Fall 2017. 273 Cultural Heritage of the Hispanic US : “Narratives of Home: Memory, displacement, and community activism in Latino/x/a cultural production.”

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Latino orgs. and initiatives in Minneapolis. Screenshot taken from Google maps.


273 Cultural Heritage of the Hispanic US :
“Narratives of Home: Memory, displacement, and community activism in Latina/o/x cultural production.”
Prerequisite: Spanish 250 GE: MCD
Prof. Kristina I. Medina Vilariño
T 9:35-11:00 am /Th 9:30- 10:50 am

at the WLC computer lab in TOH 175

In your Spanish gateway course (250) you learned about the shifting definitions of family throughout the history of Spain. Along the way, you also analyzed the role of religion and other key social institutions in shaping the Spanish citizen; and you have learned how political changes and historical events in the Hispanic world have constantly transformed definitions of “home,” moral values, and national culture. These changes often drive communities to new demands for civil rights, education, equity, and social justice.

Well, now you are ready to engage in similar discussions, as they relate to Latina/x/a histories in local ground. The current version of Spanish 273 will open the floor to talk about how processes of identity and inclusion have shaped Latino/x/ a communities in the United States. In this course we will consider the ways in which historical events lead to a multi-layered process of identity construction for Latino/s/as in the United States. You will learn how migration and displacement have shaped the work of Latino/a/x artists, intellectuals, activists, and community leaders. In doing so, we will examine how multiple Latinx/o/a communities reconstruct their cultures in the United States, making sense of their histories of displacement, and creating a new space to call their own. Among the topics to be covered will be healing narratives, gender politics, music of the diaspora, civil right movements, racial identities, and education. We will examine the work of authors  and popular and influential figures such as (la Honorable Juez) Sonia Sotomayor’s Mi mundo adorado (to be read in the Spanish version),  The Prince of the Cocuyos by (poet) Richard Blanco, Tato Laviera’s (poet) “Puerto Rican Obituary,” (novelist) Julia Álvarez´ De cómo las muchachas García perdieron el acento (to be read in the Spanish version), and films such as Frances Negrón Muntaner’s Brincando el Charco. We will also examine the history of the Hispanic presence in the USA through US cultural production and media, such as the PBS series Latino Americans (w/ focus on the concept of “Extranjeros en su propia tierra.”)

This course has a Civic Engagement Component, which includes visits to community organizations and from community leaders. For more information on this requirement please visit http://wp.stolaf.edu/ace/.

May count for Latin American Studies majors, with the Director’s agreement. Counts towards Race and Ethnic Studies.