Spring 2023 COURSES

LTS 3007 Puerto Rican Culture

Professor Gustavo Quintera Vera

Tuesdays, Thursdays 5:50PM-7:05PM (synchronous online)

This interdisciplinary course will examine the life of Puerto Ricans in the island, as well as that of the Puerto Rican diaspora in New York and beyond. It explores the ever-changing history, culture, and beliefs of its people through poetry, novels, historical and critical essays, documentaries, videos, songs and podcasts. Some of the topics considered will be the nature of US-PR relations and its effect on the production of subjectivities, the current exploitation of the of the archipelago and its people through disaster capitalism and the multi-faceted resistances to these forces, and the analysis of popular culture through various artistic expressions. This course intends to offer different entry points into a complex and contradictory culture that consistently challenges structures of local and imperial power through a critique of colonialism and its effects on identity formations and national discourses.

LTS 3012: Latinas: A Social and Cultural Survey

Professor Rebecca L. Salois

Tuesdays, Thursdays 10:45AM-12:00PM 

Latinas is a collaborative design course in which the students and the professor work together to choose the readings for the semester, the assignment types, and the class code of engagement. We read literary and critical works by and about Latina women in the United States and address a wide range of subjects including gender and sexuality, language, politics, family relationships, education and labor relations, literary and artistic expression, and the construction and expression of Latina identities. The class is student-centered and discussion based. It is designed to enhance student appreciation and awareness of the many roles of Latinas in the family, the community, and the country.


Professor Arthur Lewin

Thursdays, 6:05-9:00PM

What have African Americans, over the centuries, contributed to the US economy, and how has the US economy treated them?

What are the institutional and the psychological barriers to Black advancement and how can they be overcome?

What are the reasons for, and what are the methods to contain, the rampant consumerism that plagues not just Black Americans, but many in this nation, and keeps them from establishing the general wealth that is the key to real economic progress in this society?

LTS 3021: The U.S.-Mexico Border

Professor Tonia Leon

Mondays, Wednesdays 5:50PM-7:05PM

(synchronous online)

This online course is very alive as we deal with the on-going tragedies of the border as well as the institutions which are in forefront of the battle for justice and compassion. The course encompasses almost two thousand mile border as well as the history which lays beneath the current situations, focusing on the peoples who live at and those who are attempting to cross the border. We will read news articles, journals, books, watch videos and movies and interact with guest speakers, listen to poetry and music. The heart of the course is the term paper in which each student will research an issue at the border – climate, children, legal challenges, money, race, politics, gender, as well as get into connect with organizations working on solutions.

BLS 3024: Women of Color

Professor Keisha Allan

Tuesdays, Thursdays, 4:10-5:25PM 

This course invites discussion of some of the major concerns explored in the literature by women of color. We will discuss the focal place given to history in the writing of these authors; feminism and its concerns; how women writers of color approach topics such as enslavement and forced migration; and colonialism’s effect on ideas and attitudes toward women of color. This course examines how the voices and sensibility of women writers of color contribute to our understanding of the experiences of women at home and in the diaspora.

BLS 3034:  Survey of African American Literature

Professor Shelly Eversley

MW 10:45AM-12:00PM

Since its beginnings, African American literature merges literary craft with questions concerning the racial justice and democratic ethics; its poetry, fiction, and essays also speak to issues about gender identity, sexuality, and class while it also experiments with speculative futures, sound, and visual forms.  Together we will read writing by African Americans, from the 19th century to the present, exploring key moments in literary style and schools–including realist, modernist, protest, avant-garde, and Afro-futurism–to better understand how and why African American literature is so central to American literature.

BLS/LTS 3050 Race and Global Inequality

Professor Tshombe Miles

Wednesdays, 6:05-9:00PM

This course explores how ideas of race, racism, economic systems, and social inequality are connected. The course offers historical, political, and economic developments, such as the transatlantic slave trade, European colonialism in the Americas, and then later in Africa and Asia to examine how economic and political systems work to reproduce racial inequality.  We will also explore various projects of resistance.

