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Dr. Susan Sage Heinzelman, Director 2505 University Avenue, A4900, Burdine Hall 536, Austin Texas 78712 • 512-471-5765

Julie A. Minich

Core Faculty Ph.D.,, Stanford University

Assistant Professor

WGS 301 • Ethncty & Gender: La Chicana

47715 • Fall 2014
Meets MWF 1000am-1100am PAR 206
(also listed as AMS 315, MAS 319, SOC 308D )
show description

The purpose of this course is to examine the various experiences, perspectives, and expressions of Chicanas in the United States. This involves examining the meaning and history of the term “Chicana” as it was applied to and incorporated by Mexican American women during the Chicano Movement in areas of the Southwest U.S., such as Texas and California. We will also explore what it means to be Chicana in the United States today. The course will begin with a historical overview of Mexican American women's experiences in the U.S., including the emergence of Chicana feminism. We will discuss central concepts of Chicana feminism and attempt to understand how those concepts link to everyday lived experiences. Specifically, the relationship between gender, race/ethnicity, and class will be key as we discuss issues that have been significant in the experiences and self-identification of Chicanas, such as: family, gender, sexuality, religion/spirituality, education, language, labor, and political engagement. We will engage in interdisciplinary analysis not only concerning cultural traditions, values, belief systems, and symbols but also concerning the expressive culture of Chicanas, including folk and religious practices, literature and poetry, the visual arts, and music. Finally, we will examine media representations of Chicanas through critical analyses of film and television portrayals.

WGS 393 • Latina/O Bodies/Us Natl Imgnry

48060 • Fall 2014
Meets TH 600pm-900pm CAL 221
(also listed as E 397N, MAS 392 )
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Latina/o Bodies and the U.S. National Imaginary

Latina/o bodies are ubiquitous in contemporary U.S. public discourse, where their spectacular visibility is often touted as evidence of a “post-race” society. Closer analysis of these images, however, reveals how a range of national anxieties have come to coalesce around Latina/o bodies, from fears about the U.S. economy and cultural identity that attach to laboring (often undocumented) Latina/o immigrant bodies to concerns about the destabilization of race, gender, and sexual norms adhering to Latina/o entertainers and sports figures. This course will explore how the hypervisibility of Latina/o bodies has led not only to the targeting of those bodies for discursive and physical violence but also to the proliferation of resistant texts and images created by Latinas/os. Drawing from a wide range of genres (novels, memoirs, short stories, plays, poems, and film), this course is designed to help graduate students develop expertise in U.S. Latina/o cultural studies (emphasizing both established and emerging Latina/o writers and filmmakers), as well as familiarity with theories of embodiment currently emerging from feminist, queer, and disability studies.

Although the focus of the course is relatively specialized, the range of primary source texts will give students a solid (survey-like) grounding in Latina/o cultural studies, while the secondary source texts will enable students to explore scholarly interests in feminist, queer, and disability theory.

Evaluation will be based on the following: Preparation and participation (15%), in-class presentation (20%), final paper prospectus (15%), and final paper (50%).

Primary Source Texts May Include the Following:

Richard Rodriguez, Days of Obligation (1993, memoir)

Justin Torres, We the Animals (2012, novel)

Gun Hill Road (film, 2011)

Manuel Muñoz, What You See in the Dark (2012, novel)

Héctor Tobar, The Barbarian Nurseries (2012, novel)

Machete and/or Machete Kills (films, 2010 and 2013)

Pedro Pietri, “Puerto Rican Obituary” (1973) and selected poems

Junot Díaz, selected short stories from Drown (1996) and This Is How You Lose Her (2012)

Cherríe Moraga, Heroes and Saints (1994, play)

Luis Valdez, The Shrunken Head of Pancho Villa (1963, play)

Sandra Cisneros, selected poems from Loose Woman (1995)

Achy Obejas, We came all the way from Cuba so you could dress like this? (short stories, 1994)

Peloteros (film, 2012)

Sugar (film, 2009)

Secondary Source Texts May Include Selections from the Following:

Alicia Schmidt Camacho, Migrant Imaginaries (2008)

Robert McRuer and Anna Mollow, eds., Sex and Disability (2012)

Michael Hames-García and Ernesto Martínez, eds., Gay Latino Studies: A Critical Reader (2011)

Judith Jack Halberstam, In a Queer Time and Place (2005)

Mel Y Chen, Animacies (2012)

Tobin Siebers, Disability Aesthetics (2010)

Judith Butler, Precarious Life (2006) and/or Undoing Gender (2004)

Juana María Rodríguez, Queer Latinidad (2003)

WGS 301 • Ethncty & Gender: La Chicana

47705 • Fall 2013
Meets MWF 1000am-1100am PAR 206
(also listed as AMS 315, MAS 319, SOC 308D )
show description

The purpose of this course is to examine the various experiences, perspectives, and expressions of Chicanas in the United States. This involves examining the meaning and history of the term, "Chicana" as it was applied to and incorporated by Mexican American women during the Chicano Movement in areas of the Southwest U.S., such as Texas and California. We will also explore what it means to be Chicana in the United States today. The course will begin with a historical overview of Mexican American women's experiences in the U.S., including the emergence of Chicana feminism. We will discuss central concepts of Chicana feminism and attempt to understand how those concepts link to everyday lived experiences. Specifically, the relationship between gender, race/ethnicity, and class will be key as we discuss issues that have been significant in the experiences and self-identification of Chicanas, such as: family, gender, sexuality, religion/spirituality, education, language, labor, and political engagement. We will be engaging in interdisciplinary analysis not only concerning cultural traditions, values, belief systems, and symbols but also in relation to the expressive culture of Chicanas, including folk and religious practices, literature and poetry, the visual arts, and music. Finally, we will examine media representations of Chicanas through critical analyses of film and television portrayals. 

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