Fall 2023 Course Flyers

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MAS 301

introduction to mexican american and latina/o studies

MWF 10-11 am #40225 UTC 3.112 Antonio Vasquez

In 2006, the massive nation-wide May Day protests and marches, were not only emblematic of immigrant worker resistance, but a turning point in evolving Latina/o/x pan-ethnoracial identities. Through the rallying cry of “Day Without an Immigrant,” across cities from Los Angeles, Houston, Chicago to Atlanta, diverse peoples of the United States became exposed to the fundamental ways Latin@/x populations are embedded within the very fabric of the nation through their endless labor, contributions, innovations, and community-building. In this introductory course, students study the field of Mexican American and Latina/o/x Studies as an interdisciplinary and intersectional arena of academic inquiry, which centers on challenging and dismantling the inherent inequalities and multiple oppressions foundational to the making of the United States through the eyes of the Mexican American, Chican@/x, Latin@/x experience. We survey the historical, political, socioeconomic, and cultural fabric, which shapes this heterogenous populace and examine the formation of Latin@/xs as an ethnoracial group(s) in the United States. We explore the multifaceted histories of colonialism in the Americas and U.S. imperialism through an investigation of transnational, transborder contexts of corporate, military, and political interventions that have (re)defined national boundaries and human migrations in the Americas. Last, students use an intersectional approach to unravel how race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class, language, migration, indigeneity, and citizenship are integral to the multiplicity identities forming Latinidad.


MAS 301

introduction to mexican american and latina/o studies

Archives are repositories of our collective memories. What happens when certain minoritized individuals and communities do not exist in traditional archives in an extensive way? In this introductory course, we will start from the premise that there are gaps in the archive, particularly around Latine/x/a/o and queer people. We will examine queer Latine archives by studying oral histories, theories around archiving, fiction, non fiction narratives, and multimedia. In more specific terms we will use podcasts, queer literature, and digital archives that showcase LGBTQ+ history to explore the following questions: why is it important to archive queer stories? How have queer histories been archived? What do digital archives offer that is different from non-digital ones? What can we learn from using oral histories, podcasts, and interviews as methodology? Authors such as Emma Pérez, Saidiya Hartman, Maria Cotera, José Esteban Muñoz, Lorgia García-Peña, and other Ethnic Studies scholars will help us think through these questions. In addition, we will visit LLILAS Benson Latin American Studies and Collections and the Harry Ransom Center. Utilizing these sources will help us explore what it means to create our own archive.

MWF 2-3 pm #40230 PMA 6.112 Alexandra Salazar

MAS 301

introduction to mexican american and latina/o studies

MWF 9-10 am

#40200 GEA 127 Anahi Ponce

This course looks at how the U.S.-México border serves as an integral site for the fields of Latina/o/x and Ethnic studies broadly in understanding constructions of race, gender, sexuality, nationality, and the various social movements that emerge from them. Queer and Feminist scholars have theorized the ways in which women and queer of color subjects within the borderlands are most attune to these tensions. This has infamously been made evident by borderlands scholar Gloria Anzaldúa in her conception of the new mestiza, whose “tolerance for ambiguity” not only takes shape as a form of hybridity but does so as a means for survival. Looking to how these tensions manifest themselves online thus becomes a fruitful endeavor in further theorizing how Anzaldúa’s new mestiza consciousness has gone digital. In this class students will explore these disjunctures as they have manifested themselves historically in theorizing about borders as they are constructed geographically, theoretically, and now digitally. Looking at instances of online and social media organizing, the use of information communication technologies, and larger discussions surrounding the history of race and technology, students will examine the proliferation of borders in the digital space and investigate how digital borderlands practitioners continue to make use of as well as push back against them.


