ENGL658A - Readings in Multi-Ethnic Literatures of the Americas; Contemporary Latina/o Literature

Contemporary Latino/a Literature is a wide-ranging survey of U.S. Latina/o literature published in the 21st century. We’ll explore together some of the most important themes, genres, formal developments, authors, and critical contexts within Chicano/a, U.S. Central American, Dominican-American, Puerto Rican, Cuban-American, and U.S. South American literature. Among the questions we’ll ask are the following: How do we interpret Latino/a writings in relation to other traditions of U.S. literature and the literature of the Americas? How do Latino/a authors use their writing to make sense of the past and its relation to the present? What does Latino/a literature teach us about language and language diversity as part of private and public experience in the contemporary world? How are developments in the global media-landscape changing the production, consumption, and form of Latino/a literature? And what insight does literature give us on the circuits of power in our world, including the intersections of money, sex, gender, race, work, and migration? Our explorations will include poetry, short stories, a novel, and creative non-fiction. Among the authors on the syllabus are: Rhina P. Espaillat, Junot Diaz, Lawrence La Fountain-Stokes, William Archila, Aracelis Girmay, Richard Blanco, Daniel Alarcón, and Carolina Ebeid.  Our reading of these primary sources will be helped by secondary material in Latino/a literary studies, as well as curated readings from history, women’s studies, queer studies, and sociology.