Although many of the literary works produced by Latino/a artists after the civil rights struggles of the 1960s have now become well known, this course explores the lesser-known dimensions of the United States' Latino/a literary heritage from the very earliest moments of the nation through the early 20th century. The texts we will study in this course dramatize the internal conflicts of a nation-in-progress, as well as reveal the sometimes self-contradictory strategies of the historical (Latino/a) subjects who frequently found themselves having to adapt quickly to new political circumstances, preserve their historical memories, and reimagine their identities and beliefs while a new nation consolidated itself around them. First, we will critically examine the differing ideological constructions of a "Spanish" heritage in the American Southwest, used as a strategy both by californio and Nuevo mexicano writers (to attach themselves to the legacies of European culture and a rival colonial project in the Americas), as well as by Anglo writers who sought to romanticize the Western territories and thereby attract tourists and settlers to a pastoral, pre-modern, picturesque land. We will also examine the tensions and interactions between Latino/a and indigenous groups, between poor white settlers and aristocratic landowners, between historical fiction and romanticism, and between "migrants" and "natives" of all kinds. In addition, we will trace the transformation of oral traditions into written texts in the Latino/a community. The course also considers the early novels of Latino/a immigration produced at the beginning of the 20th century.
COURSE FORMAT: Lecture/Discussion
Level: UGRD Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA ENGL Grading Mode: Graded
Last Updated on MAR-30-2006
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