2016-17 Courses in Latino Studies

Spring 2017

LAO 200 / SOC 341 / LAS 336
Latinos in American Life and Culture
Rubia d. Valente

This course will consider how Latinos are transforming the United States socially, politically, and culturally, even as they themselves change in the process. Topics to be examined include meanings of “Latino” and “Hispanic” as ethno-racial categories, where Latinos fit in the American social and economic hierarchies, cultural identities, immigration and assimilation, the significance of Hispanics' unprecedented geographic dispersal, and their myriad impacts on mainstream music, literature, and language.

SPA 216 / LAS 216 / LAO 216
Sacred and Profane
Christina H. Lee

This course surveys how notions of what is sacred and profane inform the cultures of Latin America, Spain, and Latino communities in the United States. It explores how “Catholic” folk piety was established and developed in Spain, what happened to it when it transferred to its colonies, and its iterations today in Latin America and in the United States. It analyzes discursive and pictorial constructions of holiness and sinfulness, the use of religious symbols for political purposes, performative aspects of religion, sociocentrism, the role of women, and the juncture between piety and violence.

ENG 219 / TRA 219 / LAO 219 / AMS 316
Translating America
Monica Huerta

This course argues that translation was a central concern and beloved practice of America’s earliest writers. Students will read theories of translation in order to understand the different ways in which authors valued journeying between languages as between geographies and in order to answer questions about translation itself. How do we know when translations fail? What would "perfect" translations be? We will read canonical works as texts that deal in translation and migration to think about the limitations and possibilities that each of these lends to notions of belonging in America.

HIS 306 / LAO 306
Latino History
Rosina A. Lozano

The course follows the major themes surrounding the history of Latinos in the United States, enabling an understanding of how Latinos became a group. It seeks to explain the historical origins of the continuing debates over land ownership, assimilation expectations, discrimination, immigration regulation, intergroup differences, and labor disputes. The course looks transnationally at Latin America's history to explain shifts in public opinion and domestic policies in the US. While the course examines the impact of Latinos in many regions of the country, it will particularly focus on those in the Southwest — largely Mexican Americans.

SOC 327 / LAO 328
Immigration, Race, and the Black Population of the United States
Tod G. Hamilton

This course seeks to expose students to the recent social science literature on contemporary immigration of Black individuals from Latin America, the Caribbean, and Africa to the United States. In addition to gaining an understanding of the degree of diversity that exists within the Black immigrant population, students will explore the long-term effects of contemporary Black immigration on American society, with a particular focus on understanding the roles of race, selective migration, and culture in explaining disparate social outcomes between U.S.-born and foreign-born Blacks in the United States.

SPA 360 / AAS 361 / AMS 375 / LAO 360
Urban Diversity and Segregation in America
Bruno M. Carvalho

Diversity has sometimes been viewed as a source of vitality and strength, other times as a threat to cultural or national cohesion. This seminar explores histories of segregation and debates about diversity in a hemispheric framework, asking: how can Latin American perspectives inform our understanding of the U.S.? How has the U.S. shaped urban developments in Latin America, as a model or cautionary tale? What is the interplay between identity politics and moral values? Urbanism and ethics? How does diversity relate to inclusion, difference, and inequality? Topics include immigration, globalization, social justice, planning, race and racism.

Fall 2016

CWR 316 / AAS 336 / AMS 396 / LAO 316
Special Topics in Poetry: Race, Identity and Innovation
Monica Y. Youn

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.

ENG 354 / LAO 354 / AMS 454
We Out Here: An Introduction to Latino Literature *
Monica Huerta

This introduction to Latino literature will situate the long history of Latino writing in a network of linguistic and literary influences across race, geographics, and histories. We will read texts like Maria Amparo Ruiz de Burtón’s The Squatter and the Don, Gloria Anzaldúa’s Borderlands, and Junot Diaz’s The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.

HIS 465 / LAO 465
Latino Urban History *
Rosina A. Lozano

Using the cities of Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, and Miami as case studies, this course seeks to understand the history of Latinos in urban places. Casting a geographically broad net and focusing largely on the 20th century, this course will comparatively analyze Latinos of different national origins (e.g. Mexican Americans, Cuban Americans, Puerto Ricans, Dominican Americans). In addition, the course will look at a broad cross-section of the Latino community to get at changing understandings of gender, class, race, and immigration status. This course will include readings from traditional historical monographs and autobiographies.

SOC 210 / LAS 210 / URB 210 / LAO 210
Urban Sociology: The City and Social Change in the Americas
Patricia Fernández-Kelly

By taking a comparative approach, this course examines the role of social, economic, and political factors in the emergence and transformation of modern cities in the United States and selected areas of Latin America. We consider the city in its dual image: both as a center of progress and as a redoubt of social problems, especially poverty. Attention is given to spatial processes that have resulted in the aggregation and desegregation of populations differentiated by social class and race.

SPA 222 / LAS 222 / LAO 222
Introduction to Latin American Cultures
Maria Gabriela Nouzeilles

An introduction to Latin American cultures and its symbolic and political configurations through a wide spectrum of materials (essays, film, art, photography, fiction). Students will study relevant issues in Latin American cultural, political, and social history, including the legacy of European colonialism, national fictions, modernity, memory, and gender politics. Among others, we will analyze and discuss works by Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, Patricio Guzmán and Claudia Llosa, Gabriel García Márquez and Pablo Neruda, and Frida Kahlo and Rosangela Rennô.

Courses of Interest

SOC 227
Race and Ethnicity *
Patricia Fernández-Kelly

Our goal in this course is (a) to understand various definitions of race and ethnicity from a theoretical perspective and in a plurality of contexts and (b) to account for the rise of ethnicity and race as political and cultural forces in the age of globalization. Why are ethnic and racial delimitations expanding in areas of the world where such distinctions were formerly muted? Is race and racial discrimination all the same regardless of geographical region? What are the main theories and methodologies now available for the study of race and ethnicity from a comparative point of view? These are among the questions our course aims to answer.

SPA 319 / LAS 319
Topics in Cinema and Culture: Work and Love, Play and Politics in Spanish Cinema
Manuel-Angel G. Loureiro

An exploration of some of the most distinctive themes in Spanish films of the last fifty years. Topics to be discussed, among others: political repression; the modernization of Spain since the 1960s; the perversions of love; the world as a stage; new sexualities; the redefinition of gender roles; uncanny worlds; memory and identity.

Asterisked courses [*] qualify for Latino Studies Certificate; other courses approved upon demonstrating completion of assignments related to Latinos.