This course name and description ONLY applies to academic year 2016-2017

LLRO 13186-1: Dangerous Reads: Banned US Latino/a Literature

This course is not currently available. Please visit the Courses section for current offerings.

Instructor: Prof. Marisel Moreno

The recent termination of Mexican-American studies classes by the Tucson Unified School District (AZ) has provoked a national debate regarding the importance of ethnic studies in our schools. While each side—proponents of the law and defenders of ethnic studies—continue to argue their case, dozens of literary works have been banned in the classrooms. From Shakespeare’s The Tempest to Drown by Pulitzer-Prize winner and Dominican-American author Junot Díaz, the list of books “removed” from classrooms reveals that what is at stake is more than just the future of Mexican-American studies. In this course, students will examine the present controversy surrounding HB 2281, grassroots movements that have emerged in response to it, and a number of the canonical US Latino literature works that were placed on the list of banned books, such as Tomás Rivera’s …and the Earth Did Not Devour Him (Chicano), Sandra Cisnero’s House on Mango Street (Chicana), Junot Díaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (Dominican), and US Puerto Rican Martín Espada’s poetry, among other authors of Cuban, Peruvian, Salvadoran, and Guatemalan descent. The course will have an optional service-learning component that entails tutoring at local La Casa de Amistad once a week. No knowledge of Spanish is necessary.