In this course we shall address the formation and evolution of Mexico from approximately 1800 to the near present, noting aspects of its history as a Spanish colony and an independent republic. The course will cover issues associated with Mexico's changing, complex identity and how the inhabitants of the region have expressed different sentiments and perceptions about their communities, state and nation. We shall thus explore questions raised by relations between indigenous peoples and various, predominantly Hispanic, ruling groups, as well as questions about class and gender, and political and economic organization. The class will alternate or mix lectures with discussions. No prerequsite.
Migration is a worldwide phenomenon posing both opportunities and challenges for immigrants, their families, their countries of origin and the countries to which they move. Immigration policy often inspires virulent debates over border control, national identity, admission and citizenship policies, "guest" workers and bilingualism. The issues raise fundamental questions about human rights, citizenship and a political community's rights to define and defend itself. What does it mean to be an American? Who can be German? What obligations do we have to people fleeing tyranny? Fleeing poverty? The challenges are exacerbated by the facts that contemporary immigration is managed by nation-states, while migrants move in response to global economics and transnational relationships. This course deals with these issues by examining the social, economic and political forces giving rise to immigration today; the different ways nations have chosen to define citizenship and how those rules affect immigrants; the different strategies nations have used to incorporate immigrants, ranging from multiculturalism to assimilation; attempts to control immigration and their consequences; and the implications of immigration for recipient societies. About half of the course deals with the immigration experience and controversies in the United States, particularly with respect to migration from Mexico. The other half looks at these issues in Western Europe as well as in the developing world. This course is sometimes taught with a community-based research component, depending on the instructor. Prerequisite: sophomore standing. Offered every two years.
Especially since the civil rights, student, and antiwar movements of the 1950s and 1960s in the United States, sociologists have studied how individuals mobilize collectively and self-consciously to promote social change at a national level. Building on this tradition, this mid-level course examines a recent wave of protest movements that self-consciously organize across national borders. Under what circumstances and with what chances of success do national movements form alliances that cross borders? Is it true that globalization has generated new resources and strategic opportunities for the rise of transnational movements? In an age of accelerated globalization, do national borders still contain movements in any significant way? We will address these questions and others using case studies of contemporary environmental, anti-sweatshop, indigenous rights and religious movements. This course counts toward the "institutions and change" requirement for the major. Prerequisite: 100-level sociology course. Offered every other year.
One of the features of the most exciting and innovative Spanish American literature is that it seeks to speak directly through and with popular culture. This course has as its focus precisely this relationship. Topics that may be covered include the ties between witchcraft and sexuality, literary appropriations of different musical genres (son, tango, nueva Canción or salsa), and testimonial literature and legends. Special attention also may be paid to the cultures created by the three major revolutions from the region; Mexico (1910), Cuba (1959) and Nicaragua (1979). Writers and artists may include Rubén Blades, Ana Castillo, Sandra Cisneros, Rosario Ferré, Juan Gelman, Nicolás Guillén, Pedro Lemebel, Carlos Monsiváis, Elena Poniatowska and Silvio Rodríguez. Selected films, compact discs and multimedia will be part of class materials. The course is recommended for Spanish and international studies majors. Prerequisite: SPAN 324 or above or permission of instructor. Normally offered every three years.
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.