In a world increasingly characterized by global communications, transnational economic relations, and multicultural realities, the literatures produced by (im)migrants and diasporic subjects ¿ rich and poor ¿ acquire a central importance. These texts often lead us to critically rethink notions of cultural difference, citizenship, racial identity, and nationalism. This course demonstrates that the questions raised by transnationalism are not a historically new phenomenon for Latino/as. We will examine the changing ways in which, since the 19th century, various U.S. Latino groups have addressed these concerns in their literatures. We will give special emphasis to the historical contexts that condition the writing of each text. How do these writers critically question the difference between the American ideal of democratic equality and its historical reality? How do they respond to the nationalist ideologies of Manifest Destiny or U.S. expansionism into Latin America, or interrogate the idea of a unified ¿American¿ culture, language, or historical truth? Do these texts extend our understanding of American literature as encompassing a hemispheric literary tradition? The course will examine the constant back-and-forth flows of migrants, money, and culture which historically link Latin America and the United States, specifically with regard to the diasporic communities of Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Cubans, and Dominicans in the U.S. We will explore theories of transnationalism both as a way of broadening our understanding of the historical dynamics of American identity, and also as a way of critiquing the development of increasingly unified structures of political, economic, and cultural control.
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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