AMS 315 • Latino USA: Art, Culture and Identity
2:00 PM-3:30 PM
This is an interdisciplinary class designed to explore the intersections of art and culture and Latina/o identity. Using literature, visual culture, theater, film, and popular culture, we will investigate the multiple identities, ideologies, and cultural roots at work in uniting and dividing a diverse group of people. Who is Latino, Chicano, or Hispanic? How do family, gender, class, race, religion, language, and location impact the construction of that identity? What role do the cultural and political borders of Latin America play in shaping identities within the United States? And how have Latinos redefined the American experience? The class will focus on the last half-century of cultural production, studying materials in the context of local, national, and international events. The driving theme of the course is the study of identity and how it is created, affirmed, altered, or rejected. Topics will include: Art of the Civil Rights Movement; Dangerous Masculinities and Third World Feminism; Language as Identity; At Home in the Barrio; The Tropicalization of Public Space; Immigration, Migration, and Citizenship; Performing Latino Identity; Consumerism and the Packaging of Latino Identity; and Globalization and New World Borders. In reviewing these themes, we will turn to the work of various artists, writers, and performers.
A course reader will be the central text for the class. Readings are likely to include selections from the following works: Julia Alvarez. How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accent. (1991) Gloria Anzaldua. Borderlands / La Frontera: The New Mestiza. (1987) Jose Antonio Burciaga. Drink Cultura: Chicanismo. (1993) Guillermo Gomez-Pena. New World Border. (1996) Cherrie Moraga. Loving in the War Years. (1983) Gustavo Perez Firmat. Life on the Hyphen: The Cuban American Way (1994) Miguel Pinero. La Bodega Sold Dreams. (1980) Dolores Prida. Beautiful Senoritas. (1991) Piri Thomas. Down These Mean Streets. (1967) Tomas Rivera. &Y No Lo Se Trago La Tierra / And The Earth Did Not Devour Him. (1971) Richard Rodriguez. The Hunger of Memory. (1981) Films may include: Zoot Suit (1981), Mambo Mouth (1991), Born in East L.A. (1987)