In the contemporary legacy and digital television landscape, representations of ethnic, racial and gender difference are caught in an institutional contradiction. Black and brown bodies are hyper-visible on fictional “diverse programming” yet still substantively absent from television representations and labor. Focusing on Latina/o actors, texts and productions on US legacy television, this talk explores how the push by cultural activists for increases in multicultural representations also contributes to the erasure of gendered and racial structural inequalities with troubling social and political consequences during the age of Trump. The talk concludes with a discussion of the representational ruptures possible in streaming television content.
Isabel Molina-Guzmán is an Associate Dean of the Graduate College and Associate Professor of Latina/o Studies and Media and Cinema Studies at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign. She also holds faculty affiliations in Gender & Women Studies and the Center for Caribbean and Latin America Studies. Her research centers on issues of social justice, inequality and the representational politics of identity with a special emphasis on US Latinas/Latinos and the mainstream media. Professor Molina-Guzmán is author of Dangerous Curves: Latina Bodies in the Media (2010, NYU) which examines discourses about iconic Latinas such as America Ferrera, Marisleysis González, Salma Hayek and others circulated online and in film, television, newspapers and tabloid texts. Her interdisciplinary research on race, ethnicity and gender in the media has appeared in blogs and numerous journals and edited collections, such as Critical Studies in Media Communication, Popular Communication, Journalism and Latino Studies.
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