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DRAM 120: Play Analysis

M 9:05-11:35 AM

Dr. Jacqueline Lawton

Development of the skill to analyze plays for academic and production purposes through the intensive study of representative plays. DRAM 120 is the first course in the major and the minor in dramatic art. Honors version available.

This course fulfills the following General Education Objectives:

  • First Year-Launch
  • Aesthetic and Interpretive Analysis
  • Making Connections Gen-Ed: VP, CI, NA

MUSC 147: Music of the Americas

Tu/Th 9:30-10:45 AM

Dr. Juan Álamo

An introduction to contemporary Latin(o) American popular music, focusing on how musicians have negotiated an increasingly global popular culture industry. Class Notes: Some seats are reserved through a reserve capacity in this section for first year and transfer students. Instruction Mode: in person on campus learners.

This course fulfills the following General Education Objectives:

  • Power, Difference, and Inequality

ENGL 164: Introduction to Latina/o Studies 

M/W/F 12:20-1:10 PM

Dr. Ylce Irizarry

This course introduces the concerns, methodology, and aesthetics of Latina/o/x Studies. Authors/identities explored center the Caribbean Basin, especially Afro-Diasporic cultures including Cuban, Dominican, Haitian, and Puerto Rican; Mexican culture, and Central American cultures, especially Guatemalan and Salvadoran. Reading includes poems, stories, novels. Viewing includes films, visual and performance art, music video.

This course fulfills the following General Education Objectives:

  • Global Understanding and Engagement
  • Aesthetics and Interpretive Analysis

ENGL 221H.001: American Literature, 1900-2000: The Night Optics of 20th and 21st Century U.S. Novels

M/W/F 10:10-11:00 AM

Dr. María DeGuzmán 

This course examines major U.S. novels and their night optics. These novels of the night perform a deep questioning of the “American Dream” and the novelistic task of giving form to chaos and refiguring the social order. This course examines the intertwining legacies of the dark side of the Enlightenment, Gothicism, Romanticism, Naturalism, noir, existentialism, Gnosticism, and socio-political and aesthetic dissent. Required reading: F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender is the Night (1934); Djuna Barnes’s Nightwood (1936); William Styron’s Lie Down in Darkness (1951), Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man (1952), John Rechy’s City of Night (1963), Toni Morrison’s Jazz (1992), Paul Auster’s Oracle Night (2003), and Manuel Muñoz’s What You See in the Dark (2011) in combination with ongoing reading of sections of Dr. DeGuzmán’s Buenas Noches, American Culture: Latina/o Aesthetics of Night and Understanding John Rechy.

DRAM 230: Theatre of the Word

M 1:25-3:55 PM

Dr. Jacqueline Lawton

This course, with a theatre and social justice theme, is structured to give students an understanding of the role of the speaker before the public, the logical and sequential development of an idea, and the methodology for organizing and presenting materials and information. The course will cover information gathering, speech outlining, small group discussion, and provide extemporaneous, informative, and persuasive speaking opportunities.

This course fulfills the following General Education Objectives:

  • Communication Beyond Carolina

WGST 233: Introduction to Latina Literature

Tu/Th 3:30-4:45 PM

Instructor Meleena Gil

This course will provide an introduction to Latina literature. We will read a variety of genres from a range of ethno-national perspectives and examine such topics as immigration, identity, mother-daughter relationships, and sexuality.

This course fulfills the following General Education Objectives:

  • Power, Difference, and Inequality
  • Aesthetics and Interpretive Analysis
  • Making Connections Gen Ed: LA; US.

HIST 241: History of Latinos in the United States

M/W/F 11:15 AM-12:05 PM

Instructor Cristian Roberto Walk

This course examines the history of Latinos in the United States from the early 19th century to the present. We will explore how Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Cubans, Central Americans, and other Latinos built communities while facing significant political and economic barriers. The course focuses on changing notions of race, class, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and citizenship and how those changes shaped the experiences of Latinos. We will consider many facets of Latino life such as work, culture, and politics. The main themes we will cover include migration, empire, resistance, and identity. The goal of this course is to situate Latinos into a U.S. national narrative.

