English 137T

Topics in Chicanx Literature and Culture: Chicanx Novels

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Spring 2020 Gonzalez, Marcial
MWF 1-2 note new location: 254 Dwinelle

Book List

Castillo, Ana: Sapogonia; Gonzalez, Rigoberto: Crossing Vines; Islas, Arturo: The Rain God; Pineda, Cecile: Face; Rechy, John: City of Night; Rivera-Garza, Cristina: No One Will See Me Cry; Ruiz, Ronald: Happy Birthday Jesus; Vea, Alfredo: Gods Go Begging; Viramontes, Helena Maria: Their Dogs Came with Them


This course will focus exclusively on the study of Chicanx novels. The themes and formal features in 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; standing up against racism; engaging in class struggles; 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 and will be factored into the course grade. 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 works of 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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