Rebecca Janzen, Assistant Professor of Spanish at Bluffton University in Ohio, is one of the most recent recipients of a research grant from the Plett Foundation. The grant is in support of Janzen’s work examining the representations of Low German Mennonites in Mexican film, photography, television, newspapers, and comics. The project, tentatively titled “Low German Mennonites in Mexican Media,” proposes that these portrayals often center on the themes of migration and death. Janzen will be studying Carlos Reygadas’ Silent Light, Eunice Adorno’s Flower Women, the Northern Heroes television series and the Macburro comic strip, which all include Mennonite characters. It will also examine newspaper reports on Mennonite inclusion in Columbus Day (Día de la Raza, October 12) celebrations in Chihuahua, Durango, and Campeche, Mexico. Portions of this research have been presented at the meetings of the Latin American Studies Association and of the University of California-Mexicanists.
Intake of grant applications to the Plett Foundation is ongoing and the Foundation’s Board considers applications twice annually, at its fall and spring board meetings.