and Media Studies and Dick Wolf Director of the Carsey-Wolf Center and Presidential Chair in Media Studies. She is the author, editor, and co-editor of eleven books, including The Routledge Companion to Cinema and Gender (with Kristin Hole, Dijana Jelaca, and E. Ann Kaplan). She served two consecutive terms as President of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies (SCMS), the U.S.’s leading professional organization of college and university educators, filmmakers, historians, critics, scholars, and others devoted to the study of the moving image.

Cristina Venegas focuses her research on international media with an emphasis on Latin America, Spanish-language film and television in the U.S., and digital technologies. Her book Digital Dilemmas (Rutgers, 2010) deals with digital media in Cuba and she has also written about film and political culture, revolutionary imagination in the Americas, telenovelas, contemporary Latin American cinema and co-productions. She has curated numerous film programs on Latin American and Indigenous film in the US and Canada, and she is Co-founder and Artistic Director (since 2004) of the Latino CineMedia International Film Festival in Santa Barbara.

The conference is open to the public. Please register by Monday 9 April to let us know you’re coming.

All panels will be held in the Wallis Annenberg Conference Room, 4315 Social Sciences and Media Studies Building.