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Courses :: CULS C701: Topic: Race and the Body Politic

If the past has nothing to say to the present, history may go on sleeping
undisturbed in the closet where the system keeps its old disguises.
— Eduardo Galeano

This seminar emerges from recent scholarship on race, gender, migration, and citizenship in the United States. Within this scholarship, Latinas and Latinos figure large as historical agents and subjects of inquiry.  Often working across disciplines, anthropologists, sociologists, historians, and scholars of law, literature, and education have produced new and provocative works on Latinos’ shifting relationship to the U.S. body politic. In this course, we will explore a few select readings that exemplify their diverse approaches.  We’ll pay particular attention to their disciplinary orientations, research methodologies, and conceptual frameworks.  While this course is grounded in historical concerns and methods, it is open to all students interested in Latinos, race, and the body politic.
A principle objective of this course is to understand how scholars have grappled with a wide array of primary sources (oral histories, published memoirs as well as unpublished texts, government records, etc.) in recovering and amplifying the voices of Latinas and Latinos.  Further, we will examine how those voices are situated within broader national and transnational narratives.  Another objective of this course is to engage students in primary research and scholarly production. To that end, students will formulate a research project that will be carried out during the first ten weeks of the semester.  That project will serve as the basis for a 20- to 35-page paper that (it is hoped) will inspire a future publishable article or conference presentation. Students will present their papers in class toward the end of the semester.