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Latino/a Literature in the United States

Class at Faculty of Arts |



An introduction to contemporary Latino/o culture and literature in the United States with a focus on the three main Latino groups: Mexican Americans/Chicanos, Puerto Ricans, and Cuban Americans. Dominican culture will also be covered. Representative works of various genres will be analyzed from the perspective of race, class, and gender. Works will include the personal essay, poetry, the narrative (short story and novel) and film. Topics to be covered: individual and group identity in relationship to issues of race/ethnicity/nationality, class, and gender; being bicultural vs living-on-the-margins; the struggle for the self determination of a people , notions of mestizaje/hybridity and its impact on creative production.


A Reader will include the history of Latinos in the United States as well as current demographics of an ethnic group that by 2050 is projected to become the majority group in the United States. Selections will include 1)?A Mosaic of Latino Literature of the United States? by Roberta Fernández; 2) chapters from Handbook of Hispanic Cultures in the United States (Volume on Literature and Art; Volume on History), Nicolas Kanellos and Claudio Esteva-Fabregat, General Editors; and 3) theoretical concepts found in The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Multiethnic Literature of the United States; as well as pieces by representative writers, such as Martín Espada, Judith Ortiz Cofer, Rafael Campo, and Lorna Dee Cervantes; and selections from Muy Macho: Latino Men Confront Their Manhood edited by Ray González..

Novels: The Agüero Sisters by Cristina García; In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvárez.

Films: ?El Norte,? ?Almost a Woman,? and ?The Mambo Kings?


Attendance will be recorded. No more than two absences will be allowed without penalty. Students must attend class and actively participate in class discussion. A fifteen-minute oral presentation will be required. In addition, students will write a 3,000 word essay. Topic to be determined in consultation with the professor. Two short essays will be required periodically.

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