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The Call for Films for the Fifth Annual Feminist Border Arts Film Festival Is Now Live

The 2020 season will be the fifth anniversary of the festival. To celebrate this, the Feminist Border Arts Film Festival is partnering with the newly-constructed University Art Museum (UAM) located in Devasthali Hall on the campus of New Mexico State University. It is doing so to participate in the inaugural exhibition to be mounted in the new premises: “Labor: Motherhood and Art in 2020,” co-curated by Marisa Sage (Director, UAM) and Laurel Nakadate (NY based photographer and filmmaker). “Labor: Motherhood and Art in 2020” addresses and challenges the documented human experiences of motherhood and the ways the mother and childrearing have been perceived and portrayed in art, both historically and in current popular culture. Building upon the multitudes of conversations happening in the contemporary art world “Labor” looks at motherhood through the lenses of empathy, intimacy, feminism, failure, dedication, and routine.

For its part, the Feminist Border Arts Film Festival will feature a two-day event of public screenings of selected films that encompass and/or expand on artistic/critical explorations of mothering, mothers, the maternal, the divine feminine, queer family, queer or/and trans parenting, race and mothering/parenting, dis/ability and mothering/parenting, refugee and transnational mothering/parenting and more. In short, the festival seeks films that deal with notions of the mother, mothering, kinship bonds, parenting, or the family that intersect with topics of gender, gender identity, sexuality, race, indigeneity, class, dis/ability, transnationality and diaspora, migration, refugees and displaced persons, activisms, the environment, food/water/housing insecurity, and other social justice perspectives and experiences. Our selected films will be screened alongside video works by artists like Mickalene Thomas, Tierney Gearon, Ann Fessler, who are showcased in the “Labor” exhibition. See more here:

Dr. Julia Smith: Upcoming screening of The Devil’s Mistress at The Rio Grande Theatre

From Dr. Smith

I have exciting news about the documentary production and the upcoming screening of The Devil’s Mistress. The screening will now take place at the historical Rio Grande Theatre in downtown Las Cruces on December 5th at 7pm. This will be the first time The Devil’s Mistress has been to this theater in almost 55 years since it’s national premiere there in 1965! I’ve attached a picture of the original cast the night of the premiere that featured a red carpet, spotlights in front of the theater, and a police motorcade to escort the cast and crew in a limousine. The photos have been provided courtesy of Teddy Gregory who plays Frank, the *innocent* young cowboy in the film, who you can see circa 1962-3 in the attached photos, and will be in attendance at the screening.  

The fundraiser has now become sponsored by the Las Cruces International Film Festival and Film Las Cruces thanks to the advocacy and support of Mark Ross (thanks Ross!), and Jon Foley of Film Las Cruces. In the coming weeks, I’ll update you on press releases, interviews, news, and media around this exciting event. At the screening, where I’ll introduce The Devil’s Mistress and my research and contributions to the Wanzer archives at The Rio Grande Historical Collection at NMSU and the Institute of Historical Survey in Las Cruces, followed by a screening of a promo trailer for my work-in-progress documentary about Buddy and his contribution to film, art, and culture here in the southwest.

I have recently opened an LLC for the film that has taken longer to process that I’d like, but I’ll have updates on ticket sales as soon as it’s 100% secure if it is not already.  You can follow this link to get more info, where you will be able to purchase advanced tickets for this event, which we anticipate to sell out. If you have any trouble with the purchase or the link, please let me know, as you will be the first to have access to this information.  Please share this event with interested parties on by behalf. I’m so grateful for your support, and I look forward to seeing you at the screening, if not before. 

Save the date: December 5th, 7pm, @ The Rio Grande Theatre 

Dr. Hamzeh Named Dean’s Fellow of Diversity & Inclusion for College of A&S

A Dean’s Fellow position to work on issues of diversity and inclusion was created and advertised in early Spring 2019 for all interested faculty in the College.  

The College is fortunate to have several faculty members who exemplify the values of diversity and inclusion through their scholarship and social justice service and outreach. Our office was tasked with the difficult decision of selecting a Dean’s fellow out of an outstanding pool of applicants – and in fact we ended up selecting two fellows, both bringing a diverse set of skills and experiences to this position.

The Dean’s office selected Dr. Manal Hamzeh of Gender & Sexuality Studies and Dr. Spencer Herrera of Languages & Linguistics as this year’s Dean’s Fellows, whose letters of interest clearly showed an invested and continual commitment to various issues surrounding diversity and inclusion.  

The work that needs to be done to make our College a more diverse and inclusive place cannot be done overnight, nor should it be done in silos. As such, I have tasked Dr. Hamzeh and Dr. Herrera to help the College begin to understand what and how we need to work together toward creating a more diverse and inclusive College of Arts & Sciences. Their work will also provide important insights on shaping the LEADS 2025 plan for the College.

This process will take some time, collaboration, transparency, and a lot of listening and communicating. We are committed for the long haul to do the complex work of diversity and inclusion. In the meantime, please feel free to reach out to Dr. Hamzeh ( and Dr. Herrera ( to share your ideas, data, and vision as related to this endeavor. They would be more than happy to meet with you, and I encourage every department to get to know them.  





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