English 100

Junior Seminar: Workers and the Law in Chicana/o Novels

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
9 Fall 2004 Gonzalez, Marcial
Gonzalez, Marcial
TTh 11-12:30 109 Wheeler
Other Readings and Media

Acosta, Oscar: Revolt of the Cockroach People, Autobiography of a Brown Buffalo; Castillo, Ana: Sapogonia; Maya-Murray, Yxta: Locas; Ramos, Manuel: The Ballad of Rocky Ruiz; Ruiz, Ronald: Happy Birthday Jesus, Big Bear; Viramontes, Helena: Under the Feet of Jesus; Santiago, Danny: Famous All Over Town


"This course will examine representations of working class characters and their encounters with the law in nine Chicana/o novels. All of these novels tell stories of workers who challenge the law in one form or another. Six of the novels were written by practicing attorneys, and four of them are narrated from the perspective of an attorney. What is the social significance of the centrality of the law in these novels? How are the events of the novel to be interpreted when narrated from the perspective of a lawyer? What do the representations of legal struggles reveal about history, class positioning, and the formation of cultural identity? These are the kinds of questions we will seek to answer in our study of these novels. All members of the seminar are expected to attend class regularly and participate actively in classroom discussions. Students will be required to present at least one oral report in class and write at least two papers.

Be sure to read the paragraph starting on page 1 of this Announcement of Classes regarding enrollment in English 100! "

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