Undergraduate Courses in Latino Studies

Fall 2021

Immigration Politics and Policymaking in the U.S.

Founded and built by immigrants, the U.S. has a complicated relationship with newcomers. How have politics shaped U.S. immigration policy and the policymaking process? Do members of Congress follow their constituents‘ preferences? How are immigration messages used by campaigns; with what effects? Why do changing demographics affect immigration policy views? Do immigrants integrate or conform to nativist fears? In thinking about immigrants, why do most Americans think about Latino immigrants and how does this affect U.S. Latinos? We will tackle these and other questions by examining published research and applying it to recent campaigns and debates.

Instructors: Ali Adam Valenzuela

Latinx Stories

We will read published literary short stories by contemporary Latinx writers and explore the vast range of Latinx experience in the United States as well as the vast range of fictional techniques employed by these writers. In discussing these published works, we will analyze how the formal elements of story — structure, plot, character, point of view, etc. — function in these pieces, so that students can apply these principles of craft to their own work. Students will write two complete short stories, which will be discussed in a traditional workshop format, and then submit a revision of one of those stories.

Instructors: Kirstin Valdez Quade

Borderlands, Border Lives

The international border looms large over current national and international political debates. While this course will consider borders across the world, it will focus on the U.S.-Mexico border, and then on the Guatemala-Mexico and U.S.-Canada border. This course examines the history of the formation of the U.S. border from the colonial period to the present. Borders represent much more than just political boundaries between nation states. The borderlands represents the people who live between two cultures and two nations. This course will also study those individuals who have lived in areas surrounding borders or crossed them.

Instructors: Rosina Amelia Lozano

Spanish in the Community

This course explores the complexities of Spanish language and Latinx identity in the United States. Through a variety of readings, videos, and documents in Spanish and English, we will address a range of issues including the past and present of Spanish language in the U.S., the relationship between language and identity, and processes of racialization of language and linguistic minorities. The course also aims at situating the tensions and hopes around the maintenance of Spanish in immigrant communities in the broader context of struggles for social justice.

Instructors: Alberto Bruzos Moro

Movements for Diversity in American Theater

Theater artists routinely bend, twist and break all kinds of rules to create the imaginary worlds they bring to life on stage. Why, then, has the American theater so struggled to meaningfully address questions of equity, diversity and inclusion? In this course, we undertake a critical, creative and historical overview of agitation and advocacy by theater artist-activists aiming to transform American theatre-making as both industry and creative practice, as we connect those histories with the practices, structures and events determining the ways diversity is (and is not) a guiding principle of contemporary American theater.

Instructors: Brian Eugenio Herrera

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