2019-20 Courses in Latino Studies

Spring 2020

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
The Politics of Hip-Hop Dance
Hip-hop is one of the most important cultural movements of the last half-century. But although hip-hop culture comprises a wide range of artistic practices — including music, dance, theater and graphic arts — its cultural politics are almost always analyzed through the lens of rap music. This seminar, by contrast, will explore the social and historical implications of hip-hop culture through its dance forms.
 
Instructors: Joseph Schloss
Becoming Latino in the U.S.
History 306 studies all Latinos in the U.S., from those who have (im)migrated from across Latin America to those who lived in what became U.S. lands. The course covers the historical origins of debates over land ownership, the border, assimilation expectations, discrimination, immigration regulation, intergroup differences, civil rights activism, and labor disputes. History 306 looks transnationally at Latin America’s history by exploring shifts in U.S. public opinion and domestic policies. By the end of the course, students will have a greater understanding and appreciation of how Latinos became an identifiable group in the U.S.
 
Instructors: Rosina Amelia Lozano
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
Immigration Debates in the United States
This seminar is a course in policy analysis and journalism writing, focusing on immigration from Latin America to the United States. We will explore the historical and social factors that have made immigration a bitterly divisive issue, as context to examine current policies of the Trump administration. Reporting and writing assignments will allow students to explore immigration realities in and around Princeton, and to practice different voices of journalism, from neutral news prose to opinion editorials to tweet blasts. We will consider the role of journalists in contributing to fact-finding in the polarized national debate.
 
Instructors: Julia Drury Preston
Spanish in the Community
This course explores the complexities of Spanish language 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 the tensions and hopes around the maintenance of Spanish in immigrant communities.
 
Instructors: Alberto Bruzos Moro
Drag Kings: An Archeology of Spectacular Masculinities in Latinx America
The figure of the drag king has been practically absent from Latinx American critical analysis. Taking what we call “spectacular masculinity” as our starting point, a hyperbolic masculinity that without warning usurps the space of privilege granted to the masculinity of men, this course revises the staging of spectacular masculinities as a possibility of generating a crisis in heterosexism. We will highlight notable antecedents of the contemporary DK show, and study the hegemonic masculinity and its exceptional models through a critical technology that turns up the volume on its dramatization and its prosthetic/cosmetic conditions.
 
Instructors: Javier Enrique Guerrero
Puerto Ricans Under U.S. Empire: Memory, Diaspora, and Resistance
This seminar examines the ethical and historical dimensions of the 2019 Summer Puerto Rican Protests. Developing within an ongoing financial catastrophe and the trauma of Hurricane María, most issues raised today are deeply rooted in the history of U.S. imperial domination since 1898. The course aims to rethink questions of second-class citizenship, colonial capitalism, militarization, ecocide and massive migrations, as well as gender, sexual and racial inequalities. Special focus on how musical, artistic, religious, political, and literary traditions shape memory and resistance in Puerto Rico and in its vast diasporic communities.
 
Instructors: Cesar Colon-Montijo, Arcadio Díaz-Quiñones
21st Century Latinx Drama
This course offers a practice-based overview of theater-making in the 21st century through an intensive study of contemporary Latinx dramatists, companies, and movements in the United States. Through weekly readings, discussions and independent research/writing exercises, the seminar will investigate the cultural, artistic, social and political interventions of 21st-century U.S. Latinx drama.
 
Instructors: Brian Eugenio Herrera
Documentary Film and the City
How can a specific, character-driven documentary effectively shed light on complex social issues? How do the methods we use to observe the world shape the stories we tell? In this seminar in non-fiction film, we will work at the intersection of journalism and portraiture, applying these questions to the topic of migration between Guatemala and Trenton. Readings, screenings and discussion will deepen our understanding of the issues, while giving shape to our filmmaking. During a break trip in Guatemala, we will explore the tools of observational cinema, the rigors of field producing, and the ethics of relationships with documentary subjects.
 
Instructors: Purcell Carson

Fall 2019

Identity in the Hispanic World
How are ideas of belonging to the body politic defined in Spain, Latin America, and in Spanish-speaking communities in the United States? Who is “Latin American,” “Latinx,” “Chino,” “Argentine,” “Guatemalan,” “Indian,“” etc.? Who constructs these terms and why? Who do they include/exclude? Why do we need these identity markers in the first place? Our course will engage these questions by surveying and analyzing literary, historical, and visual productions from the time of the foundation of the Spanish empire to the present time in the Spanish speaking world.
 
Instructors: Christina H. Lee
Spanish in the Community
This course explores the complexities of Spanish language 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 the tensions and hopes around the maintenance of Spanish in immigrant communities.
 
Instructors: Alberto Bruzos Moro
Witchcraft, Rituals and Colonialism
This course will explore witchcraft and rituality in the Americas through accusations and identity claims. We will look at how witchcraft has been used in colonial and imperial contexts to control, sanction, and extract power from women and marginalized groups in different periods, as well as how people make claims to witchcraft and rituals as a way to thwart domination. Topics include: shamanism in Latin America, the Mexican Inquisition, Afro-Latinx and Caribbean diasporic religious systems, and the contemporary social media ritual activism of “bruja feminisms.” Students will be introduced to theories of race, gender, and sexuality.
 
Instructors: Aisha M. Beliso-De Jesús
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