Sharrah Lane

sla263's picture
  • Post-Doctoral Scholar
  • Hispanic Studies
  • Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies
  • Gender and Women's Studies
1149 Patterson Office Tower
Research Interests:

As a post-doctoral scholar at the University of Kentucky, specializing in 20th and 21st century Latin American Literature and Film, my research interests lie at the intersection of film studies, childhood studies, and neoliberalism and capitalism. My dissertation studies the presence of children protagonists in 20th and 21st century films from the 1980s forward as it relates to the disintegration of familial bonding within the intersections of power, desire, and national and international citizenship under neoliberal capitalism. I have begun work on a second project focused on popular Latin/x American television shows, films and other cultural productions that touch on the fantastic, which I interpret as a vehicle to stage the tension between colonial hierarchies of power and emerging spaces to resist the social status quo.

Degrees Awarded:
Ph.D., University of Kentucky, December 2020 (defense completed September 2020)
Certificates: Gender and Women's Studies; Latin American, Latino and Caribbean Studies
M.A. in Spanish Literature, University of Virginia, May 2012
B.A. in Spanish, Concentration in Literature and Culture, University of Virginia, May 2010
Honors and Awards:
Arts and Sciences Dean's Competitive Fellowship, University of Kentucky, Fall 2019
Gabriela Mistral Award, Sigma Delta Pi, Spring 2019
Terminal Youth: The Failure Narrative of the Dysfunctional Family as the Non-Viability of Capitalist Economic Liberalism in Contemporary Latin American Film
Co-Directors: Dierdra Reber and Mónica Díaz
Committee members: Cristina Alcalde, Matt Losada, Ana Rueda
Dissertation summary:
The desire for national and international belonging and citizenship is registered in the figure of the child intersectionally marked by race, class, and gender in contemporary Latin American film, a desire that is ultimately met only with precarity and violence. Chapter One analyzes the figure of the orphaned street child in terms of the desire for connection with a mother figure as a stand-in for the lack of affective community in Pixote: a lei do mais fraco (Brazil, 1981), La vendedora de rosas (Colombia, 1998), and Huelepega: ley de la calle (Venezuela, 1999) in which the protagonists either die, disappear or become entrenched in a life of crime which is mirrored in the real-life scenarios the young actresses and actors faced. Chapter Two studies the role of adolescent indigenous female protagonists as a function of how national belonging is correlated to the prestige in Madeinusa (Peru, 2006), La teta asustada (Peru, 2009) and Ixcanul (Guatemala, 2016) on international film circuits. Chapter Three focuses on the migrant child’s desire for belonging in the US in El Norte (Guatemala/USA, 1983), Which Way Home (Mexico/USA, 2009), and La jaula de oro (Mexico, 2012), a migration that is both ironic and tragic because it is historically driven by economically motivated US-backed state-sponsored violence, and ends with the dehumanization of the protagonists both in their countries of origin and the US. My dissertation argues that the child is a microcosm for the region as a whole, and the lack of belonging that the child experiences as an effect of intergenerational historical and political structural power and violence is analogous to Latin America’s frustrated attempts to come into its own both economically and culturally on a global scale.
"Ixcanul and the Cycle of Extractivist Cultural Consumption as Embodied in Indigenous Adolescent Female Subjects in Contemporary Latin American Aesthetics." Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies (forthcoming).
Conference Talks:
“Fantastically Real: Brujos (2017) and Queer Latinx Resistance in Neoliberal Times.” Modern Language Association. Seattle, WA. January 2020.
Ixcanul (2015) and the Cycle of Extractivist Repression of Indigenous Female Subjects in Contemporary Film Culture.” Kentucky Foreign Language Conference. Lexington, KY. April 2019.
“Racialized and Classed Surrogate Motherhood: Social Mobility in La nana (Chile, 2009) and Que horas ela volta (Brazil, 2015).” American Comparative Literature Association. Georgetown, VA. March 2019.
“Feminist Critique of mexicana-ness in María Novaro’s El jardín del Edén.” Latin American Studies Association. Barcelona, Spain. May 2018.
Courses taught:

University of Kentucky

SPA 371 – Latin American Cinema (Teaching Assistant to Prof. Matt Losada)

SPA 322 – Latin American Literature, Life, and Thought

SPA 310 – Spanish Composition Through Textual Analysis

SPA 210 – Spanish Grammar and Syntax

SPA 202 – Intermediate Spanish IV

SPA 201 – Intermediate Spanish III

SPA 102 – Elementary Spanish II

SPA 101 – Elementary Spanish I

Blueridge Technical and Community College

HUM 120 - Introduction to the Humanities: Latinx and Latin American Perspectives

University of Virginia

SPA 201 – Intermediate Spanish III

SPA 106 – High Beginner Spanish

SPA 102 – Elementary Spanish II



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