Department of Spanish and Portuguese

Jorge Pérez

ProfessorPh.D., University of California at Santa Barbara

Peter T. Flawn Centennial Professor
Jorge Pérez


  • Phone: 512-471-7284
  • Office: BEN 4.130
  • Campus Mail Code: B3700


20th and 21st century Spanish cinema, novel, and popular culture; queer culture and theory; Latin American cinema


Jorge Pérez is Professor of Iberian Literatures and Cultures. He received his Ph.D. degree in Hispanic Languages and Literatures from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is the author of Cultural Roundabouts: Spanish Film and Novel on the Road (Bucknell UP, 2011) and Confessional Cinema: Religion, Film, and Modernity in Spain’s Development Years (U of Toronto Press, 2017), and is the co-editor of The Latin American Road Movie (Palgrave, 2016). He has published articles in ALEC, Arizona Journal of Hispanic Cultural Studies, España Contemporánea, Film, Fashion and Consumption, Hispanic Research JournalJournal of Spanish Cultural Studies, MLN, Revista Canadiense de Estudios Hispánicos, Revista de Estudios Hispánicos, and Studies in Hispanic Cinemas. He has also co-edited a Special Issue of the Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies (10.2, 2009) on the topic of Spanish popular music. Doctoral students under his supervision are working on Spanish trans-feminist movements, contemporary female detective fiction, and video games cultures in Spain. He has a forthcoming book, entitled Fashioning Spanish Cinema (University of Toronto Press), in which he explores the intersections between fashion, costume design, and Spanish cinema.


ILA 387 • Celeb Cltr Strdm/Fshn In Spain

44285 • Spring 2022
Meets T 5:00PM-8:00PM BEN 1.118

Topics in the literatures and cultures of Spanish America, Spain, and related diasporas.

SPN 379C • Capstone Sem In Lit & Cul-Wb

45810 • Spring 2021
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM
Internet; Synchronous

Brings together central issues, concepts, and themes that define Iberian or Latin American literatures and cultures, while focusing on a specific case-study or case-studies.

ILA 387 • Queer Cine In Lat Am/Spain

44100 • Spring 2020
Meets T 9:00AM-12:00PM BEN 1.118
(also listed as LAS 381)

Course Description:

In this course, we will focus on films produced within Latin America and Spain that have been received as examples of queer cinema by transnational spectators and/or critics. We will reflect upon what makes a particular film “queer” and what role film production, distribution, and exhibition have in the process. We will also question if the notion of “queer” and “queer cinema” can (or cannot) be applied to the contexts of film production in Latin America and Spain, and what kind of political project that entails. We will examine constructions of sexuality, gender, race, and nation (and how they intersectionally interact) in a variety of films and explore how transnational queer cinemas can both participate in and resist dominant ideas about these constructions. Students will learn (though some might already be familiar with it) to incorporate formal film analysis into an analysis of the politics of cinema.

Learning outcomes:

  • Broad knowledge of key genres, films, and directors of Latin American and Spanish cinema.
  • Awareness of the potential of cinema as a narrative tool that has an impact in the (de)construction of social imaginaries, ideologies, and identities, especially in relation to gender and sexuality.
  • Familiarity with analytical and theoretical tools to study films.
  • Developing research and writing skills in order to produce an article-length paper that meets disciplinary standards for a potential publication.
  • Thinking about designing their own courses by participating in a collaborative creation of one portion of the class.


Latin America:

Tan de repente(Diego Lerman, Argentina, 2002)

XXY(Lucía Puenzo, Argentina, 2008),

A contracorriente(Javier Fuentes, Perú, 2009)

Pelo malo(Mariana Rondón, Venezuela, 2012)

Dólares de arena(Laura Guzmán e Israel Cárdenas, República Dominicana, 2014),

Cuatro lunas(Sergio Tovar, México, 2014)

Una mujer fantástica(Sebastián Lelio, Chile, 2017)


La mala educación(Pedro Almodóvar, 2004)

20 centímetros(Ramón Salazar, 2005)

Fuera de carta(Nacho García, 2008)

80 Egunean(Jon Garaño and José Mari Goenaga, 2010)

Pieles(Eduardo Casanova, 2017)

Theoretical Readings

Selections from the following books/authors:

Paul Preciado, Testo Yonki.

