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Domino R. Perez, Director BUR 552, Mailcode F9200, Austin, TX 78712 • (512) 471-4557

Michael Cucher

Lecturer Ph.D., University of Southern California

Contact

  • Phone: (512) 232-1958
  • Office: BUR TBA
  • Office Hours: TBA
  • Campus Mail Code: F9200

MAS 314 • Mexican American Lit And Cul

36620 • Spring 2014
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm PAR 304
(also listed as E 314V )
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Instructor:  Cucher, M

Unique #:  35235 and 35245

Semester:  Spring 2014

Cross-lists:  MAS 314

Prerequisites: E 603A, RHE 306, 306Q, or T C 603A.

Description: In this course on Mexican American literature and culture, we will focus on stories too often ignored in (and with the potential to disrupt) popular understandings of U.S. literature and history. For example, how many count the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo (which ended the Mexican-American War in 1848) among the nation’s many broken treaties with the previous inhabitants of what is now the United States? How many know that U.S. service men on leave in Los Angeles were responsible for the racial violence of the so-called zoot suit riots in 1943? What is the legacy of the Chicana/o civil rights movements of the 1960s? How many recognize the extent to which women of color feminism (throughout the globe) has been shaped by the contributions of Mexican American women writing about South Texas? To what extent is the current rhetoric about immigration in the U.S. shaped by ideologies that date back to European colonization? And finally, to what extent do these ideologies continue to shape representations of Mexican Americans produced by and about Mexican Americans?

This class will approach these topics and many more through close readings and class discussions of novels, short stories, film, poetry, manifestoes, and murals. Questions about race, class, gender, sexuality, historical context, and national identity will provide the frameworks for these discussions and for your assignments.

Texts: Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz. Poems, Protest, and a Dream: Selected Writings; Luis Valdez. Zoot Suit and Other Plays; Oscar Zeta Acosta. The Revolt of the Cockroach People; Sandra Cisneros. Woman Hollering Creek And Other Stories; Ana Castillo. So Far from God; Norma Elia Cantú. Canícula: Snapshots of a Girlhood en la Frontera; Oscar Casares. Brownsville; critical readings and relevant images will be posted to Blackboard.

Requirements and Grading: Weekly response papers (one page) 15%; Class participation 15%; Midterm 25%; First Paper (3-5 pages) 15%; Final Paper (7-10 pages) 30%.

MAS 319 • Latino Visual Culture

36636 • Spring 2014
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm CMA 5.190
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In the contemporary United States, many of us experience life as a seemingly relentless stream of images, but visual cultures have always played significant and active roles in the construction of U.S. Latinidad. This course focuses on three transformative moments in the international circulation of Latina/o imagery. Our syllabus begins in post-Revolutionary Mexico, focusing especially on the photography collected in the Casasola archive, film reels featuring revolutionary Francisco “Pancho” Villa, the iconic murals of Diego Rivera, and the paintings of Frida Kahlo. Our second unit focuses on the 1960s and 1970s, examining the international circulation of poster art, mural images, and other visual representations from the Cuban Revolution, Mexico City activism, Chicana/o cultural nationalism, and the Young Lords Party in New York City. We end our semester by thinking about the visual legacies of the twentieth century in examples from Latina/o popular culture, including graphic novels, television shows, and films. Readings throughout the semester will encourage students to think and write critically about these images, which we will engage particularly at the intersections of race, class, gender, sexuality, and power.

MAS 314 • Mexican American Lit And Cul

36460 • Fall 2013
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm WEL 4.224
(also listed as E 314V )
show description

Description: In this course on Mexican American literature and culture, we will focus on stories too often ignored in (and with the potential to disrupt) popular understandings of U.S. literature and history. For example, how many count the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo (which ended the Mexican-American War in 1848) among the nation’s many broken treaties with the previous inhabitants of what is now the United States? How many know that U.S. service men on leave in Los Angeles were responsible for the racial violence of the so-called zoot suit riots in 1943? What is the legacy of the Chicana/o civil rights movements of the 1960s? How many recognize the extent to which women of color feminism (throughout the globe) has been shaped by the contributions of Mexican American women writing about South Texas? To what extent is the current rhetoric about immigration in the U.S. shaped by ideologies that date back to European colonization? And finally, to what extent do these ideologies continue to shape representations of Mexican Americans produced by and about Mexican Americans? 

This class will approach these topics and many more through close readings and class discussions of novels, short stories, film, poetry, manifestoes, and murals. Questions about race, class, gender, sexuality, historical context, and national identity will provide the frameworks for these discussions and for your assignments. 

Texts: Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz. Poems, Protest, and a Dream: Selected Writings; Luis Valdez. Zoot Suit and Other Plays; Oscar Zeta Acosta. The Revolt of the Cockroach People; Sandra Cisneros. Woman Hollering Creek And Other Stories; Ana Castillo. So Far from God; Norma Elia Cantú. Canícula: Snapshots of a Girlhood en la Frontera; Oscar Casares. Brownsville; critical readings and relevant images will be posted to Blackboard. 

