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Benjamin Mier-Cruz, “Sweden’s New York Realness: To be Young, Queer, and Black in Swedish Women’s Filmmaking”
February 3, 2020 @ 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
In this talk, Benjamin Mier-Cruz will compare Sweden’s social democratic ideal of the folkhemmet (the people’s home)—which regards society as a family unit—with the survivalist “house-building” of Black and Latinx youth in two documentary films, Inger Marklund and Anders Ribbsjö’s Lekplats Broadway [Playground Broadway] (1977) and Sara Jordenö’s Kiki (2016). He will discuss tactility and queer phenomenology to consider how the on-screen presence of the Swedish Filmmakers both epitomizes and resists the tradition of casting Black bodies as tactile objects of a ‘double-sighted’ sympathetic and interrogating white gaze.
Benjamin Mier-Cruz received his doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley. Benjamin is now an Instructor of Swedish and Scandinavian and director of undergraduate studies for Scandinavian at the University of Oregon. His main interests are modern Scandinavian literature and film, Scandinavian writers of color, transgender studies, queer theory, and Swedish language and pedagogy. His recent journal articles include “Brown Eyed Boy: Narrating Internalized Oppression and Misogynoir in Jonas Hassen Khemiri’s Everything I Don’t Remember” and the co-authored “Dracula or Draculitz? Translational Forgery and Bram Stoker’s ‘Lost Version’ of Dracula.” Benjamin is currently teaching two Swedish language courses and a class on diversity and neo-nationalism in Germany and Scandinavia. He is also a translator. His current Swedish to English translation project is Fanna Ndow Norrby’s Black Woman.