ENGL 362—Course Description
Despite the gains wrested since the early Chicano Movement of the 1960s, many of the spaces forged—whether institutional, private, or imaginative—remain stubbornly male-centered. While the myth of Aztlán fueled enormous sentiment and rallied support for the early movimiento, since its inception Chicana feminists have challenged the masculine nationalism and misogyny produced by Aztlán mythology.
Many of these beliefs linger today through an anti-feminist, often homophobic backlash—an attempt to defend traditional values as defined by an imagined “authentic core” of Chicano culture. As a result, women continue to be blamed for splitting apart the movement simply by demanding equal inclusion within it.
While this course provides a survey of literature by peoples of Mexican descent living in the U.S., we will attend primarily to gendered critiques of hetero-normative patriarchy and question how cultural production can function simultaneously as an instrument of domination and liberation.
Texts will include: Sandra Cisneros, The House on Mango Street; Americo Paredes, The Hammon and the Beans; Helena Viramontes, The Moths and Other Stories; Ana Castillo, So Far From God; and a course reader of additional fiction and secondary readings