This seminar examines how Native Americans, Spaniards, Mexicans, Americans and Mexican Americans have contributed to the shaping of the region encompassing the present border between the U.S. and Mexico. The course will consider demographic, economic, social, political and cultural aspects of the peoples who have inhabited and interacted in this area since the 16th century to approximately the present (ca 2010). Transnational themes that we shall consider include the following: Spanish and American colonization, the Mexican-American War, the 1910 Mexican Revolution, the evolution of frontier societies on each side of the border since the Treaty of Guadalupe (1848), and post-World War II developments. The class will thus address historical processes relating to migration, economic change and state formation, as discourses concerned with individual and group identities are reviewed. Students should have some knowledge of 19th and 20th century American or Mexican history. The course fulfills the advanced seminar requirement for the major and minor, as well as .5 unit of the core course requirement of the Latino/a Studies Concentration. Prerequisite: sophomore standing. Offered every other year.
Popular conceptions of globalization often allude to the growing magnitude of global flows and the stunning rapidity with which capital, commodities, culture, information and people now cross national borders. From this characterization, one might conclude that national borders and indeed nation-states themselves are becoming increasingly porous and irrelevant as sources or sites of social regulation and control. This course examines the material reality of border regions and movement across them as a means of interrogating these assumptions and exposing how globalization rescales and reconfigures power differentials in human society but does not eliminate them. It scrutinizes technological, economic, political and ideological forces that facilitate border crossings for some groups of people under particular circumstances, then explores the seemingly contradictory tendency toward border fortification. Topics include: regional trade integration and political economy of border regions; the global sex trade and illegal trafficking of economic migrants; global civil society and sanctuary movements; paramilitary and vigilante border patrols; and the technology of surveillance. This course includes a required off-campus experiential component at the U.S.-Mexico border that takes place during the first week of spring break. This course counts toward the "institutions and change" requirement for the major. Prerequisite: 100-level sociology course or permission of instructor. Offered every other year.
Chicana/o culture produced in the U.S. is a vast field often underrepresented in undergraduate curricula. Even so, Chicana/os' contributions to literature, visual and public art, music, film, cultural theory and political activism are among the richest in this nation. This absence is symptomatic of a larger societal reality, namely, a history of cultural and economic oppression, which results in a silencing of this "other" America. This course is an introduction to Chicana/o cultural studies through an examination of Chicana/o history, art, literature, film, music and cultural theory as sites of opposition to sexist, racist, classist, and homophobic ideologies. A primary goal of the course is to expose students to Chicana/os' identities and critiques, from the Mexican American civil rights movements to the present. Chicana/os' debates about immigration, custodial labor, border issues, feminism, race issues, human rights, the environment, queer studies, spirituality and the occult will be seminal to our discussion. The Mesoamerican concept of nepantla, a Nahuatl word referring to "the land in the middle," will serve as an anchor since it is fundamental to the notion of "crossing borders" that is at the root of Chicana/o cultural theory and practice. Border crossing, which emerges from the state of being in nepantla, represents Chicana/os' alternative epistemological approach to dominant ideologies. Readings and class discussion will be in English. Students may choose to read and write in Spanish when primary and secondary sources are available. This course will offer students valuable opportunities to learn through civic engagement and to link key issues from class discussion and readings to their community activities. This course fulfills .5 units of the core course requirement for the Latina/o Studies Concentration. It also will count toward the majors in American studies, international studies, women's and gender studies, religious studies and Spanish area studies.
This course examines the impact of globalization on feminist discourses that describe the cross-cultural experiences of women. Transnational feminist theories and methodologies destabilize Western feminisms, challenging notions of subjectivity and place and their connections to experiences of race, class, and gender. The course builds on four key concepts: development, democratization, cultural change and colonialism. Because transnational feminisms are represented by the development of women's global movements, the course will consider examples of women's global networks and the ways in which they destabilized concepts such as citizenship and rights. We also will examine how transnational feminisms have influenced women's productions in the fields of literature and art. Key questions include: How does the history of global feminisms affect local women's movements? What specific issues have galvanized women's movements across national and regional borders? How do feminism and critiques of colonialism and imperialism intersect? What role might feminist agendas play in addressing current global concerns? How do transnational feminisms build and sustain communities and connections to further their agendas? Prerequisite: Any WGS course or permission of instructor. Offered every other year.