English 137T

Topics in Chicana/o Literature and Culture: Workers and Rebels in U. S. Latinx Novels

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Spring 2019 Gonzalez, Marcial
MWF 11-12 140 Barrows

Book List

Alvarez, Julia: In the Time of the Butterflies; Benitez, Sandra: The Weight of All Things; Castillo, Ana: The Guardians; Quiñonez, Ernesto: Chango's Fire; Rivera, Tomas: ...And the Earth Did Not Devour Him; Ruiz, Ronald: Life Long; Soto, Gary: Jesse; Viramontes, Helena Maria: Under the Feet of Jesus


This course will focus on representations of workers and rebels in U.S. Latinx novels. We will investigate the ways in which the issues of work and political activism are central themes in much U.S. Latinx literature. The formal features and thematic representations in the particular novels we’ll study have been influenced to a large degree by a broad range of social experiences: working for a living; enduring harsh working and living conditions; encountering various forms of organized state repression; growing up female in a machismo-based culture; getting involved in political movements; engaging in class struggles; fighting racism and sexism; rebelling against the system; fighting for revolution; 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. We'll be attentive to the manner in which the act of storytelling in these novels contributes to the formation of complex and sometimes contradictory identities. We'll also read and discuss short works of literary criticism and history to facilitate our analysis of the aesthetic and social issues that inform the writing of these novels and to understand how U.S. Latinx novels expand and enrich the American literary tradition generally.

The English Department is working on expanding the class size for this offering. If you would like to enroll in this course after it fills, please put yourself on the wait list, and if we are able to accommodate you, you will be added as soon as possible.

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