BLAST COURSES IN THE HUMANITIES (from AGHI on Hopkins@Home)
Course Title: “Latinx Immigration and Literature: Interpreting the Border"
Dates: Mondays/Thursdays from July 13th through August 14th (5 weeks)
Class Type: 1 lecture + 1 live discussion meeting (Zoom) per week
Course Description: How does crossing borders—geographical, metaphorical, linguistic—construct and affect the Latinx subject in the United States? How does the phenomenon of the immigrant detention center change the discourse on border crossing and the public’s perception of Latinx immigrants, and how might the written word provide a counternarrative? “Latinx Immigration and Literature: Interpreting the Border” is an introduction to the ongoing Mexican and Central American refugee crisis and immigrant detention practices through the lenses of Latinx writers, as well as primarily female scholars working on incarceration, politics, border studies, language, and Chicana/o and Latinx Studies. Since speaking Spanish and indigenous languages tend to double inscribe migrants as other, the texts of the course will also consider the role of bilingual communication in relation to racism and xenophobia, institutional disempowerment, mediation, and possibilities for activism. This course features writing by the Mexican writer Valeria Luiselli, who is at the forefront of spreading awareness about child migration; the Chicana writer Helena María Viramontes, famous for her compassionate and dignifying portrayals of Latinx characters; and anonymous, detained minors themselves, who in writing poetry, tell audiences outside of the detention center their dreams of living in the United States. This course will have readings to complete before lecture and short preparatory tasks before discussion. Please procure copies of Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in 40 Questions, Dreaming America: Voices of Undocumented Youth in Maximum-Security Detention, and Their Dogs Came with Them ahead of time. No prior knowledge needed – all are welcomed!
Instructor: Alexandra Lossada, English (she/her)
Open to the public
[image credit: Kikito by street artist JR (2017)]