Latino Cultural Expressions: Music, Literature, Film

Spring 2017

FRPG 2080
Instructor: Martha Chew
Meeting Days/Times: Tuesday and Thursday 10:10 a.m. to 12:20 p.m.
This course fulfills the FYS and HUM general education requirements and counts as CLAS, Introduction to Latino Studies course. 

Why are Latina/os who are in every way integral to U.S. History and Culture consistently depicted in various media as, at best, as outsiders and, at worst, threats?  Despite mainstream U.S. politicians, historians, journalists, or artists all too frequent disavowals of Latina/os, their popular cultural expressions— Latino musical genres such as, Banda, Musica Ranchera, Bomba, Hip-Hop, Banda, Corridos; literature such as, Ana Menédez’ Loving Che, Junot Díaz’ The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, and Gloria Anzaldua’s Borderlands/La Frontera, and film such as, El Norte, Salt of the Earth, Yo soy Boricua pa’que tu lo sepas—are firmly embedded in U.S. Culture.  In this Introduction to Latino Studies FYS course, we will study these various cultural expressions, or Latinidad—produced by different Latino groups in the U.S. arriving during multiple waves of migration—to examine the complex ways the dominant U.S. culture both arrogates some of these expressions as its own, while misappropriating others to maliciously stereotype Latina/os in the U.S. Among the topics we will discuss, and that each of you can consider for a research project, are: migration, language, the body, gender roles, sexual orientation, and identity politics in the works of authors and artists.

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