Invitación Valdez, Arteaga, Castillo, Moraga, López and Burciaga

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Valdez, Arteaga, Castillo, Moraga, López and Burciaga

Invite YOU (the next generation of Literary Revolutionaries)

To El Encuentro

Thomas Jefferson On the Dangers of Reading Fiction1

A great obstacle to good education is the inordinate passion prevalent for novels, and the time lost in that reading which should be instructively employed. When this poison infects the mind, it destroys its tone and revolts it against wholesome reading. Reason and fact, plain and unadorned, are rejected. Nothing can engage attention unless dressed in all the figments of fancy, and nothing so bedecked comes amiss. The result is a bloated imagination, sickly judgment, and disgust towards all the real businesses of life. This mass of trash, however, is not without some distinction; some few modeling their narratives, although fictitious, on the incidents of real life, have been able to make them interesting and useful vehicles of a sound morality. . . .For a like reason, too, much poetry should not be indulged. Some is useful for forming style and taste. Pope, Dryden, Thompson, Shakespeare, and the French, Moliére, Racine, the Corneilles, may be read with pleasure and improvement.

Is fiction a “mass of trash”, a waste of time? What does it mean to you?

Has your life been affected by a particular work of fiction? Which one?

Alfred Arteaga An Other Tongue 2


Mario Chacon

So what does the Chicano discourse, does the Chicano [literature] do? First, in the common senses of language use, other than [fiction], the mere presence of Chicano discourse resists Anglo American suppression of heteroglossia, 3 much as the background noise of menials jars a social gathering. The presence of difference undermines the aspiration for an English-only ethos. And inasmuch as Chicano discourse is specifically multilingual and multivoiced, it further undermines the tendency toward single language and single-voiced monologue, that is, it undermines Anglo American monologism.4 It undercuts claims of prevalence, centrality, and superiority and confirms the condition of heteroglossia. It draws the monologue into dialogue. In short, it dialogizes the authoritative discourse.

Heteroglossia” or “monologism”?

Which is most important to you and why?

To what extent has Chicano fiction been a part of your life?

The Chicano/a Literature Promise:


In Lak’ech - Artist Mario Chacon
More than a “survey of Chicano Literature”, this course promises a transformational experience, an encuentro in the spirit of In Lak’ech (you are my other self). Through the study of poetry, the novel, essay, short story, and theater we will explore the voice, and customs of the Chicano culture - a culture, created through political circumstance, that every day grows larger, stronger, and more influential. This encuentro will feature the history, struggle, advances, and literary genius of Chicano/as.
You will explore the following themes in this Encuentro …


Exile and Immigration


Ways to Fulfill the Chicano/a Literature Promise:

Like Chicano/a literary revolutionaries and members of this encuentro, you must take responsibility for your own learning and support the learning of others by:

Participating. Respectfully coming to each class on time and prepared. Contribute your talents, knowledge and experiences - our encuentro will respect diversity based on race, ethnicity, gender, religion, and sexual orientation. Listen to everyone’s “words” and speak your own truth responsibly and respectfully. If you must miss a class, you are responsible for obtaining the day’s assignment and returning to the next class session prepared and ready to work. Be sure to exchange phone numbers with several classmates so you can keep up. Note: You will be dropped from the encuentro if you miss more than 2 classes.

Literary Guides and Quizzes*. Completing a 1-2 page literary guide and short quiz for each reading. All work will be typed and double-spaced in MLA format.

Presentations*. Preparing a power point presentation, writing 5 reading questions and leading a class discussion on selected readings.

* No late work will be accepted

By the end of the summer you will be able to do the following: (Student Learning Outcomes)

  • Define Chicano/a literature, identify its geographical roots, and explain its position in American literature.

  • Recognize a variety of literary genres and illustrate the ability to read and write about literature.

  • Relate and analyze the development of Chicano/a literature from an indigenous historical perspective.

  • Critique a variety of modern and post-modern Chicano/a literary pieces.

  • Analyze works of major Chicano writers, with specific inclusion of women writers in contemporary Chicano/a renaissance literature.

Your growth as a Literary Revolutionary will be assessed using the following point system. The points, written comments and conferences with me will serve as feedback on your growth. You will also be asked to evaluate yourself.

50% Literary Guides

20% Presentation and Self Evaluation

30% Literary Quizzes

Extra Credit: Max 2 allowed

A = 100 - 90

B = 89 - 80

C = 79 - 70

D = 69 - 60

F = 59 - Below

CHIC 135 Chicano/a Literature (CRN 52397) – Encuentro Information Summer 2009

Room A213, Tuesdays & Thursdays, 8:10 am-10:50 am

elva w brown berets
Advisory: English 42 and English 43, each with a grade of “C” or better, or equivalent, or Assessment Skill Levels R4 and W4.
Fearless Leader Information:

Professor: Elva Salinas

Office: Room T-109V

Office Hours: Tuesdays & Thursdays, 11 am - 12 noon


Phone: 619-388-3204

You will need the following for the encuentro:

U.S. Latino Literature Today. Gabriela Baeza Ventura

Drink Cultura. Jose Antonio Burciaga

The Guardians. Ana Castillo

Real Women Have Curves. Josephina Lopez

A spiral notebook for in-class writing and notes.

A folder for handouts and reading assignments.

Support for Encuentro Members

English Center - The English Center assists students by providing individual and group tutoring. Services are free and available to all students from 10 am – 4 pm, Monday thru Friday, room C-226, phone: 6193883633. Taking advantage of these academic support services results in higher grades.

LRC: Learning Resource Center (a.k.a. Library) - You may obtain assistance from City College faculty librarians either one-on-one at the reference desk, group workshops or online. R-Building. Phone: 6193883421. Website:
This Encuentro will be conducted in compliance with City College Policies

Integrity - Academic honesty will be strictly enforced. You are expected to be honest and ethical at all times in your pursuit of academic goals in accordance with Policy 3100, Student Rights, responsibilities and Administrative Due Process. Procedure 3100.3 describes the Academic and Administrative Sanctions for Students who are found to be cheating. A copy of Procedure 3100.3 can be obtained in the Office of the Vice President of Student Services.

Student Responsibilities - Student behavior must remain in accordance with specific academic and behavior requirements as specified in District policy.

No Distractions - Do not engage in any activity not related to the class while in the classroom. CELL PHONES and other devices must be turned off and put away before entering class. Students violating this policy may be asked to leave the class and will be marked as absent.

Accommodation for Disability: Students with disabilities who may need academic accommodations should discuss this with me during the first week of class.

Welcome to the Encuentro of Literary Revolutionaries!

1 Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) On the Dangers of Reading Fiction In The Writing of Thomas Jefferson Letter to Nathaniel Burwell, March 14, 1818

2 Alfred Arteaga-An Other Tongue Duke University Press 1994

3 Refers to the historical, interlingual and interdiscursive factors that characterize the dynamics of language (Mikhail Bakhtin).

4 Suppression of alternate languages.

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