E 379S • Mexican American Modernism
2:00 PM-3:30 PM
Between 1900 and 1960, Mexican-American writers wrestled with enormous changes brought about by industrial development in the first half of the twentieth century. These included the rise of racial segregation, the transformation of gender roles, and the struggle to find a cultural identity with US nationalism. This course will consider the emergence of modernist Mexican-American literature through a variety of literary genres, including the historical romance, the bildungsroman, the short story, autobiography, folklore, and history. By examining how Mexican-American writers engaged these literary genres during the Jim Crow era, this course prompts a close analysis of the various aesthetic strategies employed by these authors in encountering modernism and modernity. Authors may include Jovita González, Elena Zamora O'Shea, Américo Paredes, José Antonio Villareal, and others. Some works are Spanish-language originals read in English translation. Knowledge of Spanish is helpful but not required.
This is a Substantial Writing Component (SWC) course with major emphasis upon the development of good essay writing skills. The course grade will consist of: participation/attendance, including a brief freewriting exercise every class session (20%); two abstracts (20%); two 1-page peer review assignments (10%); two 6-8 page essays (50%).