SPAN322 “North of the Río Grande: Latin American Civilization and Culture”

Timetable: MWF, 2pm-3pm, Swing 205

Description: This course will focus on the literatures and cultures of Chicanos and Latinos who reside north of the Río Grande: in the United States and Canada.

Please note that this course will be taught in both English and Spanish: it will be taught in Spanish when the texts discussed are written in Spanish; and in English otherwise.

Set texts: The set texts below are available at the UBC bookstore or (in the case of Martí) will be provided in photocopied form.  You must do the reading in advance of the relevant classes and bring a copy of the text to class.

  • Maria Amparo Ruiz de Burton, Who Would Have Thought It?
  • José Martí, selections
  • Tomás Rivera, …y no se lo tragó la tierra
  • Sandra Cisneros, Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories
  • Julia Alvarez, How the García Girls Lost their Accents
  • Carmen Rodriguez, and a body to remember with

Blog: You will write c. 400 word weekly responses to the reading on a blog (either one you already maintain, or one you set up specifically for the class); your entries are to be tagged “span322.”  You will also comment on at least two other students’ blogs each week.

Wikipedia: You will establish a Wikipedia account and, in groups, write and/or revise a Wikipedia article on a relevant topic, and submit it for Wikipedia peer review and Good Article Nomination.

Assessment: One mid-term examination (25%) and one 4-6 page paper near the end of the semester (25%).  Your Wikipedia article will count for 35%, and blog entries and comments, plus attendance and participation, will constitute the final 15% of your grade.

Course convenor: Jon Beasley-Murray (jon.beasley-murray@ubc.ca).  His office hours are Mondays, 3:30pm-5:30pm, BuTo 808, or by appointment.  Be in touch if you have queries or problems.  Deal with problems when they arise; don’t keep quiet and hope they go away!

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