ENGL 394: Latinx Hybrid Narrative: Experimental Fiction and Film

M/W/F 10:10-11:00 AM

Dr. Ylce Irizarry

This course will examine books and films that are narrative in nature to consider how authors and film makers engage concerns intersecting at different points of self-conception including but not limited to experiences of diaspora, dis/ability, gender, geography, nationality, race, sexuality, spirituality, and transnationalism. We will consider the roles of collage, image, genre, language, mise-en-scène and paratext in fiction and film as they de/re/construct individual, communal, and national identities.  This course does not explore film production or offer students training in film creation or creative writing. Course materials will include 5-6 short stories, 6 – 7 novels, and 8-9 shorter length films, which will be viewed in class. Assignments will include Short Homeworks & Analytical Notes (35%); 2 In-Class Exams (20%), 2 Group Projects (20%), and 1 Research Essay(25%).

This course fulfills the following General Education Objectives:

  • Power, Difference, and Inequality
  • Aesthetics and Interpretive Analysis

ANTH 450: Ethnographic Research Methods

Tu 3:30-6:00 PM

Dr. Angela Stuesse

LTNO Minors can take the course for LTNO credit by designing a Latinx-focused research project.

This course offers an opportunity for students to learn about the methodologies of ethnographic research and put these into practice through a semester-long field research project in the Triangle. Though this project, we explore the theoretical, ethical, and practical promises and challenges of ethnography, from problem definition, research design, and entering the field to data analysis, validity, and “writing up.”  Along the way we focus on the collection and analysis of ethnographic data using participant observation, fieldnotes, interviewing, life histories, visual methods, focus groups, archival and ethnographic survey research, and various strategies for organizing and coding data.

Each week’s readings teach us about (a) new research method(s), which we discuss in class and then implement in our projects through weekly structured ethnographic assignments.  Class meetings are used largely as workshops to discuss what we are learning and provide / receive feedback (both instructor and peer-to-peer) on our ongoing projects.  Students’ work over the semester culminates in an in-class presentation of their ethnographic research, as well as a final ethnographic report.

DRAM 488.001: U.S. Latiné Theatre & Performance

Tu/Th 9:30-10:45 AM

Dr. Adam Versényi

Fulfills the Aesthetic and Interpretative Analysis Focus and the Power, Difference, and Inequality Focus Capacities.

This course investigates U.S. Latino/a/é theatre texts and performance practices as a discreet genre within the larger context of theatre in the United States. Students will study what distinguishes U.S. Latino/a/é theatre from the larger dominant (European American) culture, as well as the diversity of forms, styles, and theatrical practices present within U.S. Latino/a/é theatre itself.

This course fulfills the following General Education Objectives:

  • Power, Difference, and Inequality
  • or Aesthetics and Interpretive Analysis

MEJO 490-007: COVERING AND ENGAGING LATINO/A/X COMMUNITIES

M/W 2:00-3:15 PM

Professor Leyla Santiago

We will dive into the nuances of Latino/a/x communities in the U.S. and the best practices to responsibly engage and cover the rapidly growing population. Students will explore the various facets of the community, including history and culture, to understand why it should not be considered a monolith when analyzing issues like health, politics, religion,
immigration, business and the economy. The course will give future journalists and communication professionals a better understanding of how to successfully reach Latino/a/x communities for newsgathering or targeting in strategic communication campaigns.

