U.S. Latino/a Literature Minor

U.S. Latino/a Literature Minor


Description. This minor examines U.S. Latino/a authors writing in English and focuses on the four major U.S. Latino/a groups – Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Dominican – as well as other significant U.S. Latino/a populations – Colombian, Peruvian, Ecuadorian, Salvadoran, and Guatemalan. While applying literary criticism and taking an interdisciplinary approach, which may also include the study of music, religion, politics, film, and the visual arts, this minor provides a well–rounded understanding of the cultural elements that contribute to U.S. Latino/a Literature. In addition, this minor will enable students to develop the critical reading and writing skills essential for graduate study and careers in the law, education, public policy, writing, and government. Among the broad issues this minor will address include the following: diaspora; bilingual aesthetics; street literature; criminal and social justice; border narratives, citizenship, and the law; experiences of exile; Afro–Latinidad; Latina feminisms; queer identities; orality; and ethnicity.

Learning Outcomes. Students will:

  • Know U.S. Latino/a literature and its role in expanding the American literary canon.
  • Synthesize and incorporate dominant theoretical and historical perspectives on U.S. Latino/a Literature.
  • Evaluate principal concepts in U.S. Latino/a Literature including identity, race, nationalism, diaspora, bilingualism, class, and gender.
  • Analyze multiple ways U.S. Latino/a literature addresses issues related to immigration, national borders, citizenship, crime, incarceration, law enforcement, and the justice system.
  • Gain an overview of U.S. Latino/a cultural production, with an emphasis on literature, and an interdisciplinary awareness of film, music, and visual art.
  • Through written work and oral presentations, students will read a text closely and critically, demonstrating analysis at both the verbal and thematic level and acquire writing competence and specific skills in literary argumentation using textual evidence and critical sources.

Rationale. The minor will expose students to a dynamic body of literature that, for the past fifty years, has gained national prominence and international acclaim. Latina and Latino writers, poets, essayists, journalists, and playwrights have won major literary awards including the Pulitzer Prize in literature, drama, and poetry. U.S. Latino/a writers come from varying racial, cultural, and geographic locations. These diverse backgrounds give birth to a rich literature whose expressive range and sensibilities significantly enlarge the field of American literature. As with all literature classes, Latino literature classes will help develop student mastery of analytical reading, interpretation, and effective rhetorical skills. As one part of John Jay’s overall rigorous curriculum, the Latino/a Literature minor will help students develop effective written communication skills as well as formulate nuanced perspectives on cultural diversity that are necessary for success in personal and professional endeavors.

Credits required. 18

Minor coordinator. Professors Richard Perez, English Department, (646.557.4408,rperez@jjay.cuny.edu) and Belinda Rincon, English and Latin American and Latina/o Studies Departments, (212.237.8750, brincon@jjay.cuny.edu)

Requirements. A maximum of two courses can overlap with a student’s major, other minor or program.

PART ONE. 200-LEVEL FOUNDATION COURSE             Subtotal: 3 credits


LIT 265 Foundations of U.S. Latino/a Literature

PART TWO. 300-LEVEL COURSE REQUIREMENTS     Subtotal: 12 credits

Select four courses

LIT 357 Violence of Language: U.S. Latino/a Street Literature
LIT 383 Gender and Sexuality in U.S. Latino/a Literature
LLS 362 Entangled Tongues: Bilingualism in U.S. Latino/a Literature
LLS 363 Il-Legal Subjects: U.S. Latino/a Literature and the Law
LLS 364 Ethical Strains in U.S. Latino/a Literature

PART THREE. 400-LEVEL COURSE                                          Subtotal: 3 credits


LIT 409 Seminar in U.S. Latino/a Literature

Total: 18 credits
Last Updated: 9/28/16