Next Friday I'll be presenting at a religion conference called "Convivencia: Religious Identities in the New World" at Loyola Marymount University. My presentation will be titled "Children of a Babbling Labyrinth: the Reforming Other and Mexican Filmmakers." I will be looking at the films Babel, Children of Men, and Pan's Labyrinth, which were each directed by Mexican filmmakers, and addressing how they represent three unique directions Mexican filmmakers can take in the global film market. My focus will be on how the films feed off each other, as they each premiered in 2006, and the way they each approach topics such as suffering and liberation. All the while, I'll be making a claim that such a viewpoint is necessary for the growing discipline of theology and film studies. As of now, I'm drawing from such scholars as Walter Wink, Gustavo Gutierrez, bell hooks, and several other theo and film scholars.
I looked at the list of paper sessions and I am on a panel with two very unrelated papers: feminist power in Latin American and Muslim/Christian relations in Israel. In fact, there is only one other paper about film at the conference, and of all people, my old professor Carrie Peirce is presenting it. Her class at APU is one of the few that changed my life perspective and now I'm presenting on a similar field as her (this rather makes me feel insecure). Either way, this conference is a great opportunity, though I am completely stressed about what I am going to say and how I'm going to do it. I've debated just writing something out and reading it. I know that sounds boring but I've seen it done several times and it might be a good idea since I'm going to be one of the younger presenters there. That last thing I want to do is worry about stumbling over my words. Well, all I have to do is finish writing that damn thing. For the life of me, I can't seem to tie it all together in a tangible and critical way. My normal textual vomit style of writing papers isn't going to cut. However, there seems to be a light at the end of Plato's fucking cave. We'll see.