Mon cours

I said I would give a senior/graduate level course called Raza y palabra, on race and writing in Spain and Latin America, 1486-2014. This happened in a flash of inspiration and I do not now remember my concept clearly. The title is entirely too ambitious, and there is entirely too much potential material. I must order books, however, and I must remember that the students know less than I do. Much less, in fact.

Here is something quite simple I could do.

1. Talk about what race is generally. Perhaps use some of Tanya Golash-Boza’s new anthology — either the book, or the material she also anthologized lately in a special issue of a journal (that I can find). Inquiry: what is race?

2. Talk about the idea of the “Hispanic” or the “Latin” (“por mi raza hablará el espíritu”). Material from José Piedra, José Ortega y Gasset, Joshua Goode, Jerome Branche. This “includes” Spain. Inquiry: what is Hispanic? (Note: the idea of the mestizo nation is how exceptionalism and also specificity are asserted; one is alleged to have moved beyond race — and yet this allegedly supra-racial identity is defined in racial terms.)

3. Talk about the “Afro-Hispanic difference.” (Decide what to read here). Inquiry: what difference does race make? Possible theme: contesting the criollo.

4. Talk about indigenismo, considering among other things the ways in which it is deployed in service of the (criollo) nation. Use Arguedas here, go for it.

5. Talk about the Chicano movement, the plan espiritual de Aztlán, Anzaldúa.

***And have a list of films to have them watch, and a list of books to review. Films are for common discussion, and books for individual presentations.***

What do you think?





Filed under News, Questions, Resources, What Is A Scholar?

3 responses to “Mon cours

  1. Z

    Paz, Los hijos de la malinche

  2. Every time you post about pedagogy, I wish I could take one of your classes. Education is totally wasted on the young.

    The scope of what you’re doing in this class puts me in mind of an assignment a colleague often uses in upper-level classes. She has a list of significant books on the period (history, theory, cultural criticism) and she asks each student to pick one and the first paper of the semester is a review of it. Then with every substantial reading of the semester, they add 3 pages to the paper in which they discuss how the conclusions of the book they read bear on that particular reading. At the end of semester they rewrite the initial review to take into account how their understanding of the field has changed. I’ve never used the assignment as a semester-long project in this way, but I have abbreviated it and used it for part of the semester, to good effect.

    • Z

      O good, sounds good! And your general reaction is heartening; I tend to think I am the worst teacher.

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