RLSP 280
From Roma to Yalhalhj: Race and Identity Politics Through Contemporary Mexican Cultural Production Spring 2020
Division I Writing Skills

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In 2017, the National Institute of Statistics in Mexico (INEGI) used for the first time a color palette to measure individuals’ skin tone. The study showed that “Mexicans who were classified by the interviewers as having darker skin tones tend to have lower levels of education and are worse off economically than their lighter-skinned counterparts” (Zizumbo and Flores, 2017). Raising controversy among those who would like to think of Mexico as a post-racial nation and those who recognize social inequality and discrimination on the basis of skin tone, the debate resonates in the way Mexican citizenship and cultural identity are both represented in mainstream media, even with the intention of showing diversity. The prevalent whitewashing dominating mass media in Mexico extends from advertisements to films, promoting an image of wealth and education intrinsically related to not only skin tone but also with race/ethnic positionality and gender. This course will explore the representation of these variables and their intersections through the analysis of photography, films, novels, paintings, reality shows, telenovelas, advertising campaigns, and music videos. In addition, we will take into account questions of representation, agency, and visibility addressed by cultural producers from pueblos originarios who do not consider themselves Mexican citizens. This class will be conducted in Spanish.
The Class: Type: Lecture
Limit: 19
Expected: 15
Class#: 3798
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: essays, oral presentation, participation
Prerequisites: RLSP 105, placement exam results, permission from the instructor or the Department Chair
Enrollment Preferences: Spanish major
Distributions: Division I Writing Skills
WS Notes: Weekly short (less than 1000 words) papers, alternatively letter-graded and graded P/F; at least three letter-graded papers will be revisions of a P/F paper; and final 5 pages long paper, which is a revision and expansion of the last weekly paper.
Attributes: FMST Related Courses

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