Requirements and Grading: Weekly response papers (one page) 15%; Class participation 15%; Midterm 25%; First Paper (3-5 pages) 15%; Final Paper (7-10 pages) 30%          

MAS 374 • Gend/Class/Ethn Amer Lit/Film

36520 • Fall 2013
Meets TTH 400pm-530pm MEZ 1.118
(also listed as E 344L )
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Description: This course provides a broad overview of approaches to the study of literature and film in the United States from perspectives that include Critical Ethnic Studies, Feminism, American Studies, and Queer Theory. Through analyzing novels, short stories, critical texts, films, cartoons, and photographs, we pay special attention to how ethnicity, class, and gender intersect with one another. We also discuss what these intersections can tell us about how people in the United States experience various forms of identity and power. In short, we read a collection of texts that are alternatively fantastic, frustrating, and thought provoking, and we spend a great deal of time watching both “classic” and contemporary movies. After we situate these works in their appropriate cultural, political, and historical contexts, some of the questions that will guide our class discussions (and your assignments) include: How do Indigenous feminists respond to Hollywood Westerns? What roles do women play in John Steinbeck’s novels about class conflict? What is the relationship between Hollywood Studio Films, Blaxploitation Films and Third World Cinema? What is the relationship between women’s bodies and the horror genre? How do Mexican Americans represent themselves on screen from both behind and in front of the camera, and how have these representations changed over time?

Texts: John Steinbeck. In Dubious Battle; Manuel Muñoz. What You See in the Dark; Toni Morrison. The Bluest Eye; Sandra Cisneros. Woman Hollering Creek And Other Stories; additional readings and critical texts will be posted to Blackboard. 

Films: John Ford. The Searchers (1956); Chris Eyre. Smoke Signals (1998); Herbert J. Biberman. Salt of the Earth (1954); Elia Kazan. Viva Zapata! (1952); Alfred Hitchcock. Psycho (1960); Alex Rivera. Sleep Dealer (2008); Ridley Scott. Blade Runner (1982); Giles Pontecorvo. The Battle of Algiers (1966); Burnett, Charles. Killer of Sheep (1979); Nancy De Los Santos, Alberto Domínguez, and Susan Racho. The Bronze Screen: 100 Years of the Latino Image in American Cinema (2002); Valdez, Luis. Zoot Suit (1981); Peter Bratt. La Mission (2009); Robert Rodríguez. Machete (2010); Youssef Delara and Michael D. Olmos. Filly Brown (2012). 

Requirements and Grading: Weekly response papers (one page) 15%; Class participation 15%; Midterm 25%; First Paper (3-5 pages) 15%; Final Paper (7-10 pages) 30%

MAS 374 • Gend/Class/Ethn Amer Lit/Film

36205 • Spring 2013
Meets MW 330pm-500pm JES A218A
(also listed as E 344L )
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In this course, we will examine the ways in which authors and filmmakers construct gender, class, and ethnicity in each of their texts. We will begin by considering the ways in which European American authors and filmmakers use archetypes, national mythology, and gender construction, for example, to produce dominative narratives that inform our views of gender, class, and ethnicity in the United States. Once we have established a context for these prevailing narrative, we will then discuss how Chicana/o, American Indian, African American, and European American authors and filmmakers resist, revise, and affirm the dominant beliefs about these issues.

MAS 374 • Gend/Class/Ethn Amer Lit/Film

36204 • Fall 2012
Meets MW 930am-1100am CAL 323
(also listed as E 344L )
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Instructor:  Cucher, M            Areas:  V / U

Unique #:  35432            Flags:  n/a

Semester:  Fall 2012            Restrictions:  n/a

Cross-lists:  MAS 374            Computer Instruction:  No

Prerequisites: Comparative Literature 315, English 603B, 316K, or Tutorial Course 603B.

Description: In this course, we will examine the ways in which authors and filmmakers construct gender, class, and ethnicity in each of their texts. We will begin by considering the ways in which European American authors and filmmakers use archetypes, national mythology, and gender construction, for example, to produce dominative narratives that inform our views of gender, class, and ethnicity in the United States. Once we have established a context for these prevailing narrative, we will then discuss how Chicana/o, American Indian, African American, and European American authors and filmmakers resist, revise, and affirm the dominant beliefs about these issues.

Films/TV Shows – additional viewings as assigned:

1951-1957 – I Love Lucy

1998 – Freak

2001 – Dora the Explorer

2005 – Real Women have Curves

Requirements & Grading: Midterm Exam (20%); In-class essay quizzes (5%); Final Paper, first draft (15%); Presentation (10%); Final Paper, revised draft (20%); Peer Review (5%); Participation and Attendance (10%); Short Writing Assignments (15%).

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