This course will provide students with a general background on the different themes, histories and oppositional narratives presented in U.S. Latina literature. We will read these texts within the broader context of U.S. Latina/o history and women of color feminism, which has been largely defined by experiences of colonization, immigration, stratification, displacement, and marginalization, but also determined by expressions of empowerment, social protest, and radical politics. U.S. Latina literary production will be situated somewhere between the Latin American, and U.S. literary canons yet will also be defined by its unique cultural, and historical position. Students will explore these writers’ strategies for articulating a Latina experience through the intersections of race, class, gender and sexuality. Moreover, we will come to an understanding of literature, and other forms of creative expression, as catalysts for social, and political change.
This course will be interdisciplinary in nature so we may be drawing parallels between the work of the writers assigned for the class and that of Latina visual artists, filmmakers, and other cultural producers. In the process, we will explore the various commonalities and recurring themes across media. Classes will combine lecture, discussion, and in-class activities. Substantial writing is required for this course so a significant amount of class time will be devoted to helping students develop their writing skills.