Salomé Aguilera Skvirsky

Assistant Professor, Department of Cinema and Media Studies and the College
Classics 305

Ph.D. University of Pittsburgh

Research interests: Latin American cinema; documentary; ethnographic film; labor and cinema; race and cinema; Third Cinema; racial melodrama

My research and teaching focuses on Latin American cinema—and in particular on the intersections between Marxism, anthropology, and a cosmopolitan, avant-garde film culture in Latin America. My current book project, “The Aesthetic of Labor: The Process Genre and Latin American Political Cinema,” argues for the existence of a new critical genre category, which I call the “process genre,” and for Latin America’s distinctive relation to this genre. The process genre characteristically offers a sequential representation of a production process, whether industrial or artisanal. It is the genre for thinking about work itself and work’s relation to the human condition. And although it has a life in other media, the genre achieves its fullest expression in cinema. It is in Latin America that it both manifests its formal achievements and that it interacts in politically revealing ways with debates about developmentalism, modernity, and folklore. Nowhere in the world did the process genre mark the history of a regional cinema as it did in Latin America. The acme of Latin American political new wave cinemas—the New Latin American Cinema—was inaugurated by the process genre.


Before joining Cinema and Media Studies in fall 2015, I taught in the Latin American and Latino Studies program at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Selected Publications:

“Las cargas de la representación: Notas sobre la raza y la representacíon en el cine latinoamericano” Special issue of Hispanófila (edited by Kathy Everly, Syracuse University; Samuel Amago, UNC-Chapel Hill; Eugenia Afinoguenova, Marquette University). Forthcoming.

“The Postcolonial City Symphony Film and the ‘Ruins’ of Suite Habana.Social Identities: Journal for the Study of Race, Nation and Culture 19:3-4 (2013).

“Quilombo and Utopia: The Aesthetic of Labor in Linduarte Noronha’s Aruanda (1960).” Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies, volume 20, number 3 (2011).

“The Price of Heaven: Remaking Politics in All that Heaven Allows, Ali: Fear Eats the Soul, and Far from Heaven.Cinema Journal, volume 47, number 3 (2008).