ENGL 687: Queer LatinX Environmentalisms

M/W/F 2:30-3:20

Dr. María DeGuzmán

Fulfills the AESTHETICS focus and the POWER focus. Any questions, email: deguzman@email.unc.edu

This mixed level graduate and advanced undergraduate course examines queer LatinX literature from the 1990s to the present as it intersects with ecological and environmentalist concerns. LatinX literature is multi-ethno-racial and, even when emerging from the United Sates, is multi-national in terms of dovetailing with other national heritage cultures. We explore how these cultural productions question normative assumptions about the “order of things,” the “naturalness” of nature, and the “inevitability” of the historical exploitations of coloniality and the ongoing predations of neocolonialism. We pay close attention to LatinX cultural productions that approach cosmology, ecology, and environmental justice from queer perspectives and that queer ecological concerns from minoritized perspectives.“Queer” and “LatinX” combined with one another and modifying “Environmentalisms” signal other ways of thinking, doing, being, and becoming. These other ways entail exploring concepts of “nature” entangled with and dis-entangled from the coercive essentialisms of “natural law” and the violent settler-colonialism informing patriarchal capitalist “normalcy”; thinking beyond the blinders of heteronormative and species-hierarchical traditional humanism; perceiving and valuing multiple forms of kinship between humans and between humans and other life forms; ceasing to measure worth by a compulsory procreational model; conceiving sustainable interdependencies and thriving assemblages; and cultivating the diversity of diversity as part of salvaging what remains of biodiversity in this time of human-induced global and planetary crisis. With every text, film, and other cultural production, we will be exploring its aesthetic dimensions (hence FC-AESTH) in relation to its socio-political dimensions (FC-POWER). Assignments: two 8-page essays totaling at least 16 pages for undergraduates (for graduate students the second essay is 22–25 pages long), active class participation, and final exam. The grade percentage distribution is as follows: essay 1 (30%), essay 2 (40%), final exam (20%), and class participation that includes individual and collaborative oral presentations(10%). 

This course fulfills the following General Education Objectives:

  • Power, Difference, and Inequality
  • Aesthetics and Interpretive Analysis

 

 

Fall 2023 Courses

ROML 055H.001: Writing with an Accent: Latina/o Literature and Culture

Tu/Th 11:00 AM-12:15 PM 

Dr. Oswaldo Estrada

This seminar focuses on the literary production of Latinos living in the U.S. Using a variety of materials (essays, documentaries, films, music) and English-language texts (novels, short stories, plays, poetry) we will examine works by Chicano, Peruvian-American, Nuyorican, Central-American-American, Dominican, and Cuban-American writers. Topics to be discussed include: Latino or Hispanic? What’s in a Name?; The Politics of Bilingualism; The Search for Home in Migrant, Rural, and Urban Environments; The Many Faces of Machismo; Religion and Spirituality in Latino Communities; Forms of Prejudice and Discrimination; Music as a Cultural Bridge. All readings will be in English, though knowledge of Spanish is desirable. FIRST YEAR STUDENTS ONLY

AAAD 89.001: First Year Seminar: Afro-Latinxs in the U.S. 

Tu/Th 12:30-1:45 PM 

Dr. Maya Berry

What does it mean to be both racially Black and ethnically Latino in the U.S.? This discussion-based course will look at the history, culture, experiences, political struggles, and social dilemmas of “Afro-Latinos”: African-descended peoples from Latin America and the Spanish-speaking Caribbean who reside in the U.S. The erasure of these communities, along with their struggles for well-being, prosperity, belonging, and visibility, will be explored. The class provides an opportunity for a deeper understanding of the legacies of the transatlantic slave trade, ethno-nationalism, and U.S. foreign-policy, and their connection to contemporary issues of migration, sexism, inequality, and anti-blackness. In-depth conversations about the politics of “race” and “ethnicity” will trouble dominant U.S. paradigms of identity. We will engage with a variety of sources, from academic books and scholarly articles to film. Students will synthesize their understanding through daily forum posts, a collaboratively-prepared presentation, an essay, and a group research project.

