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123423 SE Literary & Cultural Studies Seminar / BA Paper / MA American / North American Lit. Studies (2021S)

Contemporary Chicanx Literature and Visual Culture

11.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 12 - Anglistik
Continuous assessment of course work


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first serve).


max. 18 participants
Language: English


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

online course
block seminar
July 2021
6, 8, 9, 12 and 13 July, 2021, 13:00 to 18:00

Tuesday 06.07. 13:00 - 18:00 Digital
Thursday 08.07. 13:00 - 18:00 Digital
Friday 09.07. 13:00 - 18:00 Digital
Monday 12.07. 13:00 - 18:00 Digital
Tuesday 13.07. 13:00 - 18:00 Digital


Aims, contents and method of the course

In this intensive, blocked seminar we will contextualize contemporary Chicanx literature and visual culture within a larger historical framework of the US/Mexico borderlands. The first day is dedicated to an introduction to Chicanx Studies as a central field within US-American literary and cultural studies and will introduce you to a) the genealogy of the terms "Chicano/a/x", b) some key words such as "mestizaje," "code-switching," and "braceros" and central scholarly debates in Chicanx studies, and c) a few canonical Chicanx authors, visual artists, and filmmakers. Over the course of the next 4 meeting days we will focus on the figure of the outsider in Chicanx literature and visual culture, as well as challenge the misconstruction of Chicanx literature as marginal to the US-American literary canon. We will analyze and critically interrogate a set of examples of outsiders, or descartados, in Chicanx literature, visual art, and film: farmworkers and urban youth, third wave feminists and members of the LGBTQIA+ community, the undocumented and DACA recipients, those who reject the labels and movements associated with Mexican American or Chicanx, Afro-Mexican writers and artists who privilege indigeneity. We will, for example, discuss art by Malaquias Montoya, Alma Lopez, Ester Hernandez, and Los Dos.
This blocked course is largely discussion based, and active and regular participation in class discussion on zoom is thus critical for your success in this class. In addition to close readings of primary texts and visual art, we will also view and analyze specific scenes of relevant films. Students are required to read all the assigned primary and secondary texts by the due date and come to class prepared with specific questions and comments. In addition to plenary discussions students will at times also work in smaller breakout groups. There will be 3 short writing assignments due prior or after 3 sessions of your choice. The main writing assignment is an original research paper on one or more of the assigned texts/artworks/films we discussed in class due by August 30, 2021.

Assessment and permitted materials

-Attendance will be taken throughout (only one class may be missed)
-Active participation in class discussion required
(active participation asks students to come to class prepared wit specific questions and comments on the assigned texts in hand; offer thoughtful comments and questions regularly; engage in scholarly debates with peers and professor; do close readings of primary texts, films, and scholarship; turn on video if possible): 25%
-Submission of 1 question and 1 reflection on days and texts of choice on Moodle forum
(will be assessed based on level of close readings, meaningful contextualization, originality of ideas, accuracy and quality of academic writing): 10%
-Submission of short paragraph on key term in Chicanx Studies on last day of classes (will be assessed based on quality of research and level of academic writing): 10%
-Submission of project proposal and annotated bibliography by July 30 (Proposal will be assessed based on originality of argument and quality of research and academic writing, and accuracy of documentation. We will use MLA, 8th edition): 15%
-Submission of final research paper.
(Paper will be assessed based on originality of argument, engagement with scholarly discourse, and quality of academic writing; for greater transparency and fairness I will use a rubric that is made available to students by July 30): 40%

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

-Have access to a stable internet connection, a microphone and video function (if possible, turn on video for a more personable and engaging learning environment)
-Regular, full attendance and ACTIVE participation in all 5 sessions. Students must not miss more than one session if they wish to pass this blocked seminar (25% of your final grade)
-Read all assigned primary and secondary texts before the class in which they are due. Come prepared to each class with specific questions and comments on the assigned texts. Purchase or borrow 3 assigned primary texts that are not available as pdf.
-Submit 2 short questions or reflections (150-200 words each) on any of the assigned texts on Moodle by noon before class on two days of your choice (10%)
-Choose a key term in Chicanx Studies (i.e. "mestizaje") and a theorist who is working with or on this key term (i.e. Teresa Delgadillo) and write 300-400 words connecting it to a primary text or film on our syllabus by noon on July 13. We will discuss these terms in small groups on Tuesday. This could be the starting point for your final project. (10%)
-Submit a project proposal and annotated bibliography by July 30, 2021 (15% of your final grade)
-Submit a final research paper by August 30, 2021 (40% of your final grade)

Examination topics

All the texts and films discussed in class.

Reading list

Required primary texts (to be purchased, available at thalia.at):
Tomás Rivera. …y no se lo tragó la tierra/…and the earth did not devour him (1971)
Richard Rodriguez. Hunger of Memory: The Education of Richard Rodriguez (1982), also available as ebook
Felicia Luna Lemus. Trace Elements of Random Tea Parties (2003)

Primary texts I will make available on moodle in pdf.format in full:
Marisela Treviño Orta. Braided Sorrow (2006)
Jesús I. Valles. (Un)documents (2018)
Gloria Anzaldúa. Borderlands-La Frontera: The New Mestiza (1987)

A selection of individual primary texts (poems, short stories, essays, etc) I will make available on moodle in word or pdf.format:
Rudolfo "Corky" Gonzalez. "Yo Soy Joaquín" (1969)
Carmen Tafolla. "Yo Soy La Malinche" (1978)
Lorna Dee Cervantes. "Oaxaca, 1974", "Refugee Ship/Barca de Refugiados", "Beneath the Shadow of the Freeway" (1981)
Gloria Anzaldúa. Excerpts from Borderlands-La Frontera: The New Mestiza (1987)
Sandra Cisneros. "Woman Hollering Creek" (1991)
Alicia Gaspar de Alba. "Litany in the Subjunctive" (1999)
Maceo Montoya. Excerpts from The Deportation of Wopper Barraza (2014)
Tim Z. Hernandez. Excerpts from All They Will Call You (2017)
Gris Muñoz. "Coatlicue Girl" (2020)
Ariana Brown. "Dear White Girls in my Spanish Class" (2020)

Scenes from the following films will be shown and analyzed:
Zoot Suit (Dir. Luis Valdes, 1983)
And the Earth Did Not Swallow Him (Dir. Severo Perez, 1994)
Mi Familia (Dir. Gregory Nava, 1995)
La Otra Conquista (Dir. Salvador Carrasco, 1998)
The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada (Dir. Tommy Lee Jones, 2005)
Walkout (Dir. Edward James Olmos, 2006)
Quinceañera (dir. RIchard Glatzer, 2006)
Sleep Dealer (Dir. Alex Rivera, 2008)
The Mission (Dir. Peter Bratt, 2009)

Association in the course directory

Studium: BA 612, MA 844; MA 844(2)
Code/Modul: BA09.2, 10.2, MA5, MA6, MA7; MA 4.1, 4.2
Lehrinhalt: 12-0406

Last modified: Mo 05.07.2021 18:28