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CGED Research Seminar Series

Domestic Helpers on the Screen: Discussing Roma

Domestic Helpers on the Screen: Discussing Roma


Dr. María Mercedes Vázquez Vázquez, Lecturer & Honorary Assistant Professor, HKU

Dr. Aaron Han Joon Magnan-Park, Assistant Professor, HKU

Dr. Deborah Shaw, Reader in Film Studies, University of Portsmouth (via video)


Professor Ying Zhu, Professor & Director of Centre for Film and Moving Image Research, Academy of Film, Hong Kong Baptist University

Date: Tuesday 7 May 2019

Time: 5:00pm – 6:30pm

Venue: Rm 4.36, 4/F, Run Run Shaw Tower, Centennial Campus, HKU

The film Roma by Mexican director Alfonso Cuarón attracted unprecedented critical and scholarly attention around the world immediately after its release in December 2018, garnering major accolades at the Golden Globe Awards and Oscars in early 2019. Much of the interest generated by this feature revolves around the politics of representation of an indigenous domestic helper by a middle-class director working in the USA as well as the aesthetic intertextual references with auteur cinema. This panel brings together an international group of film scholars to discuss the film’s aesthetics and politics and reflect on the critical contribution to its success. Hong Kong’s own economic dependence on overseas domestic workers to enable everyday life to happen provides a compelling comparative geopolitical space from which to analyze the themes and ideas that make Roma such a compelling film.


Dr. Mercedes Vázquez is a Lecturer and Honorary Assistant Professor in the School of Modern Languages and Cultures at The University of Hong Kong. She teaches Spanish and Latin American cinemas and Spanish language, and is the author of The Question of Class in Contemporary Latin American Cinema and The Oxford Bibliography on Latin American Cinema.

Dr. Aaron Han Joon Magnan-Park (Ph.D. Iowa) is Assistant Professor in the Department of Comparative Literature at the University of Hong Kong. He is co-editor of Palgrave Handbook of Asian Cinema. He has published in Asian Cinema, Journal of Chinese Cinemas, Journal of Japanese and Korean Cinema, Journal of Korean Studies, Post Script, and Quarterly Review of Film and Video. He has chapters in Chinese Connections; Hong Kong Film, Hollywood and New Global Cinema; Korean Wave; New Korean Cinema; Palgrave Handbook of Asian Cinema; The Politics of Community; and Towards Sustainable Economics and Security Relations in East Asia.

Dr. Deborah Shaw is Reader in Film Studies at the University of Portsmouth. Her teaching focuses on Transnational Cinema and Gender, Sexuality and Cinema. Her research interests include transnational film theory, Latin American cinema, and film and migration, and she has published widely in these areas. Deborah is co-editor of the Routledge journal Transnational Cinemas - soon to be renamed as Transnational Screens.

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