Thursday, December 3, 2015

New Eyes

As I write this final blog post, I realize that I'm looking at the world of telenovelas with new eyes, a fresh perspective, and greater understanding of their enormous impact on Latin American culture and society. I think many of us who really had no prior exposure to telenovelas--except learning once in a Spanish class that telenovela translated to "Spanish soap opera"--came into this course with false assumptions, stereotypical portrayals, or just no idea of what novelas actually are.

I now want to be someone who accurately explains and defines telenovelas. As we well-know, they aren't the same thing as American soap operas, and they aren't even viewed in the same light in Latin America as soaps are in the States. They are complex, draw out emotions, and involve a tremendous amount of work on behalf of the writers, production team, and the rest of the crew.

Going forward, my goal is to keep watching them. I can learn so much Spanish and so much culturally by taking the time to keep up with one. And it's fun! I've been studying Spanish for a while academically, but I feel like, especially in college, my classes focused on Spain. I studied abroad this summer in Seville, Spain as well, so the Spanish culture, history, and dialect is what I'm familiar with. I didn't know as much about Latin American culture, which is a shame because it is diverse, beautiful, and interesting. I would love to travel to many Spanish-speaking countries, and I now have more insight into the struggles, interests, and victories of Latin Americans from watching telenovelas and hearing what Dr. A shared with us.

I wrote this in one of my comments, but being culturally aware and globally-minded are such important attributes and allow us to have deeper connections and understanding with people from other backgrounds than our own. I am super passionate about this and want to keep growing in my ability to relate and be open-minded. Especially as a journalism major, that is key in prompting easier, more authentic discussions and giving subjects the freedom to be comfortable when sharing their stories.

Thank you guys for an awesome semester, and thank you Dr. A for all you taught us! We all are leaving here with new eyes.

"It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see." -Thoreau


  1. Maggie, I agree with this wholeheartedly. As someone with an academic Spanish background, I had a small picture of telenovelas and their impact on the Latin American culture. This class has taught me that the telenovela industry is a huge part of culture and it's a global production as well. Increasing one's knowledge of other cultures is an integral part of education, and how interesting is it that we can become more educated through watching entertaining shows!

  2. Your post certainly has a lot of truth to it, Maggie! I have also been studying Spanish for many years, but the knowledge that I was able to gain through watching authentic sources in this course was incredible. Such a large part of the world knows nothing of the role of telenovelas in Latin American culture, and I am proud to be an ambassador for these shows. Telenovelas have a lot to offer foreign audiences - a taste of a different culture, an entertaining storyline, and more than enough romance to go around. I can't wait to continue watching telenovelas in my spare time, especially when I go to Spain this summer. I am sure that my host family will be so happy to introduce me to new novelas and watch me get hooked!