This course fulfills the following General Education Objectives:

  • Global Understanding and Engagement
  • Power, Difference, and Inequality

REL 151: Religion in Latin America

M/W 3:35-4:50 PM 

Instructor Sierra Lawson

This course surveys the history and contemporary practice of religion in Latin America before European arrival to the present. Subjects will range widely through diverse religious traditions that characterize Latinx cultures throughout the Americas. The contributions of African, Indigenous, and European traditions as well as the extraordinary combinations that resulted from their colonial and post-colonial interactions will provide the content of study, while thematic tensions between violence and healing, authority and social change, as well as locality and movement will provide wider points of comparison. Specific topics covered include Mesoamerican and Andean Indigenous cultures, Iberian conquest, Catholic evangelization, colonial hybridities, church-state conflicts, liberation theologies, border saints, Protestant and Pentecostal growth, Latina/o immigrant religion in the US, and Afro- Latin diaspora religions like Candomblé, Santería, and Vodou.

This course fulfills the following General Education Objectives:

  • HS- Historical Analysis
  • BN- Beyond the North Atlantic
  • Global Understanding and Engagement
  • Engagement wth the Human Past

ENGL 164: Introduction to Latina/o Studies 

Tu/Th 2:00-3:15 PM

Dr. Ylce Irizarry

This course introduces the concerns, methodology, and aesthetics of Latina/o/x Studies. Authors/identities explored center the Caribbean Basin, especially Afro-Diasporic cultures including Cuban, Dominican, Haitian, and Puerto Rican; Mexican culture, and Central American cultures, especially Guatemalan and Salvadoran. Reading includes poems, stories, novels. Viewing includes films, visual and performance art, music video.

This course fulfills the following General Education Objectives:

  • Global Understanding and Engagement
  • Aesthetics and Interpretive Analysis

WGST 211: Introduction to Latina Feminisms: Literature, Theory, and Activism

Tu/Th 9:30-10:45 AM 

Dr. Ariana Vigil

Through a variety of texts that span the 20th and 21st centuries, students will be introduced to key concepts, figures, and movements in Latina feminisms. Emphasis will be placed on a diversity of historical and ethno-national perspectives as well as academic interdisciplinarity.

This course fulfills the following General Education Objectives:

  • Creative Expression, Practice, & Production
  • Power, Difference, and Inequality
  • Making Connections Gen Ed: LA, US.

WGST 233: Introduction to Latina Literature

Tu/Th 5:00-6:15 PM

Instructor Meleena Gil

This course will provide an introduction to Latina literature. We will read a variety of genres from a range of ethno-national perspectives and examine such topics as immigration, identity, mother-daughter relationships, and sexuality.

This course fulfills the following General Education Objectives:

  • Power, Difference, and Inequality
  • Aesthetics and Interpretive Analysis
  • Making Connections Gen Ed: LA; US.

AAAD 260: Blacks in Latin America

M/W 3:35-4:50 PM

Dr. Robert Porter

The majority of people of African descent in this hemisphere live in Latin America. This course will explore various aspects of the black experience in Latin America.

This course fulfills the following General Education Objectives:

  • HS-Historical Analysis
  • BN- Beyond the North Atlantic
  • GL- Global Issues

AAAD 284: Contemporary Perspectives on the African Diaspora in the Americas

Tu/Th 3:30-4:45 PM

Dr. Joseph Jordan

An interdisciplinary survey of African-descendent communities and the development and expression of African/black identities the context of competing definitions of diaspora.

This course fulfills the following General Education Objectives:

  • HS- Historical Analysis
  • BN- Beyond the North Atlantic
  • Aesthetic and Interpretive Analysis
  • Power, Difference, and Inequality

DRAM 288: Theatre for Social Change

M 1:25-4:00 PM

Dr. Jacqueline Lawton

This course assesses different models of theatre for social change through change theory, playwriting, and collaboration. Students will be guided through the process of creating new works.

This course fulfills the following General Education Objectives:

  • CI- Communicaton Intensive
  • Power, Difference, and Inequality

EDUC 510.001: The Latinx Experience in Education

Tu/Th 2:00-3:15 pm

Dr. Marcela Torres-Cervantes

This course examines the social-historical, cultural, and political contexts that shape the educational experience of the Latinx community. Using Critical Race Theory, we will pay particular attention to issues of cultural identity and agency as we move across various geopolitical dimensions of contestation, resistance, and immigration, including the ongoing struggles in the southwestern U.S. and new Latinx diaspora spaces – namely the US South. This class will also critically explore K-12 schools, higher education, and various social initiatives intended to address inequities in education for the Latinx community in the United States.

