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Seminar: Consuming Latin/o American Popular Culture in China
Date: 14 March 2012 

School of Modern Languages and Cultures has the pleasure of inviting you to the following seminar:

Consuming Latin/o American Popular Culture in China

Dr Melissa A. Fitch

Date: 14 March 2012
Time: 4:30pm - 6:00pm
Venue: KK813
Language: English

On a busy avenue in Shanghai, China, pedestrians pass by a two-story high rendering of Mexican revolutionary, Emiliano Zapata (1879-1919), complete with his wide-brimmed sombrero and the ubiquitous ammunition bandoleers crossing his chest. Zapata's is the name of a popular bar housed in the building, an establishment filled to capacity with Chinese customers and a smattering of American and European expats every Sunday night, all taking free salsa dance lessons. This presentation examines how Latin dance and culture have been translated and transformed in the process of "glocalization" (the combination of global and local elements). How has Latin/o culture manifested itself in public space, mass media, in material culture and on the Internet in China? What are some of the unexpected couplings that have emerged, such as the conflation of Taoism and Argentine tango, or in the "sleepy Mexican" logo found on a trendy brand of Chinese leather goods? What are ethical, historical and economic issues that come into play in this new Chinese-Latin American relationship? Join us for a fascinating discussion on cultural convergence in the global new era.

Dr Melissa A. Fitch is an associate professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Arizona and a current Fulbright scholar at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Her research focuses on global representatives of Latin American and Latino popular culture, film, theater and narrative. She is the author of the book Side Dishes: Latin/a American Women, Sex and Cultural Production (Rutgers University Press 2009), co-author of the book Culture and Customs of Argentina (Greenwood 1998) and has been editor-in-chief of the international academic journal Studies in Latin American Popular Culture (University of Texas Press) since 2002.

All are welcome. For enquiries, please contact Dr. Adelyn Lim at or Miss Christy Ho at

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