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Elizabeth Cullingford, Chair CAL 226, Mailcode B5000, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4991

Fall 2008

E 314V • Mexican American Literature and Culture

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
34555 TTh
8:00 AM-9:30 AM
RAS 213
KURZEN, C

Course Description

This course is designed to introduce students to the literary and cultural productions created by and about Mexican Americans or Chicana/os (U.S. citizens of Mexican descent). We will approach these works from cultural, formal, and historical perspectives. Students should also expect to develop some understanding of the specific political contexts that inform each of these texts as this background information will enhance our readings. In particular, we will look at ways that readings generated from within the authors' respective communities produce different interpretations than readings generated from outside that community. In addition to studying how these texts negotiate issues of race, gender, and class, we will consider how they engage in a dialogue with American mainstream culture.

Furthermore, students will develop skills that will aid them as they continue in their chosen field of study. We will pursue such topics as how to write successfully about literature, how to discuss literature in a classroom setting, how to incorporate secondary sources into one's own written arguments, and finally, students will spend considerable time learning how to do close readings of various kinds of texts.

Grading Policy

Midterm Exam (25%)
Final Paper--First Draft (15%)
Final Paper-Revised Draft (20%)
Participation and attendance (10%)
In-class writing quizzes (10%)
Discussion Leader (5%)
Peer Review (5%)
Cultural Notebook (10%)

Texts

Ana Castillo, The Guardians (2007)
Roberta Fernández, Intaglio: A Novel in Six Stories (1990)
Tomás Rivera, &y no se lo tragó la tierra/&and the earth did not devour him (1987)
Luis Alberto Urrea, In Search of Snow (1994)
Helena María Viramontes, The Moths and Other Stories (1985)
Course Packet

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