English 137T

Topics in Chicana/o Literature and Culture: The Literature of the Chicano Movement

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Fall 2010 Padilla, Genaro M.
Padilla, Genaro
MWF 2-3 156 Dwinelle

Other Readings and Media

Among the authors we will read are Jose Antonio Villarreal (Pocho, 1959), Rodolfo ‘Corky’ Gonzales (“I am Joaquin,” 1967), Tomas Rivera (…y no se lo trago la tierra/…and the earth did not swallow him, 1971), Rudolfo Anaya (Bless me, Ultima, 1972), Oscar Zeta Acosta (The Revolt of the Cockroach People, 1972), Ana Castillo (The Mixquiahuala Letters, 1986), Arturo Islas (The Rain God, 1984); the various poems of Bernice Zamora, Lorna Dee Cervantes, Ricardo Sanchez, Evangelina Vigil, Alurista, Angela de Hoyos, Gary Soto; and we will also study the drama of Luis Valdez and El Teatro Campesino, especially “Zoot Suit.”


We will survey the literary and cultural production of the Chicano/a Movement during the 1960s through the 1980s. This was a particularly fertile period during which the civil rights movement fomented a cultural florescence within the Chicano community that led to publication/performance of politically spirited and unifying poetry, drama, short fiction and the novel. We will study the historical and political backgrounds of this period and press these up against the literary formations of a literature that articulates resistance to the U.S. hegemony just as it often restates the patriarchal, homophobic, and nationalist problematic that confronted the Chicano community. We will think about social and political content, of course, but I also want to look at the formation of a distinct aesthetics—experiments with language and form and audience. This course is open to all English majors interested in questions of race, ethnicity, gender, and the varieties of literary form—in other words, I invite any student to join us.

Course Requirements:

30%: sustained in-class contribution and group projects/presentations. At the beginning of class, I will clarify how this will work and then over the course of the semester I will issue three graded progress reports on in-class work to each of you

30%: mid-term paper of 6 pages (hopefully based on topic drawn from group projects)

40%: final essay of 8 pages based on topics of your own choosing, but covering at least three writers.

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