Current Courses (Fall 2019)

Caribbean Literature

This writing intensive course will connect the Spanish Speaking Antillas, the West Indies and the French islands to examine “Caribbean literature” concerning the slave era, plantation society, workers and labor, the colonial legacy, tourism, and diaspora. Some literary perspectives to engage with are black poetics, (de) colonization and liberation, and diasporic imaginations. Our historical frame of reference throughout the semester will include the African slave trade, the construction of Europe and the United States as a civilized “homeland”, and the search for political and cultural self-determination. The emphasis will be on the in-depth analysis of literary texts by Afro-Caribbean writers while paying attention to historical, linguistic and cultural contexts. We will see how these texts – essays, fiction and poetry- informs the present understanding of Caribbean cultural identity.

Puerto Rican, Chicanx and Latinx Literature

The purpose of this seminar is to provide students with a survey of Puerto Rican, Chicanx & Latinx Literature with the intention of broadening the knowledge and understanding of the historical and present-day cultural contributions of Latinx in the United States. Drawing from various literary genres including poetry, essays, theater, memoir and fiction, the course will explore poetics of liberation in Puerto Rico, Nuyorican surrealism, Chicanx and Dominican gender constructions, and Afro-descendant storytelling. The emphasis will be on the in-depth analysis of literary texts by Latinx writers while paying attention to historical, linguistic and cultural contexts. We will see how these texts inform the present understanding of Latinx cultural identities.

Introduction to Puerto Rican and Latinx Studies

The purpose of this course is to provide students with an interdisciplinary survey of Puerto Rican & Latinx Studies with the intention of broadening the knowledge and understanding of the historical and present-day social, economic, and cultural contributions of Latinx in the United States. Drawing from various disciplines including literature, film, and cultural studies, the course will explore the emergence of ethnic studies programs, the impact of the United States’ policies on the island of Puerto Rico and on immigration, anti-colonial poetics and events, the humanitarian crisis at the Mexican/US border, and Afro-Caribbean storytelling. Likewise, issues and constructs surrounding class, race, and ethnic identities within Latinx communities will be covered.

 

Past Courses

Latinx Remaking The US

This writing-intensive course is an interdisciplinary cultural survey of Latinx (im)migrants in the U.S. It will explore comparative ethnic relations and struggles for community representation and persistence. The course will analyze inner-city activism, Afro-Caribbean arts, radio and poetics in New York City, Chicano movements in the Southwest, ancestral inquiries and Latinx gender and racial politics. The objective of the class is to facilitate entries into Latinx culture and identities while framing the fight for visibility, civil rights and artistic platforms in the U.S.

 

Writing Through Literature: Caribbean Diasporas

“Writing Through Literature: Caribbean Diasporas” will explore Caribbean communities in the United States and England. Through the study of three literary genres: drama, fiction, and poetry, we will see how writers unmask, propose solutions to social struggles, perform, and give visibility to diverse Caribbean experiences. We will also analyze how they establish or contradict notions of identity, gender, race, and community. Along with them, we will reflect on our writing about narrative and poetic content, style and analytical expressions. Formally, this course extends and intensifies the skills you have learned in Composition I, including process-based writing, research methods, MLA citation, and online dialogue. You will learn close-reading techniques to develop your critical thinking and writing skills further.

 

Latin American Literature

This course, conducted in Spanish, examine the most salient cultural and literary movements since postmodernism (understood broadly). Topics to be covered include postmodernism, social realism, the avant-garde, the experimental novel, Afro Caribbean aesthetics, diasporic poetics urbanization and resulting alienation, the fantastic and others. The course will explore the diversity of the Latin American experience as reflected mainly in its literary, visual and musical texts. We will read, view and listen to cultural products from a range of genres and media (poetry, narrative, film, video and popular music) in order to reflect upon significant artistic trends, political and intellectual movements throughout the 20th and 21st centuries.

 

Literatura Latinoamericana

Este curso se inspira en tres movimientos de justicia social contemporánea en los Estados Unidos: la lucha ambientalista indígena contra el Dakota Access Pipe Line, el activismo de Black Lives Matter y de los distintos grupos Latinx. Si bien no nos enfocaremos directamente en estos fenómenos sociales de E.U., a partir de ellos nos preguntaremos y examinaremos como latinoamérica en el siglo 20 y 21 se relaciona y crea textos diversos en torno a las comunidades indígenas, negras y diásporicas del hemisferio. En vez de crear un muro mental separando latinoamerica de los Estados Unidos trazaremos puentes y conexiones constantes entre la situación actual en nuestra geografía y las manifestaciones culturales modernas y contemporáneas del continente.

Al hablar de las experiencias indígenas, Afro y diásporicas de latinoamérica, mantendremos la consciencia de la fluidez, la diversidad, las tensiones y contradicciones de las mismas. Los resultados intelectuales y vivenciales del curso no serán exhaustivos, más bien parciales. Se trata de una invitación a mantener el trabajo mental, emocional, performatico y corporal en torno a estos temas e identidades.

 

Arts in New York City

“The Arts in New York City” introduces students to a range of artistic forms, venues, media, and movements in the art mecca that is New York City.  In this intensive cycle, students will be exposed to visual and performance practices as well as different art institutions. They will explore a broad range of art forms through texts, images, and experiential components (visits to museums, galleries, art workshops, film screenings). Students will be introduced to and develop visual literacy skills by closely and carefully examining works of art, discussing their observations, and supporting their views using evidence from the artworks. Students will develop the critical visual literacy skills needed to discuss meaning and interpretation, audience, source, access, and the impact of works of art on the individual. Course assignments include interpretation, analysis, and synthesis.

 

Cities in Film and Literature

Since the invention of cinema in the late 19th century, writers and filmmakers across the globe have turned their gaze to the modern city both as a narrative setting and dramatic subject for films and literary texts in a variety of modes and genres. Challenging mainstream points of view, this course will focus in underrepresented urban groups to explore the diverse experience of black, Latinx and Latin Americans, Caribbean, Asian, and Arab communities in the United States and other countries. The course will examine a range of films and literary pieces from the beginnings of the silent era to the present, offering visions of urban life both reaffirming and conflictive.