English 137B

Chicana/o Literature and Culture Since 1910: Chicana and Chicano Novels

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Fall 2011 Gonzalez, Marcial
Gonzalez, Marcial
TTh 12:30-2 109 Dwinelle

Other Readings and Media

Acosta, O.: The Autobiography of a Brown Buffalo; Acosta,  O.: The Revolt of the Cockroach People; Castillo,  A.: Sapogonia; Cisneros,  S.: Caramelo; Gaspar de Alba,  A.: Desert Blood, The Juarez Murders; Plascencia,  S.: The People of Paper; Ruiz,  R.: Happy Birthday Jesus; Santiago,  D.: Famous All Over Town; Villanueva,  A.: Naked Ladies


The purpose of this course is to provide students with a general knowledge of post-1970 Chicano/a novels. Our study will focus on both the form and content of each novel. As we shall see, the formal features and thematic representations of Chicano/a novels have been influenced to a large degree by a broad range of social experiences: living in the borderlands of language, culture, geography, and nationality; growing up female in a male-centered environment; fighting racism; engaging in class struggle; encountering various forms of organized state repression; migrating and immigrating; getting involved in political movements; and becoming expressive in art and literature. Because this is a reading intensive course, we will spend considerable time in class discussing the novels and conducting collective close readings of selected passages. We'll be attentive to the manner in which the act of storytelling in Chicano/a novels contributes to the formation of complex and sometimes contradictory cultural identities. We'll also read and discuss essays on narrative theory and history to facilitate our analysis of the aesthetic and social issues that inform the writing of these novels and to understand how they expand and enrich twentieth-century American literature.

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