This course situates the above questions within themes related to the experiences of land use and reform, belonging, displacements, and identity in Latin America. We will ask the fundamental questions of how and why people have experienced physical, ideological, and metaphorical connections to the land and to each other. The social, economic, political, and cultural implications of those themes will be examined across time and space: from pre-Columbian encounters to the twenty-first century, and in case studies from Latin American countries of the Caribbean, Central and South America. Over the course of the semester, we will question regional, racial, and gendered assumptions and stereotypes along with the role of the “borderland” in looking at the US-Latina/o/x experience.
Our course materials will include novels, short stories, autobiographies, archival documents, travel accounts, essays, film, poetry, and secondary sources. You will find, however, that many of the texts will blur the boundaries between genres and between history and literature.