Professor Andrea Noble, BA Cantab, PhD Birmingham
It was with great sadness and shock that we learned of the sudden passing on 10 May 2017 of our esteemed colleague Professor Andrea Noble. Andrea made an extraordinary contribution as a researcher, a teacher, a PhD supervisor, and an academic leader of the first order. Her energy, enthusiasm and zest for life have been an inspiration to many, and her loss will be felt keenly in the academic community and beyond.
Andrea Noble is a Latin Americanist with research interests in visual culture studies -- particularly film and photography -- and Mexican cultural history. Her work to date has engaged with a range of methodological approaches, including those derived from feminist and gender studies, cultural memory, history of the emotions, reception and spectatorship, and visual anthropology. There are two strands to her current research and writing projects:
The first is Tears in Mexico: A cultural History of Emotions and Motivations, which aims to open up new horizons for the study of Mexican history and culture by bringing analytical approaches from research on the history and theory of the emotions to bear on key questions concerning the configuration of the social compact. Starting with the colonial encounter between Amerindians and Europeans, and taking a long historical view, it addresses a series of questions: how was it that two very different value systems coalesced to forge the hybrid body politic of colonial society? At the collapse of the Spanish empire and the birth of the United States of Mexico in 1810, how were new bonds of citizenship, of allegiance to the nation and to fellow men (and women) forged? Or, during the 1910 Mexican Revolution, how and why did disparate social groups make common cause, and how were these uneasy bonds maintained through the 20th and into the 21st century? In short, what is the ‘glue’ that, however imperfectly, holds the social compact together? Given the ambitious chronological span of the project, the analysis centres on epiphenomenal moments of public weeping by key historical figures – which in different ways have been registered in the historical record and national imagination -- as a means of framing and containing its exploration of the social compact. To shed tears, or to withhold them, has the potential to express a wide range of what we now call ‘emotions’: anger, fear, happiness, sadness, shame, etc. Crying is, then, an ambiguous and versatile act of emotional display, one which can reveal much about how individuals and groups relate to one another, and how social compacts come into existence, are maintained, or are dissolved and reconfigured. This project was funded by a Marie Curie International Outgoing Fellowship (2013-2016), involving two years based at the Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.
The second is called Cold War Camera and is an international collaboration with Professor Thy Phu of Western University, Canada. This project’s premise is that photography had and still has a key role in the cultural politics of the global Cold War: through state surveillance operations; through deployment in resistance to state-sponsored terrorism; and by its role in processes of transitional justice and commemoration. Questions of visuality – of what can (and cannot) be seen, known, and felt – stand at the centre of the cultural politics of this global conflict and its aftermath.
Postgraduate Supervision: Andrea is keen to supervise most topics within the general fields of her research interests. Topics she has supervised, or is currently supervising include: the cinematography of Gabriel Figueroa; photography and the memory of political violence in Argentina and Peru; photography, women and war in the Americas; photography, race and visual rights; representations of the other in documentary media in France; masculinity and violence in 'golden-age' Mexican cinema.
Public Engagement :Andrea has spoken about her research on film and photography across a range of public venues and media, including the Museo de la Revolución (Mexico City); Cornerhouse (Manchester); the British Musuem; The Royal Court; The Photographers' Gallery; Impressions Gallery, The British Academy, the Fototeca Nacional, El Museo Nacional de la Revolución, BBC Radio 3. In March 2012 she was selected to participate as a jury member on the panel to select the best Ibero-American feature film at Latin America's premier Festival Internacional de Cine de Guadalajara (http://www.ficg.mx/).
- Noble, A. (2010). Photography and Memory in Mexico: Icons of Revolution. Manchester: Manchester University Press.
- Noble, Andrea. (2005). Mexican National Cinema. London, New York: Routledge.
- Noble Andrea (2000). Tina Modotti: Image, Texture, Photography. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press.
Chapter in book
- Algarra, Giovanni & Noble, Andrea (2015). “Transportamos Sentimientos” Desafíos para el estudio de las emociones en América Latina. In Pretérito imperfecto. Afectos y emociones en las aproximaciones al pasado. Cecilia Macón & Mariela Solana Blatt&Rios. 43-65.
- Noble, Andrea (2013). The Politics of Emotion in the Mexican Revolution: The Tears of Pancho Villa. In Latin American Popular Culture: Politics, Media, Affect. Kantaris, Geoffrey & O'Bryen, Rory Tamesis. 249-270.
- Young, Richard & Holmes, Amanda (2010). Zapatistas in Mexico City and the Performance of Ethnic Citizenship. In Cultures of the City: Mediating Identities in Urban Latino/o America. Pennsylvania: University of Pittsburgh Press. 183-198.
- Noble, Andrea (2009). Family Photography and the Global Drama of Human Rights. In Photography: Theoretical Snapshots. Long, Jonathan, Noble, Andrea & Welch, Edward Routledge. 63-79.
- Noble, Andrea. (2006). If Looks Could Kill: Image Wars in María Candelaria. In Screening World Cinema: A Screen Reader. Catherine Grant. & Annette Kuhn. London: Routledge. 72-85.
- Noble, Andrea. (2005). Photography, Memory, Disavowal: the Casasola Archive. In Images of power: Iconography, Culture and the State in Latin America. Andermann, J. & Rowe, W. New York Oxford: Berghahn Books. 195-216.
- Long, J. J., Noble, Andrea. & Welch, Edward. (2008). Photography: Theoretical Snapshots. London: Routledge.
- Noble, A & Hughes, A (2003). Phototextualities: Intersections of Photography and Narrative. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press.
- Noble, Andrea (2015). History, Modernity and Atrocity in Mexican Visual Culture. Bulletin of Spanish Studies 92(3): 391-421.
- Noble, Andrea (2015). Introduction: Visual Culture and Violence in Contemporary Mexico. Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies 24(4): 417-433.
- (2011). El llanto de Pancho Villa. Archivos de la Filmoteca 68: 39-59.
- Andrea Noble (2010). Recognizing Historical Injustice through Photography: Mexico 1968. Theory, Culture & Society 27(7-8): 184-213.
- Noble, A. (2008). Travelling Theories of Family Photography and the Material Culture of Human Rights in Latin America. Journal of Romance Studies 8(1): 43-59.
- Noble, Andrea. (2006). Seeing through ¡Que viva Mexico!: Eisenstein's Travels in Mexico. Journal of Iberian and Latin American Studies 12(2-3): 173-187.
- (2006). Vino todo el pueblo: Notes on Monsiváis, Mexican Movies and Movie-Going. Bulletin of Latin American Research 25(4): 506-511.
- Noble, Andrea. (2004). Visual Culture and Latin American Studies. The New Centennial Review 4(2): 219-238.
Available for media contact about:
- Language, Literature & the Arts: Mexican film and photography
- Visual culture: Mexican Revolution