Telenovelas and Black Celebrity in Brazil (with Bruno Guaraná)

In this week’s episode, guest Bruno Guaraná discusses his article “Taís Araújo: The Black Helena against Brazil’s Whitening Television,” which traces key moments in the television career of one of Brazi’s most popular television celebrities Taís Araújo, including the several times she has been slated as “the first black protagonist” on different television shows. Guaraná argues that, against Brazilian television’s practices of whitening raced subjects and pushing forth a colorblind ideology, the construction of Araújo’s star image has ultimately turned her into a popular symbol of black female resistance.

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Digital Altars and Migrant Death in Mexico (with Xiomara Cervantes-Gómez)

In this week’s episode, guest Xiomara Cervantes-Gómez discusses her article “Where Blackness Dies: The Aesthetics of a Massacre and the Violence of Remembering,” which analyzes the digital altar created to commemorate the lives of 72 Central American migrants massacred in Mexico in 2010. Cervantes-Gómez builds on this analysis to interrogate the sensationalist depictions of migrant death, the affordances and limitations of digital media for attending to the divine, and, ultimately, the politics of blackness in the context of Mexico and the American continent.

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Translating Television in Latin America (with Laurena Bernabo)

In this week’s episode, guest Laurena Bernabo discusses her article “Progressive Television, Translation, and Globalization: The Case of Glee in Latin America” which analyzes the behind-the-scenes production process to dub the TV show Glee into Spanish for Latin American audiences. Bernabo demonstrates how managerial choices, talent availability, and narrative particularities shape the creative decisions for a show’s dubbing. In the specific case of Glee, these creative decisions significantly impact the translation of the show’s attempts at representing various identities, such as gender, race, and sexuality. Bernabo argues for the importance of studying production processes and translated texts together to account for how ideologically rich representations circulate across linguistic and national contexts.

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