Smile Politely

Listen Up: Oct. 29–Nov. 4

WHAT: Alfonso Cuaron, Carlos Reygadas and the End of National Cinema in Mexico,” Professor Ignacio Sanchez Prado, Washington University in St. Louis

WHEN: Monday, October 29 @ 4 p.m.

WHERE: Lucy Ellis Lounge, 1080 Foreign Languages Building, 707 South Mathews Avenue, Urbana

From the event announcement: “This talk proposes that Carlos Reygadas and Alfonso Cuaron are both representatives of the undoing of “national cinema” as a guiding paradigm for film production in Mexico. This argument unfolds into three inter-related considerations: 1) both directors participate in an industrial structure created and developed under neoliberalism, which radically changed the relationship between cinema and the polity; 2) the films of both directors (particularly Y tu mama tambien and Batalla en el cielo) show the impossibility of the nation as a site of representation by constructing narratives and allegories that define neoliberal subjectivity and 3) Mexican-ness only acquires meaning in these films as a commodity constructed for international circulation, which results in the films’ losing any meaningful relationship to the formation of national subjectivity in contemporary Mexico.”


WHAT: The Homogenous Thinking Subject or Soviet Cinema Learns to Sing,” Lilya Kaganovsky, Associate Professor in Comparative & World Literature at Illinois

WHEN: Tuesday, October 30 @ 12 noon

WHERE: 101 International Studies Building, 910 S Fifth St, Champaign

From the event announcement: “Part of a larger project on Soviet cinema’s transition to sound, this talk will consider the way sound operates in the first Soviet musical — Igor’ Savchenko’s 1934 film The Accordion (Garmon’). This paper argues that in Savchenko’s film, sound on film technology subordinates the bodily movements of the characters, subjecting the new disciplined Soviet bodies to a rhythm whose source is located elsewhere, both inside (diegetic) and outside (extra-diegetic) of the image track.”


WHAT: A Russian in Persia, and Persia in Russian: Translating Yuri Tynyanov’s ‘The Death of the Vazir-Mukhtar‘,” Sibelan Forrester, Professor of Russian Language and Literature at Swarthmore College

WHEN: Thursday, November 1 @ 4 p.m.

WHERE: 101 International Studies Building, 910 S Fifth St Champaign


WHAT: Black Cultural Politics in a Color Blind Nation,” Tricia Rose, Africana Studies, Brown University

WHEN: Thursday, November 1 @ 4 p.m.

WHERE: Knight Auditorium, Spurlock Museum, 600 South Gregory Street, Urbana




You live near a major university and a community college. There are smart people that come here every week to talk to the general public about interesting topics. Perhaps you were not aware of this fact, or were overwhelmed by the sheer number of opportunities for possible enlightenment. If that’s the case, Smile Politely understands and is here to help. Here are several events going on in town this week. Check out one or more of them if you have time. Get your learn on, as they say, and join the cognoscenti. It’s free, you know. Plus, sometimes there’s free food, too!

If you have a community event, speaker, or film event that you’d like to see featured on Listen Up!, send the event information to joelgillespie [at] smilepolitely [dot] com by Friday the week prior to the event. Listen Up! runs on Mondays when classes are in session.

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