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Columbia College Chicago
Fall 2009
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Intersections Fall 2009

October 2009: "La Llorona: The Weeping Woman

November 2009: "Cartoons: Why We Need Them"
December 2009: "Endless Caverns: Traveling the Show Caves of the Appalachian Valley"

October 7, 2009

"La Llorona: The Weeping Woman"

Along with the Virgin of Guadalupe and La Malinche, La Llorona forms part of the female triad rooted in Mexican culture. La Llorona is a thriving oral legacy that can be traced to a folk legend that originated during the Spanish Conquest of Mexico. The weeping woman who searches for her lost children is a phantom who is heard but never seen. The phenomenon is reflected in song, literature, film and popular culture, and La Llorona's story continues to be re-envisioned and revised by contemporary artistic interpretations.

RoseAnna Mueller, a Fulbright Scholar, teaches Humanities, Foreign Languages, and Women's and Gender Studies at Columbia College Chicago. She has written extensively on Latin American literature and culture.

Jesus Macarena-Avila is a leading Latino artist and community activist. He has exhibited his work both in the United States and internationally. He teaches "Latin American Art, Literature, and Music" at Columbia College. 

Nancy Van Kanegan is a visual and performing artist whose work addresses personal and social rituals informed by myth and "magic" in an interdisciplinary context. She currently teaches in the Humanities, History, and Social Sciences, and Art and Design Departments at Columbia College Chicago.

November 4, 2009

"Cartoons: Why We Need Them"

As the number of newspapers shrink, the future of cartoonists is in question. This presentation will discuss the critical role cartoons and comics have played in American society. It will also examine how economic conditions along with new media technologies are affecting the world of cartooning.

Ivan Brunetti is the author of Misery Loves Comedy: Cartooning
Philosophy and Practice
; and Ho! He has created illustrations for The New Yorker and The New York Times Sunday Magazine, and has edited two volumes of An Anthology of Graphic Fiction, Cartoons, and True Stories. He currently teaches classes on comics, illustration, and design at Columbia College Chicago.

Teresa Prados-Torreira teaches American History at Columbia College Chicago. She is the creator of the Pfeffer-Odim Political Cartoon Contest for Columbia students. She is the author of Mambisas: Rebel Women in Nineteenth-Century Cuba and is currently working on a book on political satire.

December 2, 2009

"Endless Caverns: Traveling the Show Caves of the Appalachian Valley"

This talk will examine the phenomenon of commercial caverns, or "show caves" as they are known in the trade, as a distinctive cultural expression. Douglas Powell traveled to more than two dozen caves in the Appalachian Mountains over the last three years. Part earth art installation and part vaudeville sideshow, show caves are wonders for hire, as crass as that sounds, and yet they are also a sincere, eccentric effort to tell a story of the ways conflict and change etch the contours of the larger landscape. They are spaces of contradiction, complication, multiplicity, and simultaneity, something worth taking stock of in a region (a nation, a world) where the dominant, rapaciously expanding landscape idiom is Interstate Contemporary.

Douglas Reichert Powell
teaches writing, American literature, and cultural studies at Columbia College Chicago. He is the author of Critical Regionalism: Connecting Politics and Culture in American Landscape, and co-editor of Composing Other Spaces, a collection of essays on place and writing instruction.