SPAN 6352 Mexican American Literature

Course Description

This course focuses on the study of contemporary Mexican American literature from the 1920s to the 1990s. It basically concentrates on literary and film productions. It will cover different topics: the search and construction of identity, nationalism and its extremes, the debate on the definitions of the border, the construction of gender, religion and spirituality, representations of the mainstream, and ethnic stereotypes, among others. Chicano literature, basically that written by American authors of Mexican origin, proposes very ambitious readings, beginning with the intercultural discussions between us and you; as well as the recurrent use of Spanglish. Finally, it proposes more local issues, such as the definition of the neighborhood and the negotiations of those who inhabit it. The student will be able to build well-founded ideas about the Latino identity in the United States, its achievements, and its challenges. The selection of texts will include essay, short story, poetry, theater, films, and novel.

Course Credits: 3

Student Learning Outcomes:

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • understand basic concepts of literary analysis and to train critical reading, discussion and writing skills.
  • understand the historical, political, and cultural development of Chicano/a identity.
  • think analytically and critically about aspects usually taken for granted in relation to cultural identities such as race, nation, gender, and social class.
  • analyze the plot, characters, temporal and space location, structure and language, narrative point of view, and other narrative strategies used in the construction of the text.