English 137T

Topics in Chicana/o Literature and Culture: Gender and Class

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Fall 2013 Gonzalez, Marcial
TTh 12:30-2 122 Wheeler

Book List

Anzaldúa, Gloria: Borderlands/la frontera; Baca, Jimmy Santiago: A Glass of Water; Castillo, Ana: The Guardians; Pineda, Cecile: Face; Plascencia, Salvador: The People of Paper; Pérez, Ramón “Tianguis”: Diary of an Undocumented Immigrant; Treviño Hart, Elva: Barefoot Heart: Stories of a Migrant Child; Trujillo, Carla: What Night Brings; Urrea, Luis Alberto: The Devil's Highway


In this course, we will explore the interconnectedness of gender and class as represented in a cluster of Chicana/o literary works, films, and art.  The films will include Lourdes Portillo and Nina Serrano’s, Despues del Terremoto (After the Earthquake) (1979); and Robert M. Young’s Alambrista (1977) and Children of the Fields (1971).  We will also view and discuss the artwork of Patssi Valdez and Asco.  Even though the primary thematic focus of the course will be on gender and class, we will necessarily delve into other social experiences--including race, sexuality, immigration, political activism, philosophy, art, storytelling, and writing--which have influenced the form and content of Chicana/o literature.  Participation will be mandatory.  Dialogue will be the center of our pedagogical approach.  We'll be attentive to the manner in which Chicana/o literature contributes to the formation of complex and sometimes contradictory cultural identities, but we will also attempt to situate these identities within the contemporary contradictions of gender-based world capitalism.  We'll also read and discuss essays on Chicana/Latina feminism and Marxism to facilitate our analysis of these works. Two essays, an exam, and an in-class presentation will be required.

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