Instructor: Thomas Conners
Meeting time: Wednesday, 9:45-11:34 am
The 530 years since Columbus’s arrival in Hispaniola have paid witness to the fall and rise of empires, the perseverance of colonial structures of power, and the construction and (re)creation of racial, sexual, and gendered identities. In the midst of such change and continuity, this course sets out to ask: what place does Latinx occupy in this long history? What does Latinidad look like when we trace it back 530 years, when we take 1492 to be its starting point instead of the 20th century? How might this look backwards help us understand the current Latinx politics of gender (Latino vs. Latina vs. Latinx), sexuality (the place of queerness and transness in Latinx Studies), and race (Latinidad’s penchant for disavowing blackness and erasing indigeneity)? We will answer these questions as we move through different historical and literary periods, in dialogue with writing by, for example, colonial Spanish historian Bartolomé de las Casas, 19th century Cuban intellect José Martí from exile in NY, 20th century queer Chicana theorist Gloria Anzaldúa, and contemporary Honduran-Garifuna writer Janel Martínez. The course will culminate in a multimedia final project focused on creating and questioning non/dominant historical and cultural narratives.