Disclaimer: While policy may inform part of the conversation, this course will not necessarily emphasize/focus on education policy issues.

ENGL/WGST 666.001: Queer LatinX Literature & Photography 

Tu/Th 11:00 AM-12:15 PM 

Dr. María DeGuzmán

This course explores novels and short stories by LatinX writers that focus in one way or another on photographs & photography and, in doing so, that simultaneously question (or “queer”) certain cultural givens about gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, nationality, class, and other coordinates of identity, identification, and subjectivity. We will give careful consideration to each of the terms in the title of this course (Queer, LatinX, Photography, Literature) as we investigate the connections between this double focus on photography and literature. At the same time, we will examine actual photo-based visual work by a wide variety of LatinX artists. Visual and textual works considered include those by Alma López, Laura Aguilar, Félix Gonzalez-Torres, John Rechy, Achy Obejas, Helena María Viramontes, Emma Pérez, Elias Miguel Muñoz, Graciela Limón, Carla Trujillo, and Rita Indiana.

This mixed level graduate/undergraduate course may count for graduate seminar credit (via its final essay assignment).

This course fulfills the following General Education Objectives:

  • Aesthetic and Interpretive Analysis
  • Power, Difference, & Inequality
  • Making Connections Gen Ed: VP; NA; US.

Grading Status: Letter grade.

Same as: WGST 666.

ENGL 864: Studies in Latina/o Literature, Culture, and Criticism 

W 3:00-6:00 PM 

Dr. Ylce Irizarry

This course explores how post-1992 Latinx narrative–in fiction, film, and visual arts–portray “misbehaving” human, other than human, and topographical bodies (air, land, water). We will explore how bodies that do not conform to desired “norms” are represented, perceived, and treated. Special emphasis will be placed on social, political, and medical contexts where bodies frequently “misbehave.” Bodies to be studied include but are not limited to dissident, queer, transgender, migrant, dis/abled, ill, and/or dead. Authors, cultural producers, and filmmakers will have ethnonational origins from the Caribbean and Central American diasporas. Materials include novels, visual art, performance art, and film.

 

 

Spring 2023 Courses

AAAD 89: First Year Seminar: Afro-Latinxs in the U.S.

Tu/Th 9:30-10:45 AM

Dr. Maya Berry

What does it mean to be both racially Black and ethnically Latino in the U.S.? This course will look at the history, culture, experiences, political struggles, and social dilemmas of “Afro-Latinos”: African-descended peoples from Latin America and the Spanish-speaking Caribbean who reside in the U.S. The erasure of these communities, along with their struggles for well-being, prosperity, belonging, and visibility, will be explored. This course provides an opportunity for a deeper understanding of the legacies of the transatlantic slave trade, ethno-nationalism, and U.S. foreign-policy, and their connection to contemporary issues of migration, inequality, and anti-blackness. In-depth conversations about the politics of “race” and “ethnicity” will trouble dominant U.S. paradigms of identity. In this discussion-oriented class, we will engage with a variety of sources, from academic books and scholarly articles to film. Students will synthesize their understanding through daily forum posts, a collaboratively-prepared presentation, an essay, and a group research project.

This course fulfills the following General Education Objectives:

  • Global Understanding and Engagement
  • Power, Difference, and Inequality

MUSC 147: Music of the Americas

Tu/Th 9:30-10:45 AM 

Dr. Juan Álamo

An introduction to contemporary Latin(o) American popular music, focusing on how musicians have negotiated an increasingly global popular culture industry. Class Notes: Some seats are reserved through a reserve capacity in this section for first year and transfer students. Instruction Mode: in person on campus learners.

