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.
Cultural productions of the U.S.A.–Mexico borderlands is a vast field often underrepresented in undergraduate curricula. Even so, the contributions of writers and artists of the borderlands to literature, visual and public art, cultural theory and political activism are among the richest in the U.S. This course introduces the Mesoamerican concept of nepantla, the ancient philosophy of dwelling in the existential middle space, as an anchor to examine the literature and cultural productions of the U.S.A.-Mexico borderlands. An interdisciplinary methodology combining history, literary analysis, and visual studies, engages with the emancipated selves that Chicanos/as produce at the junction of transnational capitalism, colonial expansion and globalization. This focus on the disruption of global technologies of exclusion, domination, and control offers students the opportunity to look beyond local histories to see new asymmetries produced by transnational systems in the era of globalization. Students will examine how Chicanos, empowered by the rich traditions of their indigenous iconographies, expose the failure of these systems that claim to pursue the betterment of all, while actually remaining indifferent to, or possibly ignorant of, the poor of color and the poor around the globe. Themes explored in the course include: the politics of representation in the borderlands, globalization and the colonial legacies of modernity, and nuanced conceptualizations of transnational borderlands through works by Gloria Anzaldúa, Sandra Cisneros, Guillermo Gómez Peña, Luis Alberto Urrea, Consuelo Jiménez Underwood, Ester Hernández, Alma Lopez, David Botello, and Gregorio Nava. Readings and class discussion will be in English but students may choose to read and write in Spanish when primary and secondary sources are available. Another objective of this course is to offer students opportunities to learn through community engaged-learning. This course fulfills the core course requirement for the Latina/o Studies Concentration. It also counts towards the major in American Studies, International Studies, Women 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.