HIST 470
Latinx Migrations: Stories and Histories Spring 2024
Division II Writing Skills
Cross-listed LATS 470 / WGSS 470

Class Details

Latinx migration histories are often told with sweeping data and within broad historical contexts. While these are important, the voices of the people leaving their home countries and coming to the United States can be lost or buried. During the 1970s, the emerging subfield of social history asserted the need to craft histories that took into consideration the everyday lives of everyday people. Oral history emerged a key tool in capturing the personal stories too often missed in historical archives. At the same time, Puerto Rican Studies, Chicano Studies, and later, Latinx Studies emerged to tell the histories of groups too often omitted from or misrepresented in the scholarship. These fields relied on traditions of testimonios or storytelling. This course focuses on Latinx oral histories, autobiographies, memoirs, testimonios, and other first-person narratives to explore how people are impacted by and experience those broad historical contexts, as well as how the decisions they make and the actions they take shape those broad historical contexts. As Latinx Studies is a field that has been at the forefront of exploring intersectionality, we also analyze how attention to first person narratives and lived experiences reveal the complexities of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and class, as well as other visible and invisible markers of difference. Examining first person narratives in the context of specific Latinx groups in particular historical, geographical, and social contexts, we interrogate the methodological and interpretive challenges of working with oral histories and other first-person primary sources. Course topics include the gendered dimensions of migration, geopolitics and stories of exile, and the connections between lived experiences and political activism, particularly the feminist activism of the late 1960s and 1970s– all while students develop and share their own research topics.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 19
Expected: 15
Class#: 3872
Grading: no pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: class participation and presentations, short writing assignments, proposals, annotated bibliography, drafts of research paper, final presentation, and final paper of 15 to 20 pages
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: History majors, WGSS majors, and Latina/o Studies concentrators, seniors
Distributions: Division II Writing Skills
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
HIST 470 Division II LATS 470 Division II WGSS 470 Division II
WS Notes: This research seminar supports students as they define an appropriate topic, identify and use primary and secondary sources, and complete a 15-20 page final paper. Several short writing assignments focus on interpretations of primary sources and on honing in on scholars' key arguments in secondary sources. The final paper is written in stages, including proposals, an annotated bibliography, drafts for workshopping with other students, and a final presentation along with the final paper.
Attributes: HIST Group F Electives - U.S. + Canada
LATS 400-level Seminars
WGSS Racial Sexual + Cultural Diversity Courses

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