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Visiting Professor Helen Freear-Papio teaches a graduate class on Contemporary Spanish Theater by Women

Visiting Professor Helen Freear-Papio teaches a graduate class on Contemporary Spanish Theater by Women | The UMass Amherst Spanish & Portuguese Program Newsletter | Scoop.it

This Fall Semester , Professor Freear-Papio (College of the Holy Cross) teaches an introductory seminar on modern Spanish Theater by women in which feminist theory will be used to achieve a deeper understanding of female theatrical work as both text and performance. Starting in the early and hopeful years of the 20th century, passing through the dark years of the dictatorship and finally emerging into the democratic society of the late 20th and early 21st century, this course will start with an analysis of the many difficulties (historical, social, literary, economic and cultural) that women dramatists have faced as they try not only to write and publish theater but ultimately to have their works staged. The seminar will then focus primarily on the plays of the two post-Franco generations of female dramatists. The works to be read include plays by Concha Romero, Carmen Resino, Lidia Falcón, Paloma Pedrero, Beth Escudé, Itziar Pascual, Diana de Paco Serrano, Luisa Cunillé, and Lourdes Ortiz. Feminist themes such as the re-writing of myth and history, the creation of female identity, "otherness" as well as global feminism, terror and domestic violence will be addressed through close readings of text and theory as well as through the occasional dramatic reading.

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Seminar on Gendered Spaces in Spanish Film and Theater at the NeMLA 44th Convention in Boston

Seminar on Gendered Spaces in Spanish Film and Theater at the NeMLA 44th Convention in Boston | The UMass Amherst Spanish & Portuguese Program Newsletter | Scoop.it

Helen Freear-Papio (College of the Holy Cross)  y Barbara Zecchi (UMass Amherst) co-organizaron un seminario con diez participantes para analizar los espacios en el cine y en el teatro desde un enfoque de estudios de género. Cada ponente resumió su charla durante cinco minutos para luego abrir la sesión a las preguntas del público. 

 

Helen Freear-Papio habló de los espacios metafóricos en la producción de la dramaturga Diana de Paco; Rossana Fialdini Zambrano (Kansas State University) interpretó el lugar de "la otra habitación", en la obra homónima de Paloma Pedrero, como ejemplo de la relación conflictiva entre madre e hija; Christina Beaubien (UMass Amherst) estudió el espacio de la violencia en otra obra de Paloma Pedrero, Ana 11 M, utilizando como marco teórico a Samuel Weber; Nuria Ibáñez Quintana (University of North Florida) se dedicó a los espacios de la negación de la memoria en Gracia Morales. Barbara Zecchi se centró en un estudio de cinco interpretaciones del uso feminista del "space off screen," el fuera de campo. Estrella Cibreiro (College of the Holy Cross) se enfocó en la transformación de los espacios femeninos hacia una perspectiva global en el cine de Icíar Bollaín; Raquel Vega-Durán (Claremont McKenna College) se centró en la redefinición cinematográfica de los espacios de las mujeres en la repoblación latinoamericana de la España contemporánea. Eva París-Huesca (UMass Amherst) habló de la reapropiación del espacio y de la agencia de la mujer en el cine negro español de autoría femenina. Maribel Rams (UMass Amherst) se enfocó en las miradas no convencionales a la ciudad desde la Sagrada Familia en el cine de Marta Balletbó-Coll; y finalmente Irene Melé Ballesteros, (UMass Amherst) concluyó con el vaudeville de Elena Jordi, para hablar de los escenarios teatrales y cinematográficos de la Barcelona vanguardista. 

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Irene Melé-Ballesteros defends succesfully her Master Thesis: "Elena Jordi y el mito de Thais"

Irene Melé-Ballesteros defends succesfully her Master Thesis: "Elena Jordi y el mito de Thais" | The UMass Amherst Spanish & Portuguese Program Newsletter | Scoop.it

Irene Melé-Ballesteros's thesis studies the impact of the work of Elena Jordi, which occupied part of the first Spanish avant-garde period (1890-1920) and the relationship between the myth of Thaïs and her homonymous film released in 1918. Irene tracks the trajectory of Jordi's career from its beginnings to culmination, when she directed Thaïs while leading an innovative vaudeville theatre company and intends to erect a theatre that bores her name.

 

The first chapter discusses the activity of Jordi as a Catalan actress, and woman entrepreneur in the renewal of the vaudeville genre in Barcelona.  Therefore, it analyzes the effect of the introduction of new vaudevilles – mostly French – on the reception of her work by Catalan critics. And also discuss it through the theorization of Herni Gidel´s on the vaudeville genre.

 

The second chapter reviews the cinematographic work of Jordi and situates it within the context of Catalan cinema´s early development, and as Spain´s first woman film director. After reflecting about the possible cultural influences that informed Jordi’s Thaïs, Irene Melé-Ballesteros explores the literary origins of the Legend of the Saint, from an hagiographic work of Greek origins to the avant-garde myth. In addition, she reviews most relevant literary, operatic, and cinematic productions that incorporated this myth during the early avant-garde period.

 

Irene's conclusion highlights the original and similar features of Elena Jordi and the figure of Thaïs in their respective fields and different manifestations. Simultaneously placing Jordi’s Thaïs in dialogue with the myth´s revival and its impact on the avant-garde feminist milieu. This demonstrates the formative influence of both Jordi as a pioneering artist and the enduring cultural influence of the myth of Thais on the twentieth-century cultural production.

 

[In the photo, from left to right:

Irene Melé-Ballesteros and her committee: Helen Freear-Papio, Albert Lloret and  Barbara Zecchi (chair)]

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