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Robert Crosnoe, Chair CLA 3.306, Mailcode A1700, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-232-6300

Spring 2010

SOC 308D • Ethnicity and Gender: La Chicana

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
46290 MW
3:30 PM-5:00 PM
CBA 4.344

Course Description

The purpose of this course is to examine the various experiences, perspectives, and expressions of Chicanas in the United States. This involves examining the meaning and history of the term, "Chicana" as it was applied to and incorporated by Mexican American women during the Chicano Movement in areas of the Southwest U.S., such as Texas and California. We will also explore what it means to be Chicana in the United States today. The course will begin with a historical overview of Mexican American women's experiences in the U.S., including the emergence of Chicana feminism. We will discuss central concepts of Chicana feminism and attempt to understand how those concepts link to everyday lived experiences. Specifically, the relationship between gender, race/ethnicity, and class will be key as we discuss issues that have been significant in the experiences and self-identification of Chicanas, such as: family, gender, sexuality, religion/spirituality, education, language, labor, and political engagement. We will be engaging in interdisciplinary analysis not only concerning cultural traditions, values, belief systems, and symbols but also in relation to the expressive culture of Chicanas, including folk and religious practices, literature and poetry, the visual arts, and music. Finally, we will examine media representations of Chicanas through critical analyses of film and television portrayals.

Grading Policy

This course is a discussion course and participation and attendance are required. There will be no mid-term or final exam.

2 analytical essays, 4-5 pg. each 20% each
Group project/ presentation 15%
Oral history project (in place of final exam) 25%
Attendance and participation 20%


Anzaldúa, Gloria, Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza, 1987 (available at UT Co-op)
Cisneros, Sandra, Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories(available at UT Co-op)

*Course Reader will include articles, essays, and excerpts from texts such as:

Anzaldúa, Gloria and Cherríe Moraga, eds., This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color,1981
Tey Diana Rebolledo; Eliana S. Rivero, Infinite Divisions: An Anthology of Chicana Literature, 1993
Castillo, Ana, Massacre of the Dreamers: Essays on Xicanisma, 1994
Garcia, Alma, ed., Chicana Feminist Thought: The Basic Historical Writings, 1997
Norma Elia Cantú, Olga Nájera-Ramírez, eds., Chicana Traditions: Continuity and Change, 2002
Pérez, Laura E., Chicana Art: The Politics of Spiritual and Aesthetic Altarities 2007


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