This interdisciplinary course is the second part to the introduction to U.S. Latina/o Studies. Through readings, discussions, and cultural analyses you will gain a greater understanding of Latinidad as well as engage in a critical reflection of the topics discussed in class. Throughout the semester we will examine the ways in which different factors coalesce and diverge in order to explore commonalities and differences among Latinas/os.
We begin the semester by analyzing race and racial formation in order to have good understanding of one of the key categories that still shapes people lives and daily interactions. From there we move to land, property, and housing in order to understand the foundational role that these have in creating wealth and resources in the United States. We will also learn about space and the ways in which people create places and police boundaries, both literally and figuratively. Language, metaphors, and discourse are foundational to understanding and constructing people and places. For Latinas, particularly immigrants, motherhood takes on another dimension since some construct it as threatening to the U.S. national body, we’ll learn about this and it’s relationship to deportability and illegality. In the second half of the semester, we’ll address a wide variety of issues from immigration law, immigration rights, the DREAM Act movement, queer Latinidad, transnationalism, and a variety of other topics that make up people’s daily lives and arenas which they have to navigate and negotiate.