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

Spring 2010

AMS 315 • Ethnicity & Gender: La Chicana

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
29732 MW
3:30 PM-5:00 PM
CBA 4.344
Garcia, C

Course 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.

Grading Policy

The following are the assignments for this course. This course is a discussion course and participation and attendance are required. There will be no mid-term or final exam. 40% .....(2) Analytical essays, 4-5 pg. each (20 % each) 15%.....Group Project/ Presentation 25% ….Oral history project (in place of final exam) 20%.....Attendance and Participation


Course Reader* Anzaldúa, Gloria. 1987. Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza Cisneros, Sandra.1991. Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories Castillo, Ana. 1994. Massacre of the Dreamers: Essays on Xicanisma. *Course Reader will include articles, essays, and excerpts from texts such as: Anzaldúa, Gloria and Cherríe Moraga, eds. 1981. This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color; Tey Diana Rebolledo; Eliana S. Rivero. 1993. Infinite Divisions: An Anthology of Chicana Literature; Garcia, Alma, ed. 1997. Chicana Feminist Thought: The Basic Historical Writings; Norma Elia Cantú, Olga Nájera-Ramírez, eds. 2002. Chicana Traditions: Continuity and Change; Pérez, Laura E. 2007. Chicana Art: The Politics of Spiritual and Aesthetic Altarities


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