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What, or who, is a Hispanic or Latina/o? At present, individuals living in the United States who are classified as such number approximately 57 million, constituting the country’s largest “minority” group. In this course, we will study the interdisciplinary field that has emerged in response to this growing population, as we focus on the complex nature of “identity.” Viewing identities as historically and socially constructed, we begin with a brief assessment of how racial, ethnic, class, and gendered identities take shape in the Hispanic Caribbean and Latin America. We then examine the impact of (im)migration and the rearticulation of identities in the United States, as we compare each group’s unique history, settlement patterns, and transnational activity. Identity is also a contested terrain. As immigrants and migrants arrive, the United States’ policymakers, the media, and others seek to define the “newcomers” along with long-term Latina/o citizens. At the same time, Latinas/os rearticulate, live, assert, and express their own sense of identity. In this light, we conclude the course with an exploration of these diverse expressions as they relate to questions of class, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and national origins.
Format: lecture; The course will feature synchronous online class meetings with some small discussion groups.
Grading: yes pass/fail option,
yes fifth course option
participation and several short papers (1-5 pages) throughout the semester
Latina/o Studies concentrators
required course for concentration in Latina/o Studies