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Leonard Cortana

Leonard Cortana

Adjunct Instructor

Leonard Cortana (Guadeloupe/France) is a Ph.D Candidate at the Cinema Studies Department at NYU Tisch School of the Arts and a Fellow at the Berkman Klein Center, Harvard Law School. He holds undergraduate degrees in comparative politics and Spanish from Sciences Po Aix en Provence (France) and a EU Commission NOHA Masters degree in humanitarian assistance from Deusto University (Spain). Cortana also earned a BA in cinema and aesthetics from Sorbonne University Paris 1. Prior to his doctoral studies, he conducted several artistic and educational projects with non-profits and UN agencies that engage with youths in multiple countries including Chile, Brazil, France, and Bulgaria. He became a Trainer for the European Commission’s Youth Program projects and the Children International Summer Village Organization (CISV) and designed methodologies in theater and storytelling for social inclusion. Cortana is also a filmmaker. His last documentary, Marielle's Legacy Will not Die,  follows activist movements spreading the intersectional legacy of Afro-Brazilian activist and politician Marielle Franco in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. His doctoral research focuses on the circulation of transnational film narratives about racial justice and activist movements that re-open wounded historical memories between Brazil, France and the US.  Cortana teaches film studies courses at the Center for Applied Liberal Arts.

Currently Teaching

History and Memory in Contemporary Latin American and European Cinema

Explore groundbreaking contemporary Latin American and European films and the true stories behind them.

Mediterranean Cinema

Explore Mediterranean cultures through various films from the region.

The Fight Against Black Voter Suppression

Understand how voter suppression works and learn ways that allies can advocate for communities of color and fight voter suppression.

Understanding Race in a Global Context

Learn to understand and discuss race in a global context.

Microaggressions and Racial Stress: Reducing Harmful Interactions

Learn to identify and reduce microaggressions and to communicate effectively with people of color.

An Introduction to Intersectionality: Positioning and Situating Identities

Learn how our different identities relate to social norms and how we can become better allies for every member of our society.