E 314V • Mexican American Literature and Culture
9:00 AM-10:00 AM
This course is a general introduction to the literature written by and about Mexican Americans/Chicanos (U. S. citizens of Mexican ancestry). Students should expect to develop some understanding of the specific cultural, historical, and political contexts that inform the literature. Knowledge of these contexts will enhance our understanding of these authors' politics and aesthetics, in addition to their views of issues such as race, gender, and class.
Throughout the semester, we will discuss such topics as Aztec (Meshican) mythology, the Spanish Conquest, la Virgen de Guadalupe, the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo, folklore, and the impact these events had in the formation of a Mexican American/Chicano identity. Later, we will address contemporary issues like the bracero program, the Chicano Civil Rights Movement, La Raza, border politics, curanderismo, Tejano music, and Chicana/os in film. Our goal will be to see these cultural productions as embedded in specific contexts that must be explored in order to understand, as much as possible, the cultural and political nuances of the texts.
Short (2-page) papers every other week (a total of 5) 30%
One final (5-7-page) paper 30%
Reading quizzes 20%
-Rivera, Tomas, . . . y no se lo tragó la tierra/and the earth did not devour him( (1987)
-Urrea, Luis Alberto, In Search of Snow( (1994)
-Villarreal, José Antonio, Pocho( (1959) -Viramontes, Helena Maria, The Moths and Other Stories( (1985) -Handouts--poetry and essays