Memorias de Oro: Music, Memory, and Mexicanidad in Pixar’s Coco (2017) (Dr. Jacqueline Avila)

Event Date: 

Wednesday, May 12, 2021 - 3:30pm to 5:00pm

Event Date Details: 

Zoom link: 
Meeting ID:
927 3685 1793 
no passcode required

Event Location: 

  • Virtual Event

Event Price: 

Free and open to the public

Event Contact: 

Adriane Cleary
Marketing and Communications Manager
UC Santa Barbara Department of Music
Jacqueline Avila
As part of the UC Santa Barbara Music History and Theory Forum, Dr. Jacqueline Avila (University of Tennessee) will give a lecture, titled "Memorias de Oro: Music, Memory, and Mexicanidad in Pixar’s Coco (2017)," on Wednesday, May 12, 2021 at 3:30pm PDT via Zoom.
Meeting ID: 927 3685 1793 
Passcode: no passcode required


Representations of Mexicans in Hollywood cinema have typically recycled negative stereotypes, but Pixar’s Coco (2017) provides a divergent interpretation. Set during Día de muertos, Coco embellishes several signifiers from the comedia ranchera, a film genre that showcased Mexican popular culture and musical performance, and elements of contemporary Mexican popular culture to provide a novel portrayal of Mexicanidad­—the cultural identity of the Mexican people—for a new generation. Premiering during a socially unstable period, I argue that Coco utilizes earlier cinematic and musical formulas, evoking Mexico’s cinematic past, to construct a visual, aural, and narrative portrayal of Mexicanidad that confronts and destabilizes past cinematic representations.

About the Speaker

Jacqueline Avila is an Associate Professor in Musicology at the University of Tennessee. Her research examines film music and the intersections of identity, tradition, and modernity in the Hollywood and Mexican film industries. Her book is entitled Cinesonidos: Film Music and National Identity during Mexico’s época de oro, published with Oxford University Press, Music/Media Series. Additional publications can be found in Latin American Music Review, Opera Quarterly, and American Music.
Jacqueline Avila