ENGL358B - Special Topics in U.S. Latina/o Literature: Border Studies, Literatures, and Methodologies

We will examine the formation of the U.S.-Mexico border through a comparative perspective, beginning with discourses of settlement, partition, and citizenship in the aftermath of the Mexican American War of 1848. Our second historical landmark is the 1942 Bracero Program and the construction of the Mexican laboring body as a threat and source of xenophobic sentiment. We will also examine the rise of Chicanismo in the U.S., and multicultural social movements in the Civil Rights context. We will then proceed with the study of border discourses in the present, when the logic of surveillance, violence, and have been applied to the study of U.S.-Mexico border spaces. We will study the border within a history of militarization and neo-liberal market practices that shape the American hemisphere. Finally we will study border discourses as a methodology, asking: What does it mean to engage with and approach the border as method? Texts include: readings by Henry David Thoreau and Frederick Douglass, María Amparo Ruiz de Burton, The Squatter and the Don (1885), Américo Paredes, With His Pistol in His Hand (1958), Luis Valdez, Zoot Suit (1979), Gloria Anzaldúa, Borderlands/La Frontera (1987), Leslie Marmon Silko, Almanac of the Dead (1991), and Karen Tei Yamashita, Tropic of Orange (1998).


Two lower-level English courses, at least one in literature; or permission of ARHU-English department.