CALL FOR PAPERS – US-Mexican Encounters In Contemporary North American Cinema

Hello everyone,

Please see below a call papers.


Editors of this issue: Guido Rings and Stephen Trinder

Contributions to this iMex issue will explore the impact of the Trump era on images of Mexicans and Chicanos in recent US and Mexican cinema.

Throughout the 2016 US presidential campaign and Donald Trump’s subsequent election to the presidency, Mexican immigration and Mexican-Americans, or Chicanos, were a central issue. Among a number of other comments and ostentatious claims, Trump’s successful campaign may be best remembered for a spectacular shift to discourses that promoted essentialist and xenophobic notions of the Other as inferior and dangerous (Valverde 2016). As the largest minority group in the US (Diaz de Leon 2011), Hispanics, and in particular Mexicans, continue to be the target of some of Trump’s most extreme rhetoric, who began his presidential campaign in 2016 by condemning Mexico for ‘bringing drugs, crime and rapists’ to the US (Greenwood 2018).

Unlike populist political discourse, which often relies on static representations of ethnicities and cultures, cinema demonstrates often a tendency to critically interrogate monocultural and racist ideas, which can encourage cultural exchange and are frequently based on transcultural concepts. In this context, US and Mexican cinema has maintained a multiperspective focus on Mexican migration and diaspora life, bringing migrant perspectives into numerous Hollywood productions, providing the potential to reach North-American mainstream audiences (Rings 2016: 127).

While Chicano identity constructs and transcultural possibilities before the Trump era have been discussed at length, both within iMex (Rings 2012) and elsewhere (Gabriel Melendez 2013, Raab 2014, Castro Ricalde et al. 2017), we propose in this new context a special iMex issue to
explore in how far and how exactly the shift in political rhetoric in the era of Trumpism (Caliskan/Preston 2017) has affected portrayals of Chicano and Mexican identity in recent US and Mexican cinema. Of particular interest for an in-depth investigation are films that focus on immigration from Mexico (e.g. Pitts’ Soy Nero 2017, Cuarón’s Desierto 2017), life in the US for Mexican-Americans (De Montreuil’s Lowriders 2016, Bratt’s Dolores 2017), the effects of Trumpism on Mexico (Clift’s La Madre Buena 2017) and the portrayal of Mexican cultural identity by Hollywood (see Unkrich’s Coco 2017, which has been described as ‘pro-Mexico’ Disney film by Rose 2018).
Scholars of film and media studies, intercultural communication, cultural studies, politics and anthropology are particularly invited to contribute to the debate of these aspects.

Until 1st December 2019, articles and reviews can be forwarded in Microsoft Word to Prof. Guido Rings ( and Dr. Stephen Trinder (

Articles should not exceed a word length of 5000 to 6000 words; they should include an abstract of 200 words (English and Spanish), short bio data in English and Spanish (to include current profession, research areas and recent publications, maximum 10 lines) and 5 key words to identify the content. Please see the following link for all publication guidelines and formatting instructions:

For more details, please do not hesitate to contact or

iMex is edited by: Prof. Dr. Vittoria Borsò, Prof. Dr. Frank Leinen, Prof. Dr. Guido Rings,
Jun.-Prof. Dr. Yasmin Temelli

Initial Filmography

BRATT, Peter (2017): Dolores, USA: 5 Stick films.
CAURON, Jonas (2017): Desierto. Mexico/France: Esperanto Kino/CG Cinema.
CLIFT, Sara (2017): La Madre Buena. Canada: Independent.
DE MONTREUIL, Ricardo (2016): Lowriders. USA: Blumhouse Productions/Brian Glazer Productions.
LUNA, Diego (2016): Mr. Pig. Mexico: Canada Films.
PITTS, Rafi (2017): Soy Nero. Germany/France/Mexico: Independent.
UNKRICH, Lee (2017): Coco. USA: Walt Disney Pictures.

Cited works

CALISKAN, G. / K. Preston (2017): ‘Tropes of Fear and the Crisis of the West: Trumpism as a Discourse of Post-territorial Colonality’. In: Journal of Postcolonial Studies 20, 2, 199-216.
CASTRO RICALDE, M. / M. Díaz Calderón / J. Ramey (2017): Mexican Transnational Cinema and Literature. Oxford: Peter Lang.
DIAZ DE LEON, Javier (2011): ‘Migration, Cooperation and Development: the Role of the Mexican Government’. Presentation at Dealing with the Causes: Mexico’s Economic Policy and Migration, organized by Center for Strategic and International Studies on January 11, 2011. [08.05.2018]].
GABRIEL MELENDEZ, A. (2013): Hidden Chicano Cinema: Film Dramas in the Borderlands. New York: Rutgers University Press.
GREENWOOD, Max (2018): ‘Trump Celebrates Cinco de Mayo and ‘Significant Contributions of Mexican Americans’ to US’. In: [06.05.2018].
KEVENEY, Bill (2018): ‘Oscars 2018: Coco Filmmakers Wanted to Counter Trump’s Anti-Mexico Comments With the Film’. In: USA Today. [09.05.2018].
RAAB, Joseph (ed.) (2014): New World Colors: Ethnicity, Belonging, and Difference in the Americas. Trier: Wissenschaftlicher Verlag. ROSE, Steve (2018): ‘Coco: The Pixar Film that Defies Donald Trump’s Anti-Mexican Rhetoric’. In: The Guardian. [09.05.2018].
RINGS, Guido (2016): The Other in Contemporary Migrant Cinema: Imagining a New Europe? London: Routledge. RINGS, Guido (ed.) (2012): Identity and Otherness in Contemporary Chicano Cinema. In: iMex, 1, 2.
VALVERDE, Mariam (2016): ‘Compare the Candidates: Clinton vs. Trump on Immigration’. In: Politifact. [08.05.2018].
VIVA, Vibe (2016): ‘Watch the Funniest, Most Brilliant Trump Film Yet’. In: Vibe. [09.05.2018

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