MAS 311

ethnicity & gender: La Chicana

TTH 9:30-11 am #40235 GWB 1.130 Lilia Rosas

TTH 11-12:30 pm #40235 BIO 301 Lilia Rosas

Among the many catalysts that centralized the narratives of Chicanas into the discourse the U.S. Southwest/Mexican Borderlands, the 1971 La Conferencia de Mujeres por la Raza in Houston inspired how Chicanas/Xicanas, xicanindias, mestizas, indigenous, Mexican American, and brown women defined themselves, asserted their roles and identities, and shared their stories. This course privileges the stories, struggles, contestations, imaginations, writings, and accomplishments of Chicanas in the United States in the mid-twentieth and early twentieth-first centuries. Through a close examination of literature, and attention to historical and theoretical materials, we will create a growing understanding of the significance of gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, class, language, spirituality, and citizenship in affecting the daily lives and social worlds of Chicanas. By end of the semester, we will also gain a complex insight into the importance of how Chicana feminism, Xicanisma, intersectionality, migration, borders, and community are formative in the Chicana experience(s).


MAS 315 latina performance: celia-selena

MWF 11-12 pm #40255 BUR 216 Laura Gutierrez

While this course’s title suggest that the span of the class material covered will begin with a visual cultural analysis of Celia Cruz, the Queen of Salsa, and will end with Selena, the Queen of Tejano, these two figures only conceptually bookend the ideas that will be explored during the semester. This class will begin by sampling a number of performances of Latinas in popular cultural texts to get lay the ground for the analytical and conceptual frameworks that we will be exploring during the semester. First of all, in a workshop format, we will learn to analyze cultural texts that are visual and movement-based. We will, for example, learn to write performance and visual analysis by collectively learning and putting into practice vocabulary connected to the body in movement, space(s), and visual references (from color to specific ethnic tropes). Second, we will begin to explore the ways in which Latinas have been hypervisible and invisible at the same time, both in culture and in society at large. The class asks the following: how can we reconcile that the notion of Queen, as signaled by these two figures, or, in general, the notion of Diva, used to signal a performance of virtuosity and excellence, which merited adoration, can co-exist in a society where Latinas are devalued?

By combining methods from Latinx Studies and Performance Studies, where embodied practices and representations of race and ethnicity are conjoined in our analysis, we will have a wider understanding of Latinas in popular culture in the United States beginning in the early 20th Century. To that end, this class will examine figures in US 20th and 21st centuries popular culture that have enriched some cultural industries, specifically Hollywood and the music industry, yet have been exceedingly exoticized, discriminated because of race and gender, and marginalized or rendered invisible. By being attendant to the conventions that have manufactured certain representations, that is, by learning to analyze performance texts in popular culture, the students will come to understand not only questions of gender and race and ethnicity as important analytics, but will also become conversant in the theories and practices of performance. Some of the figures that we will study include: Carmen Miranda, Lupe Vélez, Dolores del Río, María Montez, Rita Moreno, Celia Cruz, La Lupe, La India, Jennifer López, Selena, Shakira, Cardi B.


MAS 318e Latinx Digital Worlds

Over the last decade, new social media platforms and digital tools have enabled a resurgence of identitarian, anti-racist, feminist, and queer mobilizations online that have transformed digital space into deeply contested public square. This course explores how Latinx communities—traditionally figured as on the wrong side of the “digital divide”—have embraced, mobilized, and sometimes usurped these digital tools and spaces to forge community and create new forms of culture, memory, and activism. Over the course of the semester, we will examine a wide array of digital modalities from social media to digital art, memory, and activism, with an aim to better understand how Latinx publics are forged online. We will pay particular attention to the different ways in which the Latinx diaspora (across and within the U.S. Mexico and Latin America) have used digital tools to build community across transnational borders, claim belonging, and decolonize digital culture.

