Story by Lindsay McNeish
The Department of Communication Studies is pleased to announce this year’s Gravlee Lecturer, Chon Noriega, professor in the Department of Film, Television, and Digital Media at the University of California Los Angeles. The lecture will be held in the Lory Student Center Theater, Wednesday Feb. 7, at 7 p.m. with a reception to follow in Long’s Peak Room.
According to Noriega, his lecture, Destructivism and Hollywood’s First Archive, will consider how three things came together in the first part of the 20th century: cinema as the first mass art form defining our public culture, new ideas about the home as a private electronic space, and a new kind of art that moved away from traditional medium-based art forms like painting and sculpture.
“We’ve typically thought of the world in terms of the private (home) and the public (civic life),” Noriega said in an email interview. “We move back and forth between these spheres, but they have traditionally been thought of as separate. Starting in the 1920s, that changed.”
Noriega will consider how the arts, particularly media art, has brought attention to this shift and what it means for society today and our understanding of cinema.
“I think the one thing that people can learn from my lecture is that art is not always about creating. Destruction can play a transformative role in how we understand our daily lives, our society, and who we are as human beings,” said Noriega.
Gravlee Lecture organizer, Assistant Professor Evan Elkins, says “Dr. Chon Noriega is the model of a publicly engaged scholar.” As director of the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center and a curator of film and art exhibitions, Noriega has advanced the preservation and promotion of Chicanx and Latinx art and media.
“His book Shot in America: Television, the State, and the Rise of Chicano Cinema is a groundbreaking call to recognize the media art and activism of underrepresented communities,” Elkins says. “In line with these projects, Dr. Noriega’s talk will offer a vital and interdisciplinary exploration of media art and culture.”
In his role as UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center director, Noriega oversees numerous research initiatives and resources, including the country’s most extensive Chicano library holdings. He is also an adjunct curator at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).
In addition to authoring Shot in America: Television, the State, and the Rise of Chicano Cinema, Noriega has published and edited on Chicano and Latino media and visual art, is active in media policy and professional development, and was named one of Top 100 Most Influential Hispanics by Hispanic Business. His work has earned him several awards including the Getty Postdoctoral Fellowship in the History of Art and the Rockefeller Foundation Film/Video/Multimedia Fellowship.
The Gravlee Lecture Series is hosted by the Department of Communication Studies and honors G. Jack Gravlee, who served as department chair from 1975-1985. Gravlee retired from CSU in 2004. The lecture series brings eminent communication scholars to campus for a keynote presentation and interaction with students, faculty, and the university community.
The Department of Communication Studies is in CSU’s College of Liberal Arts.