English 137T

Topics in Chicana/o Literature and Culture: Chicano Art and Literature

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Spring 2013 Padilla, Genaro M.
TTh 12:30-2 123 Wheeler


We will survey Chicano/a literature, art and film from the Chicano/a Movement (1960s through the 1980s) through more recent political and aesthetic formations.

The class will open with study of  a particularly fertile period during which the civil rights movement fomented a cultural florescence within the Chicano community that led to publication/performance of politically spirited and unifying poetry, art, novels and documentary film.

We will think about the convergence of a political aesthetic in the work of these novelists, poets, painters/sculptors, filmmakers, and we will try to account for the contrasts and connections with the wider spheres of art and politics that influenced their work.  To help situate and ground our thinking, we will outline  the historical and political backgrounds of this period and press these up against a cultural production that articulated resistance to the U.S. hegemony just as it often restated the patriarchal, homophobic, and nationalist and identitarian problematic that confronted the Chicano community in the first place. We will think about social and political content, of course, but I also want to look at the formation of a distinct aesthetic experimentation with language and form/genre and audience.

This course is open to all English majors interested in questions of race, ethnicity, gender, and the convergences and contestations of literary and  artistic representation and experiment and form. 

Course Requirements:

30%: sustained in-class contribution and group projects/presentations. At the beginning of class, I will clarify how this will work

30%: mid-term paper of 6 pages

40%: final essay of 8-10  pages based on topics of your own choosing, but covering at least three writers, artists or filmmakers.

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