MWF 10-11 am #40268 BIO 301 Maria Cotera

MAS 319 fighting for latino power

TTH 2-3:30 pm

In this course, students will learn about issues that affect Latino political representation in the U.S. today. This course will be divided into three aspects that are critical to U.S. political power. Starting with the U.S. census, we will discuss the political implications of being counted. Why does the census matter, and what does it mean for Latino communities? We will explore ethnic and racial classification on the census and how this impacts how minorities are represented in the United States. We will then transition to voting rights and learn about rights Latino voters have and how these voting rights have been protected through the courts. We will discuss past voting rights cases in addition to present and future threats to Latino voting rights. Finally, we will conclude by examining Latino political representation in elected offices through both campaign outreach and descriptive representation.

#40275 GEA 114 Angie Gutierrez

MAS 337c Chicana Feminisms

MWF 11:30-1 pm

Emerging out of the social protest movements of the 1960’s, Chicana Feminists offered an alternative mapping of feminist literary and political thought with the issues of gender, race, and sexuality as their primary concerns. In this course, we will examine what constitutes Chicana Feminism in its multiple incarnations, both historically and epistemologically. Tracing Chicana feminist theory as it broke off from Chicano nationalist politics of the 1960’s, to a politics that is concerned with practices of communal feminism that encompasses men and women of the working classes, we will examine how it has shifted and changed over time. We will also look at how Chicana feminist thought breaks with and intersects with Euro-American or European models of feminism. In addition, we will examine the ways in which Chicana Feminists have moved towards a more third-world and/or transnational model of feminism that takes into account the inequities that exist between first and third world subjects. Through the study of essays, history, archives, performance, and literatures that engage feminism, we will discuss how material conditions, spirituality, gender inequality, class inequality, racial inequality, and questions of sexuality allow Chicana women to engage in activities that we might understand as feminist.

#40294 PAR 105 Maria Cotera

MAS 337I

Tejana Cultural Studies

TTH 3:30-5 pm #40295 BIO 301 Lilia Rosas

With the publication of Entre Guadalupe y Malinche, editors Inés Hernández-Ávila and Norma Elia Cantú solidify their mandate to legitimize Tejan@/x Studies as an arena worthy of ongoing research, study, and comprehension. Furthermore, they center the narratives of Tejanas as a necessary part of the conversation to understand this emergent field of inquiry and integral to Chicana Studies. In this course, we investigate the history of Tejanas to reaffirm and reclaim their place and role in the histories of Native Americans, woman, Chican@/xs, Greater Mexico, and the United States. We will further explore how transfronterizismo and transregionalism complicate this history. Last, we will contemplate how their stories are fundamental to illuminating the struggles, resistance, and liberation of Chicanas, xicanindias, mestizas, and afromexicanas from precontact to decolonization.


MAS 364D

Latino migrations and asylum

MW 1-2:30 pm #40320 ETC 2.102 Antonio Vasquez

In this undergraduate seminar, we will critically examine the contemporary politics, geographies, and practices of Latina/o migration and asylum in the United States. We will begin our discussion with an assessment of the current migration crisis at the international level. This includes an overview of increased border enforcement and militarization as well as the varied challenges confronting migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers from the mid-twentieth century through the contemporary period. Secondly, we will situate processes of Latino/a migration within the larger historical trajectory of U.S. economic and military conquests in the Americas, focusing on the region of Central America in particular. Causes and consequences of Latino/a migration with respect to Honduras and El Salvador will serve as important case studies in this regard. Lastly, we will examine U.S. asylum policy and practices in concert with the expansion of immigration detention and deportation and the racialization and criminalization of Latinos/as.


MAS 364E Policing Latinidad

TTH 12:30-2 pm

#40325 GEA 127 Michael Hames García

How does the criminal justice system make itself felt in the everyday lives of Latinxs? From border enforcement, to stop and frisk, to the phenomenon of mass incarceration, many Latinxs find themselves and their communities enmeshed within a dense web of surveillance, punishment, and detention. This interdisciplinary course will examine the historical, political, economic, and social factors that have, in many ways, criminalized Latinidad and/or rendered Latinidad illegal.

