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Professor analyzes treatment of childhood in Spanish cinema

March 12, 2014

MEDIA CONTACT: Hilary Dickinson at or 608-363-2849

The depiction of children in contemporary Spanish film is the subject of a forthcoming book Associate Professor of Spanish Amy Tibbitts is writing.

Geared toward an audience of instructors and researchers of Spanish literature and film, as well as undergraduate institutions, the book will be organized thematically, according to Tibbitts. For example, she plans for one chapter to focus on how childhood can be used as a vehicle to talk about societal problems and another chapter to explore childhood as it relates to Spain’s transition from a dictatorship to a democracy.

She anticipates discussing 15-20 movies in her book, one of which is Pedro Aguilera’s La influencia (2007), a film about a contemporary single mother dealing with economic pressures.

Tibbitts, who plans to complete the book during her sabbatical in the fall, said the concept for the book grew from her interest in how childhood has become a powerful metaphor for societal tensions and anxieties. Though some studies have previously been done on this topic, she said her book will give more of a “panoramic” view, including films from the past 40 years.

 “There’s a definite focus on childhood as having been injured in a way by (Spain’s) political past,” Tibbitts said. “It’s an easy way for an audience to relate to issues that haven’t been as vocalized as they could have been, and I feel that’s different than the way childhood is portrayed in the United States.”

SOURCE: Amy Tibbitts is an associate professor of Spanish who teaches all levels of the language. Her teaching and research interests include contemporary Peninsular literature, as well as expressions of political and social tensions in contemporary Spanish cinema. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Oregon. Tibbitts can serve as a media resource on topics related to her teaching and research interests.