ENG 360: Introduction to Ethnic American Literature.
Latina/o Voices

Dr. Fagan 3 credits

“So who can hear
the words we speak
you and I, like but unlike,
and translate us to us
side by side?”
-Pat Mora

          The term “Latina/o” has been applied to a diverse group of writers, most commonly those of Latin American descent who were born or are currently living in the United States.  But as with most definitions, Latina/o identity is more complicated than that.  In this course, we will debate the various definitions of the term “Latina/o,” comparing and contrasting the narratives of 20th- and 21st-century writers who trace their heritage to Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Domincan Republic, Panama, Nicaragua, Guatemala, El Salvador, Peru, Argentina, and/or Colombia. We will explore the differences between as well as the differences within these identities, asking whether and how the term “Latina/o” is an appropriate collective definition.  In addition to considering how race, nation, and ethnicity shape our understandings of Latina/o identity, we will also discuss the influencing forces of gender, sexuality, class, language, and religion.  Writers may include Oscar Zeta Acosta, Sandra Cisneros, Hector Torres, Esmeralda Santiago, Cristina Garcia, Oscar Hijuelos, Hector Tobar, and Patricia Engel among many others. 

The novels, stories, and poetry in this course are written in English, though they do incorporate some Spanish as well.  No reading knowledge of Spanish is required.                

This course fulfills the “Identity, Diversity, Power” requirement of the English major.

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