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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Lauro H Flores
SPAN 465
Seattle Campus

Contemporary Chicano Literature

Examines one or more problems, themes, and/or figures in the developing body of Chicano literature. Prerequisite: either SPAN 303 or SPAN 316; SPAN 321; SPAN 322; either SPAN 304, SPAN 305, SPAN 306, SPAN 307, SPAN 308, SPAN 319, SPAN 339, SPAN 340, SPAN 350, SPAN 351, or SPAN 352.

Class description

Overview of Chicano literature, origins to the present. Besides a general introduction to the socio-historical background in which the literary phenomena have unfolded, representative examples of the various genres making-up the general body of Chicano literature will be closely examined (theatre, poetry, narrative). Authors studied will include Alurista, Cisneros, Herrera, Hinojosa, Lucero, Montoya, Salinas, Valdez, and others. The course will include readings in English and Spanish and discussions will at times employ a bilingual mode. However, all assignments will be in Spanish.

Students will be responsible for reading and preparing the assigned materials according to the calendar attached to the course syllabus. Class time will be divided between lectures by the instructor and discussions with the active participation of all students. As the instructor, my role will be to inform students about the context and to guide their readings in order to develop their analytical, writing, and research skills.

This course is cross listed with Chicano Studies 465. Consequently, it will be conducted mainly in English. Students enrolling through Spanish, however, will have the opportunity to read some materials in Spanish, and MUST write their essays in Spanish as well.

Student learning goals

Acquaintance with Chicano history, culture, and literary expressions.

Acquaintance with elements of literary analysis: structure, themes, style, etc.

Ability to focus on one particular element or problem in a work of literature and develop a coherent oral argument around it.

Ability to conduct research about specific authors and genres.

Ability to write coherent critical essays on literary problems.

General method of instruction

I will make the general introduction during the first two sessions of the course. Subsequently, I, or the group in charge of presenting the material that all have read in advance, will initiate the discussion and then all students will participate in the commentary. At the end, I will try to pull all strings together and draw conclusions on each text.

Each presentation group will be composed of 3-4 students, depending on the final enrollment.

Recommended preparation

Read the texts ahead of time paying attention to detail. Prepare comments and questions for class discussions. Try to identify a topic of your interest early on in the course so that you can start thinking about the final paper on a timely basis.

Class assignments and grading

Readings will be assigned in advance. The amounts will vary but, in general, should not exceed 50 pages per session. Class participation will weigh heavily. One midterm essay of 5-6 pages; one group presentation on one of the readings, determined in advance; one final paper 10-12 pp. long with notes and a bibliography that includes more than just website references.

Class participation.......................20% Midterm Essay.............................20% One 15-20 min. in-class presentation......20% Final Paper...............................40%


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Lauro H Flores
Date: 11/22/2010