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Steven Hoelscher, Chair Burdine 437, Mailcode B7100, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-7277

Fall 2009

AMS 315 • Chicano Literature and Popular Culture

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
29895 TTh
2:00 PM-3:30 PM
gar 3.116

Course Description

This course will explore the ways in which Chicano/as have used creative writing to address the broader political, social, and historical contexts of their experiences in the United States. What have been the key social and historical processes that such writers have identified as formative in the development and transformation of Chicano/a communities? How have Chicanos/as imagined themselves in relation to the nation and beyond, and how does their writing become a way of contesting the ways in which the nation imagines them? In what ways have all of these things been informed by class, race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality? In particular, we will examine questions of social justice, with emphasis upon the roles of political and spiritual consciousness. Balancing the class between lecture and discussion, we will use historically-/ socially-/and politically-situated readings of various Chicano/a texts alongside poetry, film, music, and visual medias that demonstrate popular representations of and representations by Chicanos/as. By the end of this class, students should be able to understand literary texts as operating not merely within a 'world on paper,' but rather, in relationship to the social world around them. Students will learn to critique and analyze works as products of particular conditions, while also understanding how those works are applicable to present day conditions.

Grading Policy

2 Reflection papers (at least 3 pages each): 15% each 1 Formal Essay (6-8 pages) + Peer Review Sheet: 30% Group Project: 20% Short in-class writing responses/participation: 10% Attendance: 10%


Possible Texts: Américo Paredes, George Washington Gómez Rudolfo Anaya, Bless Me, Ultima Tomas Rivera, y no sé lo tragó la tierra Gloria Anzaldúa, Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza Helena María Viramontes, Under the Feet of Jesus


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