Laura Mulvey, “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema”

Ann Kaplan, “Is the Gaze Male?”

Jack Halberstam, The Queer Art of Failure.

Lee Edelman, No Future: Queer Theory and the Death Drive.

The Transgender Studies Reader.

Alexander Doty, Making Things Perfectly Queer.

Héctor Domínguez-Ruvalcaba, Translating the Queer

Paul Julian Smith, Queer Mexico

Gustavo Subero, Queer Masculinities in Contemporary Latin American Cinema

Debra Castillo and Andrés Lema, Despite All Adversities: Spanish-American Queer Cinema

Chris Perriam, Spanish Queer cinema

Ruby Rich, New Queer Cinema

Juett and Jones, Coming Out to the Mainstream: New Queer Cinema in the 21st Century


SPN 350K • Spain On The Red Carpet

44725 • Spring 2020
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM MEZ 1.204

SPN 350k: Spain on the Red Carpet

This course will explore the intersections of cinema, celebrity glamour, and global politics by focusing on the case study of Spain and the projection of its film industry abroad. The glamourous universe of cinema has been crucial in shaping Spain’s international image and geopolitical position. During Francoism (1939-1975), cinema was used as a strategy of promotion of an ever more modern image of the nation, as a way to counteract the notion of a backward state dislodged from the intellectual and artistic trends of Western Europe. In the post-dictatorship period, the international success of filmmakers such as Pedro Almodóvar, Fernando Trueba, Alejandro Amenábar, and José Luis Garci materialized in Academy Awards, has been often interpreted as evidence of the modernization of Spanish society and its increasingly more substantial role in global cultural trends. Contemporary Spanish cinema has indeed become a cogent site to market Spain as a brand, especially through the values and desire that global stars such as Antonio Banderas, Penélope Cruz, Victoria Abril, and Javier Bardem evoke. The recent boom of Spanish films and television series in streaming platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime (Money Heist, Cable Girls, etc) has further contributed to this glamorous image of Spain through its audiovisual content.



            Nuria Triana Toribio, Spanish Film Cultures. London : BFI, 2016. (A selection)

            Jo Labanyi and Tatjana Pavlovic, A Companion to Spanish Cinema (2013). (A selection)

            Pamela Church Gibson, Fashion and Celebrity Culture (Berg, 2012). (A selection)


Films: Juan Antonio Bardem, Muerte de un ciclista (1956)

           Luis Buñuel, Viridiana (1961)

          Carlos Saura, La prima Angélica (1973)

          José Luis Garci, Volver a empezar (1983)

          Fernando Trueba, Belle Epoque (1992)

          Pedro Almodóvar, Todo sobre mi madre (1999)

                                     Hable con ella (2001)

         Alejandro Amenábar, Mar adentro (2003)

        Woody Allen, Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2007)

        Juan Antonio Bayona, The Impossible (2012)

        Pablo Berger, Blancanieves (2012)


Assessment: Students will write two short analytical papers (2 pages), a final paper (6-8 pages), and will do an oral presentation about their project.

SPN 379C • Capstone Seminar In Lit & Cul

44550 • Fall 2019
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM CAL 221

Brings together central issues, concepts, and themes that define Iberian or Latin American literatures and cultures, while focusing on a specific case-study or case-studies.

SPN 328C • Intro To Literatures/Culs

45710 • Fall 2018
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM BEN 1.108
GC (also listed as LAS 370S)

Overview of Iberian and/or Latin American literatures and cultures, including the arts and popular expressions, from a multidisciplinary perspective. Among the regions studied are Spain; North, Central, and South America; the Caribbean; and related areas in Africa.

ILA 387 • Relig/Mod In 20th/21st Cen.

