E 395M • Mexican Americans in Literature and Popular Culture
11:00 AM-12:30 PM
In this course, we will examine the ways in which Mexican American men and women are portrayed in literature and popular culture to address such issues as representation, performance, gender, and identity. We will begin by defining "popular culture" and by relying on Marxist and cultural criticism to define literature's relationship to these popular forms. Once a working definition is established, we will then explore Mexican Americans' roles in it, especially as subjects, objects, artists, and theorists. Texts and subjects for consideration include, but are not limited to, novels, essays, plays, film, television, music, websites, low rider culture, velvet paintings, and "Homies." Throughout the semester, students are encouraged to bring in examples of issues related to our discussion or the readings.
Tentative List of Required Texts: Burciaga, Jose Antonio. Drink Cultura. Gaspar de Alba, Alicia, ed. Velvet Barrios: Popular Culture and Chicana/o Sexualities. Gonzalez, Ray. The Ghost of John Wayne and Other Stories. Martinez, Nina Marie. ¡Caramba! Valdez, Luis. Zoot Suit and Other Plays. Packet of related materials, which may include news articles, film and television reviews, ads, cartoons, etc. and selections from the following: Cisneros, Sandra. "Woman Hollering Creek" in Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories. Davíla, Arlene. Latinos Inc.: The Marketing and Making of a People Huerta, Jorge. Chicano Drama: Performance, Society, and Myth. Maciel, David R., et. al., eds. Chicana Renaissance: Contemporary Cultural Trends. Mirande, Alfredo. Hombres y Machos: Masculinity and Latino Culture Ramírez Berg, Charles. Latino Images in Film: Stereotypes, Subversion & Resistance. Trujillo, Carla, ed. Chicana Lesbians: The Girls Our Mothers Warned Us About. Valdez, Luis. Luis Valdez Early Works: Actos, Bernabe and Pensamiento Serpentino.