This course name and description ONLY applies to academic year 2021-2022

LLRO 13186-2: Dangerous Reads: Banned US Latina/o/x Literature

Instructor: Marisel Moreno

The 2010 ban of the Mexican-American Studies program in the Tucson Unified School District (AZ) provoked a national debate regarding the importance of ethnic studies in our schools.

From Shakespeare’s The Tempest to Drown by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Junot Díaz, the list of books “removed” from classrooms revealed that what was—and continues to be—at stake is more than just the future of Mexican-American studies. In this course, we will begin by examining HB 2281, the law that terminated the MAS program. We will read and discuss a number of the canonical US Latina/o/x literary works that were banned, as well as works that have been banned in other contexts. Students will engage with Latina/o/x diaspora literature from various backgrounds, including Mexican-American, U.S. Puerto Rican, Dominican, Cuban, Peruvian, Salvadoran, and Guatemalan. We will end the semester discussing Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadway musical hit Hamilton, which due to its unprecedented reception in the US represents a counter-example to the other texts we will study. This course has a required community-based learning/service-learning component that entails tutoring children at the local organization La Casa de Amistad once a week for 2 hours. A change to online tutoring is possible if the University requires it as the monitor COVID cases locally. Tutoring/mentoring at La Casa will provide an opportunity for students to deepen their understanding of the issues studied in class in a "real world" context while also fostering stronger ties between Notre Dame and the South Bend community. This course offers a great opportunity for students to learn about Latina/o/x cultural production in the U.S. Knowledge of Spanish is not necessary. Course counts toward the Latino Studies minor and supplementary major.