ENGL 279
Introduction to Latinx Literature: From 'I Am JoaquĆ­n' to Borderless-Future Dreams Spring 2024
Division I Writing Skills Difference, Power, and Equity
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Class Details

This course is designed to introduce you to Latinx literary and cultural production from the 1930s through the present. We will read and encounter some of the most urgent and exciting literary-artistic texts produced by Latinxs in the U.S., focusing our attention on the post-war period and the flourishing of the Chicano Movement-related cultural renaissance of the late 1960s and early 70s, along with the Movement’s significant aftermaths. This focus highlights the significant contributions Chicanx voices have made to Latinx literary studies and creates space for the incorporation of other Latin American-descended peoples (including Nuyoricans, Cubanos, Central Americans, Afro-Latinxs, and more). In addition to traditional narrative forms, we will also study poetry, films, photography, plays, murals, and performance art. In this way, you will gain a critical awareness of how Latinxs have historically engaged in various modes of artistic experiment to better question some of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries’ most pressing global and local political issues (from migration to racism to coloniality to heterosexism to gentrification to U.S. imperialism and more). The course, at its core, will explore issues of identity-formation, particularly as they relate to Latinx struggles for equality on the fault lines of race, class, and gender/sexuality. Who and/or what is the Latinx subject, and how does the question of identity relate to struggles for cultural recognition and political equality? To what extent does the Latinx subject’s political freedom rest upon practices and processes of identify-formation or, alternatively, dis-identification? As we explore these questions, we will also examine how Latinxs come to inhabit and articulate a sense of space and place in the shifting landscapes of culture–from the city to the campo to the cultural in-between of the border.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 19
Expected: 19
Class#: 3776
Grading: no pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: Active participation in in-class and online discussion, four 4-5 page essays, writing-related homework assignments, and an in-class presentation.
Prerequisites: a 100-level ENGL course, or a score of 5 on the AP English Literature exam, or a score of 6 or 7 on the Higher Level IB English exam, or permission of the instructor.
Enrollment Preferences: Sophomores considering the English major, but juniors and seniors are also welcome.
Distributions: Division I Writing Skills Difference, Power, and Equity
WS Notes: The instructor will provide written feedback on student work. Students will receive timely feedback on essay assignments with suggestions for improvement and will revise their essays.
DPE Notes: This course offers students the opportunity to learn and think critically about Latinx community struggles throughout U.S. social history while examining the forms of cultural expression that arise out of and in relation to those struggles. It also delves into the intersectional nature of Latinx community struggles as they emerge along the fault lines of race, class, and gender/sexuality.
Attributes: ENGL 200-level Gateway Courses
ENGL Literary Histories C
LATS Countries of Origin + Transnationalism Elect

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