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Post-Race Pop? Interrogating Strategies for Ethnic Diversity in Millennial Media Culture
October 5, 2009 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Race, Ethnicity, and Indigeneity Fellow (2009-2010)
Communication Arts and Chicana/o & Latino/a Studies, UW-Madison
This paper will focus on ethnic representation in U.S. television and media culture with respect to claims that we have entered an era of “color-blind” or “post-racial” representation, particularly as media producers aim to appeal to the shifting demographics and interests of the youth generation. The paper will contradict such claims and hone in on media industry and production strategies for increased ethnic diversity. Through case studies – the action film Fast and Furious, the television series Lost, and the tween hit series Wizards of Waverly Place – Beltrán will highlight relevant shifts and tensions in contemporary representation.
Mary Beltrán is an associate professor of Communication Arts and Chicana/o and Latino/a Studies and an affiliate of Gender and Women’s Studies. Her work is focused on the production and narration of race, ethnicity, gender, and class in U.S. film, television, and celebrity culture, and the ways in which media texts, producers, and consumers articulate social hierarchies and group and national identities. She is the author of Latina/o Stars in U.S. Eyes: The Making and Meanings of Film and TV Stardom (University of Illinois Press, 2009), which explores the construction and promotion of Latina and Latino film and television stars in relation to the evolving status of Latinos in the U.S. since the 1920s. She also is the co-editor, with Camilla Fojas, of Mixed Race Hollywood (NYU Press, 2008), an anthology of scholarship on mixed-race representation in film and television. Prior to her academic career, Dr. Beltrán was a social worker, working primarily with youth and families of color.