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Spring 2022 Courses

English 164 – Intro to Latina/o (LatinX) Studies

Tues. & Thurs. 11AM–12:15PM

Instructor: Dr. María DeGuzmán

Introduction to major questions of Latina/o Studies through an examination of literature, culture, the visual arts, and music. Topics include imperialism, colonialism, labor, decolonization, nationalism, ethnicity and other aspects of identity and identification, and new rubrics. Assignments: Class attendance, participation, two 7-page essays, and a final exam. 3 credits.

Gen Ed: LA (Literary Arts); US (US Diversity); and BN (Beyond the North Atlantic)

ENGL 256 – Crafting the Dramatic Latinx Film

Meeting Times TuTh 12:30PM – 1:45PM
Instructor: Dr. Guillermo Rodríguez-Romaguera
This course examines key concepts and theoretical approaches to Latinx cinema as students learn how to produce and direct a short narrative film. As they engage with positions and issues of film theory and criticism (including semiotic, cognitive, psychoanalytic, feminist and phenomenological) and apply them to historically significant and recent Latinx films, students practice the basic principles of film production (producing, directing, cinematography, editing, and sound designing) to produce narratives that showcase their ideas on how Latinx identity could be/should be represented in cinema. By the end of the course, students should display basic competence in conceiving and developing dramatic ideas and in using cinema and digital media to engage audiences on issues affecting Latinx communities. Using smartphones and Adobe editing software available to all UNC students, this course instills the attitude that creative and critical ways of thinking should go hand in hand. Films to be discussed include Roma, El Norte, Selena, Under the Same Moon, La Llorona, María Full of Grace and Culture Shock.

ENGL 257 – Latina/os in Video Games and Narrative Cinema

Meeting Times TuTh 2:00PM – 2:50PM (Lecture); F 9:05AM-9:55AM, F 10:10AM-11AM, F 11:15AM-12:05PM or F 12:20PM-1:10PM(Recitation)

Instructor: Dr. Guillermo Rodríguez-Romaguera

This course explores the role of video games in cinema, with a particular focus on the role of Latinx representation in both mediums. Over the course of the semester, students will play, analyze and critique video games that feature Latinx avatars and worlds, examine ludic approaches to narrative cinema and engage in close-reading of key Latinx films that formally use gameplay as a narrative tool. Most of the course will focus on Latinx representation in video games and cinema, exploring initiatives within the gaming industry like “Latinx in Gaming,” watching sci-fi Latinx films like Sleep Dealer and playing the newly released Latinx-futurist game Aztech Forgotten Gods.

ENGL 267: Growing up Latina/o

T/TH 3:30PM-4:45PM
Instructor: Dr. Geovani Ramírez

The Bildungsroman, a novel of formation, depicts the coming of age of a main character whose maturity often coincides with their recognition and embrace of their place in society. Once a primarily European genre, it has been popularized around the world. In the US, more “traditional” iterations of the Bildungsroman, however, have offered primarily Eurocentric and/or male accounts of growing up that exclude other women and minority groups in the US. This course intervenes in this regard by centering women’s and other marginalized youth’s stories surrounding growth. We will investigate the Bildungsroman as a genre and cultural production by studying various literary forms (beyond the novel) and films that offer growing up Latinx narratives. In this course, we will attempt to answer these and other questions: What is the cultural and historical work of a Bildungsroman? How do Latinx youth’s multiethnic and other hybrid identities extend or complicate Bildungsroman traditions? What networks of social relations do Latinx coming of age narratives reveal? How do Latinx Bildungsroman stories help us (re)imagine maturity, growth, and community?    

SPAN 344. Street Culture in Latin America and Latinx communities

TR 12:30-1:45

Instructor: Juan Carlos González Espitia

(This course is taught online and in Spanish). The street. La calle. Eating, people-watching, window-shopping, protesting, partying, praying, recycling, bartering. Graffiti, statues, ads, stands, poems, pickpockets. When we think of the dynamism of Latin American and Latinx communities in the U.S., the images of public spaces come to our mind. Streets are central to economic transactions, social interactions, political gatherings, religious processions, festivals, spectacles, and public art. In this course we will study how the dynamism of the streets reveals nuanced knowledge about Latin American and Latinx culture. Taco trucks in Carrboro; conquistador statues falling down in Cali or Bogotá; soneros performing for tourists in Havana; Candombe drumming in Montevideo; a politician talking to a crowd in San Salvador; or Las tesis feminist activist group protesting in the front of a public building in Santiago are some of the examples we will discuss to understand how public space reveals intersections between gender, race, ethnicity, class, politics, and power in Latin America and in Latinx diaspora communities.

WGST 465: Gender, (Im)migration, and Labor in Latina Literature

MW 3:30-4:45

Instructor: Ariana Vigil, Department of Women’s and Gender Studies

Students will explore the representation of intersections between gender, identity, immigration, and migration in Latina/o literature. Emphasis will be placed on the intersections between labor, migration, and United States immigration policy.
Gen Ed: LA, US.


ENGL. 690. Special Topics Course (graduate seminar/undergraduate mixed-level course). Queer LatinX Environmentalisms

Thursdays, 3:00 – 6:00 PM, Spring 2022

Instructor: Dr. María DeGuzmán, Eugene H. Falk Distinguished Professor of English & Comparative Literature and Director of The UNC Latina/o Studies Program ( Email:

This course examines queer LatinX literature from the 1990s to the present as it intersects with ecological and environmentalist concerns. 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. Assignments: two 8-page essays (for graduate students the second essay is 22–25 pages long to fulfill graduate seminar requirements), 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 (10%).

SPAN 737: Migrant Identities and Borderlands

Tuesdays 3:30-6:00pm

Professor Oswaldo Estrada

This graduate seminar explores the formation of migrant identities in contemporary Latin/o American literature and culture. In our literary exploration of “migrant identities” we will pay close attention to relationships among cultural, institutional, organizational, and personal narratives of identity. In our exploration of migrant identities, we will explore notions of hybridity, diversity, gendered subjectivities, and (in)visibility. We will read essays by Gloria Anzaldúa, Cherríe Moraga, and Néstor García Canclini, among others, as well as literary texts by writers like Edmundo Paz Soldán, Román Luján, Lina Meruane, Guadalupe Nettel, Maya Chinchilla, Achy Obejas, Santiago Vaquera Vásquez, and Junot Díaz. 

Readings in English and Spanish. Discussions in Spanish.

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