LTS 3058 Contemporary Latin American Fiction

Professor Rojo Robles

Mondays, Wednesdays 12:50 -2:05PM

In the Fall 2020 issue of World Literature Today, Puerto Rican writer and professor Jotacé López describes contemporary Puerto Rican literature as one that is reflecting on and responding to a prolonged state of emergency. “The state of emergency is the exception, the overturned routine, the searing pause, the lost tranquility,” he says. In this course, we will take López’s editorial conceptualization as one that could lead us also into a complex discussion about current Latin American fiction. As López suggests, the vulnerability of bodies and the deteriorating circumstances in which life occurs are at the center of these examinations. The writers and filmmakers we will put in conversation are addressing gender, sexual and gun violence, racism and anti-blackness, governmental corruption, (sub) urban decay, lack of economic opportunities, climate disasters and aftershocks, displacements, family separations, life and struggles in the diasporas. We will notice that these literary and film texts challenge borders and fixed national constructs, presenting hemispheric fluidity and archipelagic flows instead. The states of emergency point towards global crisis, of course, but also to all the inventive ways that people are using to survive, envision futures, narrate their realities, and create spaces for achieving self-reliance and hope.

LTS 3100 Latino/a/x Communities in the US

Professor Rojo Robles

Monday, Wednesdays 12:50 -2:05PM

 This course centers on the historical and present-day cultural contributions of these Latino/a/x communities in the United States. The course emphasizes the concept of diaspora as a lived negotiation between displacement and cultural retention. It will explore comparative relations and struggles for community representation. Throughout the semester, we will look at experiences of migration, the legacy of colonialism in former Mexican territories, labor, identity, and gender (infra) politics. We will examine Afro-diasporic poetics and sounds within Dominicans and Cubans, Puerto Rican transnationalism, and urban textual portraits. We will expand our scope by looking at the lives, struggles, and joys of Puerto Rican, Dominican, Cuban, Mexican, and Central American migrants through memoirs, personal essays, poetry, documentaries, and cinematic fiction. By examining these complementary narratives and themes, we will explore issues of (neo) colonialism, gender, sexuality, race, social class, migration, urban life, and access to citizenship, resources, and institutions.  

BLS/LTS4900 Seminar in Black & Latino Studies 

Professor Karanja Keita Carroll

Friday 11.10am-2.05pm

This course focuses on Black and Brown community organizers from the past to the present. Students will study the history of Black and Brown social justice organizations and the organizers who were/are a part of them. Organizations under review may include the Universal Negro Improvement Association, Organization of Afro-American Unity, Black Panther Party, Young Lords, Fuerzas Armadas de Liberacion Nacional, the Boricua-Macheteros Popular Army to more recent formations. Students will utilize qualitative and quantitative research methods to explore Black and Brown community organizers and their impact on today’s social movements. A realistic understanding of Black and Brown organizations requires that men and women, along with LBGTQ organizers be engaged to explore the complexity of organizing within BIPOC communities. Students will conclude the semester by producing a final project that is reflective of the interdisciplinary nature of Black & Latino Studies, ie. podcasts, zines, blogs, etc. All of the final projects will be made available online for easy public access. 

LACS/BLS/LTS 4902: Latin America and the Caribbean:  Cultures and Societies

Carnival and the Carnivalesque in Caribbean Literature and Culture

Professor Keisha Allan

Tuesdays, 11:10AM-2:05PM

In this course, we will explore representations of carnival and the carnivalesque in literature, art and film. We will examine how writers, artists and activists depict carnival as a locus of resistance to existing hierarchies. This course examines how the inherently unstable, contradictory and “shape-shifting” nature of the carnival and the carnivalesque creates avenues for social and political transformation.  We will partner with the Mishkin Gallery to engage in collaborative discussions on representations of carnival and the carnivalesque in various forms of media.