This course fulfills the following General Education Objectives:

  • Power, Difference, and Inequality

ENGL 164: Introduction to Latinx Studies

Tu/Th 9:30-10:45 AM

Dr. Ylce Irizarry

This course introduces the concerns, methodology, and aesthetics of Latina/o/x Studies. We will explore cultural productions exploring and portraying the complex reality of ‘being’ Latinx. Students will learn about Latinidad in relation to historic, social, aesthetic, and legal systems of representation. Special focus will be given to four broad topics: immigration, urban experience, gender construction, and ecocriticism (yes, we will discuss zombies!). Authors/Identities/Cultures explored center the Caribbean Basin; we will focus on Afro Diasporic cultures including Cuban, Dominican, Haitian, Puerto Rican & Central American cultures. Beyond these broader geographical designations, particular attention will be placed on Ecuadorian, Mexican, & Salvadoran cultural production. Reading includes poems, stories, & novels. Viewing includes films, visual and performance art, & music video. We will explore Latinx cultural production on its own aesthetic terms, as texts revising history, visualizing stories, and advancing social justice. Individual assignments will include Short Writing Assignments & Unit Exams; Group projects will include Discussion Leads and/or a Digital Project. All instruction and graded assignments will be in English; students are welcome to read materials in Spanish/translation if they prefer.

This course fulfills the following General Education Objectives:

  • Power, Difference, and Inequality
  • Aesthetics and Interpretive Analysis

WGST 233: Introduction to Latina Literature

Tu/Th 3:30-4:45 PM

Dr. Ariana Vigil

This course will provide an introduction to Latina literature. We will read a variety of genres from a range of ethno-national perspectives and examine such topics as immigration, identity, mother-daughter relationships, and sexuality.

This course fulfills the following General Education Objectives:

  • Power, Difference, and Inequality
  • Aesthetics and Interpretive Analysis

ENGL 390: Studies in Literary Topics: “Misbehaving Bodies: Dis/ease, Dis/order, & Dys/topia in Latinx Fiction and Film”

Tu/Th 12:30-1:45 PM

Dr. Ylce Irizarry

This course explores how post-1992 Latinx fiction & film portray “misbehaving” bodies. We will study how bodies that do not conform to desired “norms” are treated. These “misbehaving” bodies include the following: human and other-than-human, diseased, dissident, queer, transgender, migrant, refugee, dead, and half-dead. Students will learn how misbehaving bodies have been and are currently portrayed in relation to historic, social, aesthetic, and legal systems of representation. ¡There will be plagues, zombies, killer anemones, and space travel in the science fiction, speculative fiction, and ghost noir we read! Ultimately, we aim to develop understandings of the problems and possibilities for misbehaving bodies. Authors/Filmmakers will have Chicanx, Cuban, Puerto Rican, Dominican, and Guatemalan ethnonational origins, and emphasis will be placed on Afro Latinx/ Afro Diasporic narrative. Materials include novellas, novels, short stories, and films. Assignments will include Short Writing Assignments; a Digital Project; Unit Exams; a Paper. All instruction and graded assignments will be in English; students are welcome to read materials in Spanish/translation if they prefer.

This course fulfills the following General Education Objectives:

  • Aesthetics and Interpretive Analysis

LTAM 390.002: Heritage and Migration in North Carolina

Tu/Th 11:00 AM-12:15 PM

Dr. Hannah Gill

Register for Latin American Studies 390-002 to learn about Heritage and Migration in North Carolina. This APPLES Service Learning course will train students to use oral history to understand the immigration and settlement of North Carolinians with Latin American ancestry.

Some aspects of this course require communicating in Spanish, so it is recommended that students have intermediate-advanced levels of Spanish language proficiency. Students will spend spring break participating in oral history research and service learning in Eastern North Carolina.

Contact Professor Hannah Gill at hgill.unc.edu with any questions.

