English department explores Hispanic body image

Victoria Ronderos/ Contributing Writer

The University’s Department of English is hosting a three-part series titled “Latina Women and the Body” on Oct. 3 at the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami. Meant to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, the series includes presentations that explore how images of Latina women and girls in visual culture shape ideas about identity, beauty and sexuality.

James Sutton, associate professor and chairperson of the Department of English, said this series will be “terrific for our students.”

“[The event is] topical and important to our students because so many of our students here have questions of self-presentation in choice that people make about their bodies and self-consciousness,” Sutton said.

The first part of the series is a presentation titled “Ni Pardo, Ni Prieto: Presentations of Skin Color Influencing Hispanic Women’s Self Identity,” by Dionne Stephens, assistant professor of the University Department of Psychology, will  It will take place today, Wednesday, Oct. 3, at 7 p.m.

Stephens said visitors can expect her presentation to be “an opportunity to discuss issues we see everyday in a space that encourages thoughtful and critical discussion.”

“This will not be a formal academic lecture,” Stephens said. “However, audience members will be encouraged to ask questions and share their experiences.”

The second part of the series titled “Making Art Out of Excess: Exploring Latina Styles and Sexualities.”

Jillian Hernandez, a MOCA education outreach coordinator and Ph.D candidate in Women’s and Gender Studies at Rutgers University, is presenting “A Chonga Manifesto: Thinking, Embodying, and Re-Imagining Latina Girlhood.” Crystal Pearl, a visual artist and MOCA educator will be presenting “Cuban Beauties: Assets in Excess.” The two will present on Wednesday, Oct. 10, at 7 p.m.

The third part of the series is titled “Latinas in Hollywood: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.” Myra Mendible, a professor at Florida Gulf Coast University and an alumni of the University’s English program is presenting this part of the series on Wednesday, Oct. 17, at 7 p.m.

This event is free and open to the public, but space is limited. To make a reservation, visit www.mocanomi.org. The MOCA is located on 770 NE 125 St., North Miami, FL.

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