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ENGL 666 / WGST 666: Queer LatinX Photography & Literature
T/TH 11:00AM-12:15PM. Greenlaw 318
Instructor: Prof 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 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 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, and Carla Trujillo.

 

DRAM 488: U.S. Latino/a Theatre and Performance
T/TH 9:30-10:45AM
Instructor: Prof. Adam Versényi

This course investigates U.S. Latino/a/x 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 theatre from the larger dominant (European American) culture, as well as the diversity of forms, styles, and theatrical practices present within U.S. Latino/o theatre itself.

FOCUS CAPACITY:  AESTHETIC AND INTERPRETIVE ANALYSIS
Students develop the ability to analyze literature and/or other artistic works, to understand how they relate to the historical circumstances of their creation, and to think critically about the past, present, and future contributions of these works to a shared world. Click on the Questions for Students and Learning Outcomes link to see more.

FOCUS CAPACITY:  POWER, DIFFERENCE, INEQUALITY
Students engage with the histories, perspectives, politics, intellectual traditions, and/or expressive cultures of populations and communities that have historically been disempowered, and the structural and historical processes by which that disempowerment has endured and changed. Click on the Questions for Students and Learning Outcomes link to see more.

 

AMST 201: Literary Approaches to American Studies
T/TH 9:30-10:45AM
Instructor: Prof. Annette M. Rodríguez

The discipline of American Studies has developed several approaches to studying American culture. Myth and symbol scholars sought to find recurrent themes throughout American texts that illuminate a unique American culture. However, recent scholarship has moved away from this American exceptionalism approach to focus critically on questions of belonging, citizenship, race, ethnicity, gender and sexuality—with both transnational and international concerns. Our course seeks to make meaning of the project and the story of America. We think through the historical record and utilize literary production (including short stories, essays, and verse) to explore how U.S. belonging or disenfranchisement is constructed, experienced, and narrativized.

Our course begins from the proposition that we can make best sense of the center from the margins, and that we can best understand the nation from its borders and its peripheries. We give particular attention to the critical importance of the marginalized, migrant, immigrant, and/or refugee writers for their examination and analyses of American life. In addition to a variety of short stories, essays, and verse that span of the twentieth and twenty-first century, our examination of American life will also highlight the role of life writing, or memoir to better understand the project of America. Some questions this class seeks to explore: What is the relationship between history and memory? How can creative or autobiographical writing challenge a society’s historical memory? How might these texts help us to tell a more complete story of America?

 

AMST 290: Mexican Gothic: Chicanx, Mexicanx, and Mexican-American Literatures and the American South
T/TH 12:30-1:45
Instructor: Prof. Annette M. Rodríguez

The course examines one of the oldest genres of fiction—the Gothic—which dates to 18th century England, but experienced a revival at the turn of the twentieth century in the U.S. South. Southern Gothic was marked by romanticism, mystery, and the supernatural. The genre, which emphasized colorful and flawed characters, often sought to expose complex societal problems.
In “Mexican Gothic” we identify a distinguishing set of characteristics of the genre and explore its persistent presence in the United States.

We explore how Chicanx, Mexicanx, and Mexican-American authors and readers have engaged the Gothic genre. We examine novels, graphic novels, poetry, and short stories, alongside music and film. Utilizing close reading coupled with an examination of the socio-cultural context of production, we trace how Mexican Gothic reinvents the genre, adapting and adding new elements. We use a variety of approaches—historical, postmodern, feminist, and queer readings—to explore multifarious levels of meaning in Gothic texts. We ask: Why do religious figures—along with devilish figures—make such prominent appearances in Southern Gothic and Mexican Gothic texts? How is the presence of ghosts narrativized in Mexican Gothic and why might it differ from the Southern Gothic? What is the place of romanticism in these works? Looking specifically at the works of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries we will trace how Mexican Gothic reinvents the Gothic genre, adding new elements and adapting for emergent socio-cultural contexts.

 

ENGL 164: Introduction to Latina/o Studies
T/TH 2:00-3:15
Instructor: Prof. Geovani Ramírez

In On Latinidad, Marta Caminero Santangelo offers us the term Latinidades to account for the diversity (ethno-racial, class, religious, linguistic, historical differences and so forth) among Latinx people. While by no means comprehensive, the multifarious Latinx literature we will read and cultural productions we will examine in this class will help us expand and re-shape our notions about Latinidad(es), Latinx histories, and Latinx identities and gender. In this course, we will explore a variety of topics including, but not limited to, war, labor, illness, trauma, relationships, longing, isolation, and love through Latinx literature and cultural productions. We will examine literature from multiple genres alongside visual art, film, and music by a variety of ethno-racial Latinx subjects, including Filipinx, Dominican, Puerto Rican, Guatemalan, Chicana/o, and Cuban people. As such, our readings and discussions of these texts will be informed by genre and medium conventions as well as the specific ethnic histories and experiences in and/or outside of the US that the texts focus on. We will attempt to answer such questions as what is the relationship between histories and national, cultural, and personal identities? What does it mean to be Latinx in or outside of the US?

 

ENGL 359: Latina Ecofeminism and Disability in Visual Art, Film, and Literature
T/TH 12:30-1:45
Instructor: Prof. Geovani Ramírez

This course will offer a theoretical grounding on Latina feminism and the historical moments and movements that inspired and/or influenced such Latina feminist thought and productions. In this course, we will gain a foundation for how Latinas theorize about Latinx gender, identity, culture, history, and aesthetics, and we will explore the intersections between Latina feminist thought and disability studies and ecofeminism. We will analyze a variety of cultural productions by Latinas including visual art, film, music, and dance as it relates to health and the environment. Along other lines of questioning, this course asks, what happens to discourses surrounding climate change, hazardous waste, reproductive health, and medicine when we consider Latina feminism and its theorization of Latinx experiences and epistemologies? What can Latina feminist thought and cultural productions offer to discussions surrounding the future of the environment and healthcare?  

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