45760 • Fall 2017
Meets T 2:00PM-5:00PM BEN 1.118

In this course, we will examine the role of religion in the process of modernization Spain has undergone in the 20th and early 21st century. The starting point will be to challenge three conceptual platitudes ingrained in the field: 1) Spain’s modernization did not start until the end of the Franco regime in 1975; 2) the assumption that religion was an obstacle to that supposedly belated modernization; 3) religion has always been co-opted by politically conservative forces and, thereby, is irrelevant to academic studies of the worthy liberal cultural tradition in Spain. Drawing on a body of post-secular theory (Jürgen Habermas, Charles Taylor, Talal Asad, and José Casanova), we will probe the tendency to theorize Spain’s path to modernity (loosely defined and simplistically confused with modernization) through the prism of a secularist position that obliterates religion from the cultural archive. By analyzing key literary texts and films, we will zoom in on several crucial historical moments when religion was at the forefront of cultural debates:

-In intellectual debates leading up to the Spanish Civil War

-Its appropriation as a political tool from both sides of the war conflict

-Its role as a double-edged sword to legitimize or destabilize the Franco regime

-Its role to shape the course of the transition to a modern democracy

-Religion in Spain’s multicultural society today

Texts include San Manuel Bueno, Mártir (Miguel de Unamuno), Réquiem por un campesino español (Ramón J. Sender), Tiempo de silencio (Luis Martín Santos), and Reivindicación del Conde don Julián (Juan Goytisolo). Also, we will analyze films by Basilio Martín Patino, Luis César Amadori, Carlos Saura, Pedro Almodóvar, Alejandro Amenábar, and Icíar Bollaín. Theoretical readings will include texts by Giorgio Agamben, Emile Durkheim, Michel Foucault, Julia Kristeva, Charles Taylor, and Max Weber.

SPN 328C • Intro To Literatures/Culs

46430 • Fall 2017
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM BEN 1.122
GC (also listed as LAS 370S)

Taught in Spanish. Overview of Iberian and/or Latin American literatures and cultures, including the arts and popular expressions, from a multidisciplinary perspective. Among the regions studied are Spain; North, Central, and South America; the Caribbean; and related areas in Africa.

SPN 328C • Intro To Literatures/Culs

46515 • Spring 2017
Meets MWF 12:00PM-1:00PM PAR 206
GC (also listed as LAS 370S)

May be repeated for credit when the topics vary. Taught in Spanish. Overview of Iberian and/or Latin American literatures and cultures, including the arts and popular expressions, from a multidisciplinary perspective. Among the regions studied are Spain; North, Central, and South America; the Caribbean; and related areas in Africa.

SPN 350K • Screening Spanish Natl Iden

46542 • Spring 2017
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM CLA 0.118

Examines important themes in Iberian, Latin American, or African societies and examines their treatment in audiovisual and media production.

Topic 1: Gender Issues in Contemporary Latin American Cinema. Same as Latin American Studies 370S (Topic 24) and Women's and Gender Studies 335 (Topic 6). Studies Latin American cinema as a device of gender system formation and reinforcement, and as criticism of patriarchal hegemony; discusses questions related to sexuality depicted in Latin American films. Subjects covered include: maternity, prostitution, machismo, children's sexuality, homosexuality, heterosexuality, and gender violence in films from the 1930s to present.

Topic 2: Violence in Spanish Film. Focus on representations of violence in film from and about Spain since the 1920s to present. Includes the Spanish Civil War, torture, and other state-sanctioned violence; children and violence; violence against women; homophobic violence; terrorism; and ethnic and racist violence.

Topic 3: Latin American Film and Culture. Same as Latin American Studies 370S (Topic 25: Latin American Film and Culture). Overview of Latin American cinema from the silent era to present, with an emphasis on the last forty years. Subjects covered include: the development of the film industry (particularly in Argentina and Mexico in the 1930s and 1940s); the "New Wave" of Latin American cinema in the 1960s; and contemporary trends.

Topic 4: Latin American Literature and Film. Same as Latin American Studies 370S (Topic 26: Latin American Literature and Film). Studies, in a broad sense, the connections between Latin American cinema and literature, through extensive readings and in-class movie exhibitions. A number of renowned literary works by Latin American authors and their film versions will be analyzed with a comparative approach.

Topic 5: Mediascapes: Literature and Media in the Caribbean. Same as Latin American Studies 370S (Topic 28). Analyzes the relationship between literature and media technologies in contemporary Caribbean cultures. Examination of the notion and uses of Caribbean mediascapes; in other words, the uses of media technologies derived from film, television, the internet and YouTube, and the ways they are used and read in the Spanish Caribbean.

Topic 6: Indigenous Voices: From Nezahualcoyotl to Radio. Same as Latin American Studies 370S (Topic 29). Examines how Indigenous writers, intellectuals, and cultural producers have creatively established their own voices through writing and other forms of media.


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