Borders: El Norte

  • Thursday, April 8, 2021 / 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM (PDT)
  • With Colin Gunckel and Mirasol Enríquez
  • Director: Gregory Nava

Gregory Nava’s 1983 epic film El Norte tells the story of a Guatemalan brother and sister (David Villalpando as Enrique, and Zaide Silvia Gutierrez as Rosa) who flee persecution and journey north along the length of Mexico, with a dream of finding a new home in the United States.

Colin Gunckel (University of Michigan) and Mirasol Enríquez (University of Texas – Austin) joined moderator Ross Melnick (UCSB) for a discussion of El Norte.



Colin Gunckel (University of Michigan)

Colin Gunckel is a historian of Latina/o and Mexican popular culture, art, and media. He is currently an associate professor of film, television, and media, 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 the journals American Quarterly, Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano StudiesFilm HistoryJournal of Popular Music StudiesSocial Justice, and Velvet Light Trap, in addition to editing multiple edited collections and exhibition catalogs, including LA RAZA (UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center, 2020). He also serves as Associate Editor of the A Ver: Revisioning Art History monograph series on individual Latino/a artists, published by the UCLA CSRC.

Enriquez - Headshot

Mirasol Enríquez (University of Texas - Austin)

Mirasol Enríquez is the Acting Director of the Moody College’s Latino Media Arts and Studies program, and an Assistant Professor of Instruction in the Departments of Radio-Television-Film and Mexican American and Latina/o Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. As a film and media scholar and arts administrator, she has devoted her career to community building through film and the arts. Her scholarship focuses on U.S.-based Latina producers of narrative feature films and media production culture, Chicana/o film, independent film, and representations of race and gender in media. Her article, “Josey Faz: Traces of a Tejana in Chicana/o Film History,” was recently published in Journal of Cinema and Media Studies, and she and Dr. Mary Beltrán are currently co-editing a special issue of Feminist Media Histories on the topic of Latina Media Histories, which is forthcoming in the fall of 2021. Dr. Enríquez has been a guest curator for the Cine Las Americas International Film Festival in Austin, and she served as the Director of Community Media for the Austin Film Society, where she oversaw their education programs and spearheaded the community media program at Austin Public, the community media center AFS manages for the city of Austin.


Moderator Ross Melnick

Ross Melnick specializes in U.S. and global film exhibition, media industry studies, film and media history, archival theory and practice, silent cinema, and moving image journalism. He is the co-editor of Rediscovering U.S. Newsfilm: Cinema, Television and the Archive (AFI/Routledge, 2018) and the author of American Showman: Samuel ‘Roxy’ Rothafel and the Birth of the Entertainment Industry, 1908-1935 (Columbia University Press, 2012). His articles have been published in journals such as Cinema Journal, Film History, The Moving Image, and Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television and he was named an Academy Film Scholar and a NEH Fellow for his forthcoming book on Hollywood’s global exhibition operations from 1923-2013.

This event is sponsored by the Carsey-Wolf Center.

CWC Presents: Borders

Borders are at once physical and imaginary, embedded on the ground, imposed upon populations, and played out across the sea. The Carsey-Wolf Center’s spring 2021 public programming series explores borders, borderlands, and frontiers as they are cinematically, politically, technologically, and archivally mediated. The series engages with a range of borders: the US-Mexico border, an ICE detention center in Florida, the aqueous borders across which migrants journey to Europe, and the changeable border that separates India and Bangladesh. The series interrogates different geographical terrains and forms of crossing and detainment in an effort to encourage viewers to embark on an intellectual journey of their own. Through films and media strategies that themselves traverse the boundaries between narrative and documentary, this series explores the messy, evolutionary character of all borders, approaching them as places—both embodied and discursive—where new social relations are worked out, and where emerging struggles become legible.

CWC Global

Media are global by nature; they express culture just as much as they transcend borders. The CWC Global series is dedicated to showcasing media from around the world. This series features screenings and events that place UCSB in conversation with international media makers and global contexts across our deeply connected world.