Faculty Snapshot: Frances Negrón-Muntaner
Tell us about your work.
My work focuses on a comparative exploration of coloniality in the Americas, particularly the intersections between class, race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality. These interests are present in some of my most recent work: an essay developing the concept of “cinema as inquiry” and its relationship to justice, a reflection on the connection between technology and social movements based on the experience of my just economy public installation Valor y Cambio, and a book introducing pioneering Puerto Rican queer writer Manuel Ramos Otero to Anglophone readers. My courses, such as “Revolution in the Caribbean” and “Introduction to Comparative Ethnic Studies,” are similarly oriented.
What’s in your Netflix queue?
I watch a film almost every day, although not all from Netflix. As I am editing at the moment, I tend to look for films that help me think about the narrative or conceptual challenges I may be experiencing. For instance, I was interested in a film where the lead character keeps a diary of observations. I found a compelling example in "Haulout" (2022). This is a New Yorker film by Maxim Arbugaev and Evgenia Arbugaevaon on the impact of climate change on walruses seen through the work of a scientist, Maxim Chakilev. The film also has one of the most powerful reveal shots I have ever seen in a documentary.
My film is also partly told from a non-human point of view. So, I have also become interested in stories that visualize this perspective. Although totally different in theme and scope from my film, I have found "Eo" (2022), to be generative. Directed by Polish director Jerzy Skolimowski, Eo tells the life story of a donkey after leaving a Polish circus.
What is a self-care practice that works for you?
I make sure to do a few things that I enjoy on a regular basis. These include running three miles in a wooded area, cooking from scratch, and losing track of time talking to family and friends. Whenever I can, I also like to look out to the sea, breath the ocean air, and feel the sand under my feet.