English 137T

Topics in Chicano Literature and Culture: Riding Chicanx Literature’s First Wave and Beyond, c/s

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Spring 2022 Reyes, Robert L
MW 5-6:30 Wheeler 24

Book List

Acosta , Oscar Zeta: The Autobiography of a Brown Buffalo; Castillo, Ana: Sapogonia; Chavez, Denise: Loving Pedro Infante; Diaz, Natalie: When My Brother Was an Aztec; Hernandez, Jaime: The Girl from H.O.P.P.E.R.S.: A Love and Rockets Book; Munoz, Manuel: What you see in the Dark; Plascencia, Salvador: The People of Paper; Rivera, Tomas: ...and the earth did not devour him


“The student of Chicano literature will look back at this group and this first period as the foundation of whatever is to come, even if only as the generation against whom those to come rebel. The best of the best will survive—but then survival is an old Chicano tradition.”

Juan Bruce-Novoa, Chicano Authors: Inquiry by Interview.

Nearly forty years have passed since Juan Bruce-Novoa published Chicano Authors. An early Chicano literary critic, Bruce-Novoa documents this boom of creative writers in his book of interviews, naming them the “first wave.” This first wave—which he and others have come to regard as a consequence of the Chicano Movement—will serve as a reference point. In this course, we will encounter some of the most influential practitioners of Chicanx letters. This will include a variety of genres and media: novels, short stories, poetry, essays, film, comics, and music. Among the many themes in our exploration, we will observe how these writers (and artists) imagine place, history, citizenship, race, class, gender, nation, the body, art, community, and the cosmos. We will begin with the idea of the first wave as a “guide post,” to question where and when it began, and to consider how it became Chicanx Literature.

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