Presentation Details

The Second International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities

Globalisation on the Screen: Cinematographic Representations of Globalism in Contemporary Mexico

Sofia Ruiz-Alfaro.

My presentation discusses how these two movies present the drastic transformations that the global economy has placed into the Mexican social, cultural, economic, and political arena.
On one hand, "Y tu mama tambien" explores issues of class in modern Mexican society through the friendship of two teenage boys in their "coming of age" and entrance into adulthood. Metaphorically, I argue that the film also shows how Mexico is in a process of "coming of age" with its participation in the global economy. My opinion is that globalisation, as shown in the film, is a process that widens the gap between the rich and the poor, the urban and the rural, with dramatic consequences for the country. In my presentation, I analyze the filmic and narrative strategies used in the film to convey such a powerful message against globalisation.
On the other hand, "Senorita Extraviada" studies issues of gender at the US-Mexican border. This documentary investigates the mass murder of more than 200 women in Ciudad Juarez (Mexico). My paper discusses how the filmmaker (Lourdes Portillo) present us with some very unsettling answers about the murders. The film shows how globalisation is one of the many guilty parties involved in these murders, as the global economy at the US-Mexico border privileges the laws of production and consumption among all others. My study analyzes the new complex and subaltern position of working class Mexican women who paradoxically have become an "indispensable" and at the same time "disposable" work force within this global mode of production.


Sofia Ruiz-Alfaro  (United States)
Lecturer in Spanish
Department of Spanish and Portuguese
University of Southern California

Born in Madrid, Spain in 1971. Bachelor degree in Business. St. Louis University; Ph.D. in Spanish. My field of expertise in twentieth-century Latin American Literature, University of Southern California. Currently completing a M.A. in Cinema Studies at USC.

  • Mexican Cinema
  • Globalisation
  • Subaltern studies
Person as Subject
  • Alfonso Cuaron Lourdes Portillo

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)