The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Visual and Performance Studies

The Spanish and Portuguese Program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst offers coursework and research opportunities in the growing areas of Iberian and Latin American Visual and Performance Studies. Our faculty specializes in Film Studies, Theater and Performing Studies, Feminist Film Criticism and Theory, Iberian Cinemas, Latin American Cinemas, Brazilian, Lusophone African, and Portuguese Cinema, Women Filmmakers, Adaptation Studies, Sound Studies, Contemporary Theater, and Video-Graphic Criticism.

Undergraduate and graduate students learn curatorial skills by participating in the organization of our two annual film festivals, which bring to campus the best new fiction, documentary, and experimental filmmaking of the Hispanic and Lusophone world. Students can also collaborate in digital humanities projects, support faculty members in the organization of conferences, talks, and other related events.

In the past decade students of our program have benefited from the on-campus residences of numerous filmmakers and theatermakers who have participated in our program by presenting their films and work in progress. Our guests have also offered masterclasses connected to our long-established Latin American Film Festival and Catalan Film Festival, and prestigious performers and theater directors have also offered theater workshops (in 2018 and 2019). In spring 2021, our faculty plans to create a Lusophone Film Festival, showcasing the contemporary cinema of the Portuguese-speaking countries that has limited or no presence in the commercial film circuit in the US.

Many of our undergraduates complement their education with an Undergraduate Certificate in Film Studies. A broad education in Film prepares our students for advanced degrees and audiovisual literacy in our global world. The energetic and enthusiastic faculty in film studies hails from fifteen different departments at UMass, author first-rate scholarship, and have won major awards. The Graduate Certificate in Film Studies offers a flexible curriculum for graduate students whose research intersect with film studies. The certificate prepares students with skills and knowledge to research and teach film and advance their graduate work. Academic institutions often seek candidates from traditional fields who can also demonstrate pedagogical and scholarly strengths in visual and performance studies. The Graduate Certificate in Film Studies provides training and knowledge to those seeking academic positions or developing careers related to film. In addition, our graduate faculty train students in performance studies as a form of understanding the world. Our courses combine the study of theater and performance as embodied practices in the Luso-Hispanic world.

The Spanish and Portuguese Program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst has sponsored some major international conferences in the field of visual and theater and performance studies such as “Gynocine: Mujeres, Dones and Cinema Conference” (2011) “Spanish Cinema Today” (2012), “Almodóvar en evolución” (2013) and “Theaters of Marginalities” (2018). Additionally, some of the best scholars in the field participate in our lecture series.

If you are interested in learning more about Visual and Performance Studies in the Spanish and Portuguese Program at UMass, you may contact our faculty in the area: Patrícia M. Ferreira, Stephanie Fetta, David Rodríguez-Solás, and Barbara Zecchi.