Latinx Theory: Being and Knowing

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2019

Latina/o literary theory gives a central place to the effects of history and geo-political conditions on the production of knowledge. Therefore, Latina/o theorists begin their critical work by foregrounding the distinct contexts from which the intellectual work of Latinas/os arise and how those contexts relate to the content, language, and style of their writing.

How do Latina/o writers challenge assumptions about literature and national languages? How do they understand the self, identity, race, and gender in their relation to context? What is the relationship between myth, history, and the self? What is the relationship between knowledge, power, and wisdom; between creative writing and political transformation?

In this seminar we will explore these questions through close readings of key Latino/a scholars and writers, including Walter Mignolo, María Lugones, and Eduardo Mendieta, among others. We will also read key literary texts from which the theorists draw for their analyses.

This is not a lecture course. I will offer background on concepts and guiding questions, but the main work will be close readings and discussion of texts.

The course will be conducted in English.