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Introduction to Latina and Latino Literature (277-0-1)


Emily A Maguire
3-125 Crowe

Meeting Info

Parkes Hall 212: Mon, Wed, Fri 12:00PM - 12:50PM

Overview of class

Is there such a thing as Latinx literature? If indeed there is such a thing, how can we define it and what are its characteristics? This class explores these questions through a diverse corpus of literary texts that do not necessarily reflect but rather invent Latinx identities and ways of being in the world. We will begin by studying Chicano and Nuyorican literary texts from the 1960s and 1970s and will conclude with work by newer voices Justin Torres, Carmen Maria Machado, and Xochitl González. Our readings will represent various literary genres, voices, and discourses that exemplify the various styles of writing created by a diverse group of national, ethnic, racial, and gendered subjects. We will emphasize historical continuities since the 1960s and 70s, while also exploring the relationship between genres and emerging social issues. By the end of the semester students will have a historical overview of the heterogeneous literary voices and aesthetics that constitute US Latinx literature as well as an awareness of the internal debates around the creation of a Latinx canon in the US.

Learning Objectives

Throughout this course, students will:
• Observe the forms, genres, and styles of literary expression in 20th and 21st-century U.S. Latinx literature through the practices of close reading and literary analysis.
• Gain an awareness of the social, political, cultural, and historical factors influencing the production of 20th and 21st century Latinx literature, the relations between Latinx writers and Latinx communities, and the ways in which Latinx writers have used written expression as a means to construct political and cultural identities as well as challenge ethnic and racial discrimination.
• Gain an appreciation for the ways in which literature and the arts reveal the differences and diversity, as well as the continuity and unity, of human cultures. Key topics in this category will include the circulation and commercialization of Latinx literary texts, the treatment of Latinx histories (literary and political), and questions of ethnic identity formation and its relationship to issues of race, class, and gender.
• Through class participation and writing assignments, students will produce acts of persuasive interpretation, analysis, and commentary on literature and art, both spoken and written.

Class Materials (Required)

1. González, Juan. Harvest of Empire: A History of Latinos in the United States.
ISBN-10: 0143119281
ISBN-13: 978-0143119289
2. Anaya, Rudolfo. Bless Me Ultima.
ISBN-10: 0446600253
ISBN-13: 978-0446600255

3. Torres, Justin. We, the Animals.
ISBN-10: ‏0547844190
ISBN-13: ‎978-0547844190

4. Machado, Carmen Maria. In the Dream House.
ISBN 10: 1644450038
ISBN 13: 978-1644450031

5. Díaz, Junot Drown.
ISBN-10: 1573226068
ISBN-13: 978-1573226066

6. González, Xochitl. Olga Dies Dreaming.
ISBN 10: 1250786185
ISBN 13: 978-1250786180

Class Attributes

Literature & Fine Arts Distro Area