English 137B

Chicana/o Literature and Culture Since 1910: Chicanx Novels

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Spring 2018 Gonzalez, Marcial
TTh 11-12:30 182 Dwinelle

Book List

Acosta, Oscar Zeta: The Revolt of the Cockroach People; Castillo, Ana: Sapogonia; Gonzalez, Rigoberto: Crossing Vines; Palacio, Melinda: Ocotillo Dreams; Pineda, Cecile: Face; Rechy, John: City of Night; Vea, Alfredo: Gods Go Begging; Viramontes, Helena Maria: Their Dogs Came With Them


This course will focus exclusively on the study of Chicanx novels. As we shall see, the formal features and thematic representations of these novels have been influenced to a large degree by a broad range of social experiences: living in the borderlands of nationality, language, politics, and culture; 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; sometimes becoming complicit with the forces of domination; and expressing these experiences 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. Class participation is required. We'll be attentive to the manner in which the act of storytelling in Chicanx novels contributes to the formation of complex and sometimes contradictory cultural identities. We'll also read and discuss essays on literary criticism and history to facilitate our analysis of the social issues and aesthetic qualities that inform the writing of these novels and to understand how Chicanx novels expand and enrich the American literary tradition generally.

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