LATS 344
Marking Presence: Reading (Dis)ability in/to Latinx Media Spring 2024
Division II Difference, Power, and Equity
Cross-listed AMST 361 / WGSS 361
This is not the current course catalog

Class Details

This course explores the intersection of (dis)ability and Latinx identity in the contemporary US context. Employing Angharad Valdivia’s (2020) notion of “marking presence” to describe the intentional ways in which Latinx subjects gain and hold on to mainstream media space, the class places the fields of Disability Studies, Latinx Studies, Gender Studies and Media Studies into conversation. We address the following questions and others: What does media reveal to us about the place of (dis)ability and Latinidad in contemporary US life, particularly as these categories intersect with questions of gender, sexuality, national identity and citizenship? How might we read Latinidad and (dis)ability into media texts in which they are not otherwise centered? What are the advantages of deploying mainstream media presence as a claim to power for disabled Latinx individuals, particularly those who are multiply marginalized? What are the limitations of such an approach? We will focus on these questions, as well as deploy various media examples (podcasts, social media, film, television and music) alongside scholarly texts to explore topics impacting the Latinx communities such as the relationship between the relationship between immigration and (dis)ability, intergenerational trauma and migration, the gendered archetype of the Latina “Loca,” (dis)ability in academia, the politics of self-care amongst Latinxs in the neoliberal context, and the very legal, cultural, and social category of “(dis)abled” itself within dominant society as well as in Latinx communities.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 12
Expected: 12
Class#: 3225
Grading: yes pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: Two short (5-6 page) essays; One media analysis exercise; One online group project; One final reflection letter.
Prerequisites: None.
Enrollment Preferences: Preference given to LATS concentrators, AMST majors and WGSS majors by seniority.
Distributions: Division II Difference, Power, and Equity
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
AMST 361 Division II WGSS 361 Division II LATS 344 Division II
DPE Notes: At its core, this course is about understanding difference and relationships of power through an intersectional lens and via the prism of everyday media. In each class we will be discussing issues directly revolving around questions of race, ethnicity, (dis)ability, gender, sexuality, and nation. Students will be expected to incorporate an analysis of these issues in their written and oral work for the course.
Attributes: LATS Core Electives

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