Spanish and Spanish-speakers in the U.S. (3) In this course, we investigate various aspects of the language(s) and language behaviors of U.S. Latinos.
SPAN (LTNST) 315 Spanish and Spanish-speakers in the U.S. (3)
The course is premised on the idea that language is a crucial component in the formation of identity. To understand Latina/o identity formation in the U.S., then, one must analyze what role languages--Spanish and English--have played in identity formation. The class commences with a brief historical assessment of the various U.S. Latino communities, including Mexican-American, Cuban-American, and Puerto Rican communities. Such a historical purview proves significant in the study of the cultural traditions that persist in these communities, chief among these, the Spanish language. In exploring the Spanish language in U.S. Latino communities, we consider several major sets of questions, among them the following: In what ways do the languages of U.S. Latino communities differ from those of monolingual Spanish- (and English-) speaking communities? What factors contribute to the maintenance and loss of Spanish in these communities? How does language contribute to the creation of individual and societal identity? How is language exploited in the representation of other U.S. Latino cultural traditions? We consider these questions across a variety of genres: poetry, prose (autobiography in particular), film, art, television, and music. These texts reveal how social environments determine language use as well as how artists have used language to reshape social environments, through, for example, the development of new language practices such as Spanish-English code switching. The course also connects these cultural practices to debates on Spanish in public life and policy.
Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.