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Ernesto Chavez Latin@ Studies Lecture

Thursday, November 3, 2011
12:00 AM
3512 Haven Hall

Race and Sexuality: The Films of Ramon Navarro

Ernesto Chavez Department of History University of Texas, El Paso “Crossing the Boundaries of Race, Religion, and Desire: The Life of Ramón Novarro" This talk explores the categories of race and sexuality by examining how film star Ramón Novarro negotiated his place and leveraged power within the Hollywood star system, which reflected the social and cultural structures and values of early twentieth-century America. Given that Novarro was a native of Mexico, a devout Roman Catholic, and gay, his life serves as a nexus for, and allows me to examine, the overlapping subjectivities of race/ethnicity, Catholicism, the performative body, and sexuality/masculinity. Three basic questions guide this study: Who was Novarro and how did he forge his career and achieve his fame? How did race and sexuality function in his life and career? How does examining Novarro’s life help us understand the intersections of race, sexuality, and the body in transnational Latino/a communities?