Latino/a Literature and Culture (3) Literary and other forms of cultural expression (film, music, art, and theater) are compared across different Latina/o communities.
CMLIT (LTNST) 403 Varieties of Latina/o Cultural Expression (3)
(BA) This course meets the Bachelor of Arts degree requirements.
This course provides students with a multi-faceted comparative view of Latina/o literature in relation to other forms of cultural expression. First, the course presents a variety of cultural expressions to students in an effort to teach them the different ways that form affects content. Each text will be studied in its historical context as well, thereby providing students with a sense of Latina/o cultural history. Second, this course compares works from within the same genre, allowing students to recognize the ways that Latina/o culture has worked to build identity, to deconstruct identity, and to challenge cultural stereotypes. Such comparison further facilitates comparison of the ways that different cultural forms have been used by diverse Latina/o communities. Third, this course compares cultural forms, allowing students to see how Latina/o poetry affects music or how Latina/o theater affects novels Fourth, this course will include texts that represent a variety of linguistic and national contexts, including many countries in Latin America, thereby allowing students to see the relationship between history, culture, language, geography, and identity. These are all themes that are at the center of both Latina/o Studies and Comparative Literature. A comparative perspective facilitates appreciation of the vast and varied ways that Latina/o communities have used cultural expression. A particular point of contact between Latina/o Studies and Comparative Literature is the influence of hybridity. A central issue explored in this course concerns the intricate connections between multiple ways of expressing identity, in the arts, literature, music, etc., in diverse circumstances, such as locations where Latina/o cultures may be in the mainstream (such as in Latin America) and in the minority (in the U.S.). Drawing upon approaches offered by comparative literature and theories such as post-structuralism, feminism, and post-colonialism, we will examine the complex process through which Latina/o culture has been defined, disseminated, contested, and commercialized. Of particular interest from a comparative perspective are the ways that Latina/o cultures are created through hybridization, processes of mutual borrowing and differentiation, as well as through transnational processes of migration, urbanization, and cultural contact. The course's objective is to show not only how complex societies consolidate a shared culture but also how diverse Latina/o communities have produced a multiplicity of cultures that have been expressed via a broad range of cultural registers. These communities often span vast geographical areas, not only in the U.S. but across the Americas as people continue to look to their countries of origin for artistic inspiration.
Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.