We will examine how race, class, education, gender, sexuality, and citizenship shape the American legal system and impact how Latinxs navigate that system. This course will pay special attention to the troubled and unequal relationship between Latinxs and the criminal justice apparatus in the United States and how it has resulted in the formation of resistant political identities and activist practices.


MAS 364I

mexican american political thought

MWF 11-12 pm

#40330 GEA 114 Antonio Vasquez

The 1967 publication of El Grito: Journal of Contemporary Mexican American Thought and Aztlan: Chicano Journal of the Social Sciences and the Arts in 1970 marked the emergence of a distinct Mexican American intellectual formation in academia. At the one hand, this discourse demonstrated a continuity of oppositional consciousness as reflected in writings by preceding generations of intellectuals. At the same time, early writings contextualized experiences of inequality confronting Mexican American communities as a condition of colonialism and anti-colonialism. The purpose of this undergraduate seminar is to collaboratively and critically explore the multiple complementary and contradictory counter-hegemonic intellectual variations that have contributed to Mexican American political thought, and, in turn, Mexican American Studies. In addition to analyzing first works from the discipline, students will engage in writings by earlier generations of intellectuals and their contemporaries in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, as well as more recent reconfigurations in Latina/o Studies.


MAS 364M

Latina/o/x Citizenship

MWF 1-2 pm #40334 PMA 6.112 Angela Ocampo

This course explores the concepts of membership, belonging, immigration and citizenship in the Latina/o/x experience. In this course, we will examine how historically, politically, socially and culturally, Latinas/os/xs have been construed as belonging or not belonging members of U.S. society. Given the multifaceted nature of the topics, our investigation of these topics will rely on an interdisciplinary approach. That is, we will draw from materials and knowledge in political science, sociology, history, public policy, and the law. The course will survey materials, concepts, and theories to investigate the ways in which race, immigration, gender, geography, politics and policy have defined how, when and under what circumstances Latinas/os/xs belong or do not belong in America. We will pay particular attention to understanding the contours of citizenship, membership, American identity and the political impact of inclusion or exclusion specifically as it pertains to present-day debates about Latinx political engagement, political attitudes, and immigration politics. We will explore theoretical and policy debates on the topics of immigration and citizenship, and we will evaluate the research that informs these debates.


MAS 374 Latinx Masculinities

TTH 2-3:30 pm #40355 MEZ 2.124 Sergio G. Barrera

Mexican American and Latino men have been called machistas, patriarchs, emotionless, and narcos among other things; but are they capable of more? In this course, we will explore the history of U.S. Latinx masculinities and intergenerational Latin American masculinities to understand the academic, social, cultural, and political rhetoric that has influenced how the media, government, and communities have depicted Latinx men and their masculinities. We will begin by understanding Latinx men under the context of 19th and 20th century displacement, (im)migration, war, and terrorism, alongside anthropological and sociological texts about Mexican American/Latino families and men that have haunted Latinx masculinities in present day. We will then work through how Latinx communities, and Latinx people have actively protested heteropatriarchal values, behaviors, and representations linked to Latinx masculinities and Latinx men. In this course we will closely look at the influences of family, religion, politics, (im)migration, language, citizenship, race, gender, sexuality, class, and education in order to analyze intersectionality, power, privilege, performance, and resistance.


MAS 374 Politics of Latino Identity

TTH 9:30-11 am #40350 BEN 1.104 Angie Gutierrez

In this class, we will focus on the politics of Latino identity and understanding who counts as Latino and what it means politically to belong to this pan-ethnic group. We will explore the political mechanisms of how Latinos became a group in the United States and investigate the political similarities and differences of group members that still exist today. Should we expect Latinos to maintain this unique identity for generations to come, and what can Latino identity tell us about political attitudes and participation?

