NOVEMBER 4, 2020 – As the anticipation grows among Selena Quintanilla fans for the new Netflix show Selena: The Series, the UTSA community is going to get a sneak peek about what it’s like to be part of retelling the life of such an iconic Hispanic figure.
In partnership with the course Selena: A Mexican American Identity and Experience, Sonya Alemán, associate professor of Mexican American Studies, and Netflix are hosting a Zoom panel featuring Selena: The Series executive producer Jaime Dávila and San Antonio native and actor Ricardo Antonio Chavira.
The virtual event is scheduled to stream on Tuesday, November 10 at 11:30 a.m.
“The public relations team working with Netflix reached out to me in mid-September because they learned about the Selena class after the substantial press that it received this summer and with it being one of the first classes here in Texas dedicated to Selena,” Alemán said. “They proposed the idea of putting together a panel for my students and possibly the larger UTSA community. I of course was very excited that that they had found us and thought of us in that way.”
Chavira, who is portraying Selena’s father, Abraham Quintanilla, and Dávila, a fellow Texan and cofounder of Campanario Entertainment, will speak on what it is like to be Mexican American and how that played out in Selena’s life and career, Alemán said.
“The students are beyond excited. I didn’t say anything to them about the panel until last week, since nothing was set in stone yet,” Alemán said. “It’s really hard to get any kind of reaction on Zoom these days because people turn off their cameras and audio, but when I told them, they were very happy. They were sharing their excitement by turning the cameras on and using the reaction function.”
Alemán added that it’s really special for them to be the inaugural cohort of the Selena course and be allowed to meet some of the people behind the new series.
The course launched this semester in the Department of Race, Ethnicity, Gender, and Sexuality Studies within the College of Education and Human Development. Alemán, a Selena fan herself, designed the course to explore various topics relating to Selena’s career, image, music, the Spanish language and Mexican American identity.
“This course is really making them think about Selena in this holistic, multidimensional way,” Alemán said. “I love that it’s allowing them to flesh out and enhance their existence, but also see what a scholarly lens offers.”
Alemán encourages the UTSA community to virtually tune in for the special event; registration is required.
“Anytime you can enrich your already existing relationship with Selena and her legacy I encourage everybody to take it,” she said. “We are all looking for moments of joy during these really challenging times. It’s been a hard year and even a small moment like this panel are needed.”
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