Fall 2020 Courses in Latino Studies

Latinx Autobiography
This course begins from the disjoint and relation between the narrated autobiography and the lived life. In reading works by authors including Myriam Gurba, Wendy C. Ortiz, Carmen Maria Machado, Richard Rodriguez, and Junot Diaz, we will explore not only how writers experiment with the project of narrating a life that contends with the structures and strictures of racial matrices, gender binaries, and traumatic abuse — but also how writers test the boundaries of what autobiographies more generally are and are for.
Instructors: Monica Huerta
Special Topics in Poetry: Race, Identity and Innovation
This workshop explores the link between racial identity and poetic innovation in work by contemporary poets of color. Experimental or avant-garde poetry in the American literary tradition has often defined itself as “impersonal,” “against expression” or “post-identity.” Unfortunately, this mindset has tended to exclude or downplay poems that engage issues of racial identity. This course explores works where poets of color have treated racial identity as a means to destabilize literary ideals of beauty, mastery and the autonomy of the text while at the same time engaging in poetic practices that subvert conceptions of identity or authenticity.
Instructors: Monica Youngna Youn
Latinx Musicals on Stage and Screen
This course offers an intensive survey of how Latina/o/x performers, characters, cultures, narratives and musical styles have always been a constitutive feature of the “American musical” — as performance genre, practice and tradition — on both stage and screen. The course’s study of notable Latinx musicals (in terms of form, content and context) will examine the history of U.S. popular performance alongside Latina/o/x cultural histories.
Instructors: Brian Eugenio Herrera
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
Theater and Society Now
As an art form, theater operates in the shared space and time of the present moment while also manifesting imagined worlds untethered by the limits of “real” life. In this course, we undertake a critical, creative and historical survey of the ways contemporary theater-making in the United States — as both industry and creative practice — does (and does not) engage the most urgent concerns of contemporary American society.
Instructors: Brian Eugenio Herrera