By the end of this course, you should be able to understand the differences and similarities between national origin groups and explain how these differences affect political participation. You will better understand what it means to belong to a pan-ethnic group and be able to discuss the benefits and costs of pan-ethnicity. In addition to knowing current trends in political participation, we will learn about the history behind these trends in order to contextualize and fully understand why these patterns exist.


MAS 374

Spirituality/Latinx History

TTH 12:30-2 pm #40360

CMA 3.114 Richard Grijalva

Starting with an inquiry into the concept of spirituality and its relationship to notions such as religion, theology, power, ethics, and the government of self and others, this course invites its participants to elaborate individually and collectively a critical, genealogy of spiritualities in play at different junctures in Latin American and Latinx history. We will be exploring ways that spiritual practices and disciplines fold into patterns of conduct and counter-conduct in contesting political questions. While many of the materials we will consult in this course are centered in Mexican-American and Chicanx contexts, students will be encouraged to develop research projects focused on any broadly defined Latinx context. This includes, and is not limited to: Afro-Latinx, Central American, Boricua, Caribbean, South American, and Indigenous/Native American.


MAS 392

Abolition/The Carceral State

TH 2-5 pm #40405 GWB 1.138 Michael Hames García

This course approaches abolition as a set of open-ended questions to be asked generously in response to the conditions of a radically unjust and unfree world. Abolitionist visions advocate for decarceration, defunding of police and prisons, and removal of the criminal legal system from people’s lives. Abolitionism is also a creative practice that entails discovering, developing, and promoting alternatives to policing and prisons such as mutual aid associations, restorative justice processes, and nonviolent approaches to personal and community safety. Drawing from many disciplines—including American studies, ethnic studies, gender studies, geography, history, and law—this course takes up topics like local policing, campus policing, family policing (child welfare systems), e-carceration and electronic monitoring, crimmigration and border enforcement, and involuntary medical confinement. Although we will take the United States as a primary context for our inquiry, assigned materials and in-class discussion will make frequent use of comparisons and connections to non–U. S. contexts.

MAS 392

Latinx Interdisciplinary Literature

M 2-5 pm


GWB 1.138 Julie Minich

The guiding principle of this course is that Latinx literary studies is necessarily interdisciplinary scholarship. The course will benefit students of Latinx cultural studies interested in incorporating literature into their work as well as students of literature interested in incorporating interdisciplinary methods into their work. Readings each week will pair a Latinx literary text with scholarship from a range of disciplines as we interrogate how Latinx literary studies intersects with history, anthropology, performance studies, etc., as well as with social justice concerns whose exploration exceeds the confines of academic disciplines.

MAS 392

Rhetorics of Ethnic Studies

Ethnic Studies programs have been a part of colleges and universities for more than 50 years. Moreover, over the past two decades an increased number of K-12 schools have offered courses in ethnic studies. At the same time, the teaching of race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality has been a perennial target of conservative think tanks, student groups, and elected officials. This course will examine histories of ethnic (and gender) studies in both K-12 and higher education institutions and the rhetoric of attacks on and defenses of ethnic and gender studies presently and throughout the late 20th Century. The course will consider questions including: why are ethnic and gender studies considered threatening? On what bases have such programs been attacked? What kinds of arguments are used in attacks on these programs? How have their proponents defended such programs? Ultimately, one key question the class will consider is whether rhetoric as the practice of argumentation and persuasion has any meaningful role in the so-called "debates" about ethnic and gender studies? If so, what is rhetoric's role? And if not, what does that mean for the state of democratic life in the United States?

T 2-5 pm #40410 CMA 3.108 Karma Chávez

MAS 395m interpretive methods


2-5 pm #40420

GWB 1.138 Rachel González-Martin

This seminar will introduce graduate level students to an array of qualitative interpretive methods in the areas of cultural studies with a focus on recognizing race and gender politics in Latinx community experiences. We will do readings from a variety of disciplinary areas, while foregrounding post-structuralist Women of Color Feminist practices and theories.

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