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Martin Kevorkian, Chair CAL 226, Mailcode B5000, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4991

Julie A. Minich

Assistant Professor Ph.D., Stanford University

Julie A. Minich



Dr. Minich holds a PhD in Spanish and Portuguese from Stanford University and a BA in Comparative Literature from Smith College. She is the author of Accessible Citizenships: Disability, Nation, and the Cultural Politics of Greater Mexico (Temple University Press, 2014). Drawing from Chicana/o studies and disability studies, this book works against the common assumption that disability serves primarily as a metaphor for social decay or political crisis, engaging with literary and filmic texts from both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border in which disability functions to extend knowledge of what it means to belong to a political community. Additionally, Dr. Minich’s articles have appeared in journals such as Comparative Literature, the Arizona Journal of Hispanic Cultural Studies, Modern Fiction Studies, MELUS, and the Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies

Dr. Minich is currently working on a new book project about Latina/o literature, compulsory able-bodiedness, and the U.S. healthcare crisis.

E 397N • Latina/O Bodies/Us Natl Imgnry

36135 • Fall 2014
Meets TH 600pm-900pm CAL 221
(also listed as MAS 392, WGS 393 )
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Latina/o Bodies and the U.S. National Imaginary

Latina/o bodies are ubiquitous in contemporary U.S. public discourse, where their spectacular visibility is often touted as evidence of a “post-race” society. Closer analysis of these images, however, reveals how a range of national anxieties have come to coalesce around Latina/o bodies, from fears about the U.S. economy and cultural identity that attach to laboring (often undocumented) Latina/o immigrant bodies to concerns about the destabilization of race, gender, and sexual norms adhering to Latina/o entertainers and sports figures. This course will explore how the hypervisibility of Latina/o bodies has led not only to the targeting of those bodies for discursive and physical violence but also to the proliferation of resistant texts and images created by Latinas/os. Drawing from a wide range of genres (novels, memoirs, short stories, plays, poems, and film), this course is designed to help graduate students develop expertise in U.S. Latina/o cultural studies (emphasizing both established and emerging Latina/o writers and filmmakers), as well as familiarity with theories of embodiment currently emerging from feminist, queer, and disability studies.

Although the focus of the course is relatively specialized, the range of primary source texts will give students a solid (survey-like) grounding in Latina/o cultural studies, while the secondary source texts will enable students to explore scholarly interests in feminist, queer, and disability theory.

Evaluation will be based on the following: Preparation and participation (15%), in-class presentation (20%), final paper prospectus (15%), and final paper (50%).

Primary Source Texts May Include the Following:

Richard Rodriguez, Days of Obligation (1993, memoir)

Justin Torres, We the Animals (2012, novel)

Gun Hill Road (film, 2011)

Manuel Muñoz, What You See in the Dark (2012, novel)

Héctor Tobar, The Barbarian Nurseries (2012, novel)

Machete and/or Machete Kills (films, 2010 and 2013)

Pedro Pietri, “Puerto Rican Obituary” (1973) and selected poems

Junot Díaz, selected short stories from Drown (1996) and This Is How You Lose Her (2012)

Cherríe Moraga, Heroes and Saints (1994, play)

Luis Valdez, The Shrunken Head of Pancho Villa (1963, play)

Sandra Cisneros, selected poems from Loose Woman (1995)

Achy Obejas, We came all the way from Cuba so you could dress like this? (short stories, 1994)

Peloteros (film, 2012)

Sugar (film, 2009)

Secondary Source Texts May Include Selections from the Following:

Alicia Schmidt Camacho, Migrant Imaginaries (2008)

Robert McRuer and Anna Mollow, eds., Sex and Disability (2012)

Michael Hames-García and Ernesto Martínez, eds., Gay Latino Studies: A Critical Reader (2011)

Judith Jack Halberstam, In a Queer Time and Place (2005)

Mel Y Chen, Animacies (2012)

Tobin Siebers, Disability Aesthetics (2010)

Judith Butler, Precarious Life (2006) and/or Undoing Gender (2004)

Juana María Rodríguez, Queer Latinidad (2003)

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