The Mexican Revolution on the World Stage: Cinema and the Archive

As the first social revolution of the twentieth century, the Mexican Revolution produced a lasting mythology of a people in arms deciding their future. Many important figures were drawn to Mexico in the occasion of the revolution and its aftermath, such as John Reed, Tina Modotti, Edward Weston, and Paul Strand. Eventually, the production of a revolutionary mythology exceeded the geographical limits of the country. In this talk I will argue that the Mexican Revolution’s visual archive resonated strongly on global revolutionary thinking in many important non-Mexican films of the twentieth century. These films prompted philosophical reflection and ignited political discussion far beyond the Mexican context on matters such as the waning of community in a context of biopolitical development during World War II; the questioning of revolutionary purpose during the Cold War; the impact of popular culture on postcolonial liberation movements; and the dangers of state populism for radical social change.

5:30 pm on Tuesday, November 12, 2019
College of Arts & Sciences, 725 Commonwealth Ave., Room 132