This course fulfills the following General Education Objectives:

  • Global Understanding
  • Research and Discovery

ANTH 450: Ethnographic Research Methods

Tu 12:30-3:00 PM

Dr. Angela Stuesse

LTNO Minors can take the course for LTNO credit by designing a Latinx-focused research project.
This course is currently listed as ANTH 490 but will change to ANTH 450 before spring semester. The anthropology department will still count it as an ANTH 490 (a requirement for anthropology majors and minors).

This course offers an opportunity for students to learn about the methodologies of ethnographic research and put these into practice through a semester-long field research project in the Triangle. Though this project, we explore the theoretical, ethical, and practical promises and challenges of ethnography, from problem definition, research design, and entering the field to data analysis, validity, and “writing up.” Along the way we focus on the collection and analysis of ethnographic data using participant observation, fieldnotes, interviewing, life histories, visual methods, focus groups, archival and ethnographic survey research, and various strategies for organizing and coding data. Each week’s readings teach us about (a) new research method(s), which we discuss in class and then implement in our projects through weekly structured ethnographic assignments. Class meetings are used largely as workshops to discuss what we are learning and provide / receive feedback (both instructor and peer-to-peer) on our ongoing projects. Students’ work over the semester culminates in an in-class presentation of their ethnographic research, as well as a final ethnographic report.

DRAM 488.001: U.S. Latino/a/e Theatre & Performance

Tu/Th 9:30-10:45 AM

Dr. Adam Versényi

Fulfills the Aesthetic and Interpretative Analysis Focus and the Power, Difference, and Inequality Focus Capacities.

This course investigates U.S. Latino/a/é theatre texts and performance practices as a discreet genre within the larger context of theatre in the United States. Students will study what distinguishes U.S. Latino/a/é theatre from the larger dominant (European American) culture, as well as the diversity of forms, styles, and theatrical practices present within U.S. Latino/a/é theatre itself.

This course fulfills the following General Education Objectives:

  • Power, Difference, and Inequality
  • Communication Intensive (Making Connections)
  • Aesthetics and Interpretive Analysis

ENGL 687: Queer LatinX Environmentalisms

Th 3:00-6:00 PM

Dr. María DeGuzmán

Fulfills the AESTHETICS focus and the POWER focus. Any questions, email: deguzman@email.unc.edu

This mixed level graduate and advanced undergraduate course examines queer LatinX literature from the 1990s to the present as it intersects with ecological and environmentalist concerns. LatinX literature is multi-ethno-racial and, even when emerging from the United Sates, is multi-national in terms of dovetailing with other national heritage cultures. We explore how these cultural productions question normative assumptions about the “order of things,” the “naturalness” of nature, and the “inevitability” of the historical exploitations of coloniality and the ongoing predations of neocolonialism. We pay close attention to LatinX cultural productions that approach cosmology, ecology, and environmental justice from queer perspectives and that queer ecological concerns from minoritized perspectives.“Queer” and “LatinX” combined with one another and modifying “Environmentalisms” signal other ways of thinking, doing, being, and becoming. These other ways entail exploring concepts of “nature” entangled with and dis-entangled from the coercive essentialisms of “natural law” and the violent settler-colonialism informing patriarchal capitalist “normalcy”; thinking beyond the blinders of heteronormative and species-hierarchical traditional humanism; perceiving and valuing multiple forms of kinship between humans and between humans and other life forms; ceasing to measure worth by a compulsory procreational model; conceiving sustainable interdependencies and thriving assemblages; and cultivating the diversity of diversity as part of salvaging what remains of biodiversity in this time of human-induced global and planetary crisis. With every text, film, and other cultural production, we will be exploring its aesthetic dimensions (hence FC-AESTH) in relation to its socio-political dimensions (FC-POWER). Assignments: two 8-page essays totaling at least 16 pages for undergraduates (for graduate students the second essay is 22–25 pages long), active class participation, and final exam. The grade percentage distribution is as follows: essay 1 (30%), essay 2 (40%), final exam (20%), and class participation that includes individual and collaborative oral presentations(10%). 

This course fulfills the following General Education Objectives:

  • Power, Difference, and Inequality
  • Aesthetics and Interpretive Analysis
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