Latinx Literature

According to the latest census, Latinxs now comprise the largest minority group in the nation. By the year 2025, they are estimated to reach 25% of the nation’s population. Using literature and film, this minor introduces students to a growing Latinx population and educates them about the cultures, values, aesthetic expressions, and radical social justice histories of peoples with Latin American heritage living in the United States.

The Latinx Literature minor will help prepare students to live in a thoroughly globalized world where knowledge of cultural diversity is fundamental to personal and professional success. Students will also learn, practice, and master literary analysis, argumentation, and other writing skills essential for graduate study and careers in the law, education, public policy, writing, and government.

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The minor will expose students to a dynamic body of literature that, for the past fifty years, has gained national prominence and international acclaim. Latina and Latino writers, poets, essayists, journalists, and playwrights have won major literary awards including the Pulitzer Prize in literature, drama, and poetry. Students will be exposed to a meaningful part of American literature and obtain a comprehensive understanding of Latinx writers and their place within a national (and hemispheric) tradition. Students completing the minor will be able to:

  • Study Latinx literature and its role in expanding the American literary canon.
  • Synthesize and incorporate dominant theoretical and historical perspectives on Latinx literature.
  • Evaluate principal concepts in Latinx literature including identity, race, nationalism, diaspora, bilingualism, class, and gender.
  • Analyze multiple ways Latinx literature addresses issues related to immigration, national borders, citizenship, crime, incarceration, law enforcement, and the justice system.
  • Gain an overview of Latinx cultural production, with an emphasis on literature, and an interdisciplinary awareness of film, music, and visual art.
  • Through written work and oral presentations, students will read a text closely and critically, demonstrating analysis at both the verbal and thematic level and acquire writing competence and specific skills in literary argumentation using textual evidence and critical sources.

Because a significant portion of Latinx literature centers on issues of justice, human rights, and U.S.-Latin American relations, the minor will prepare students for careers in:

  • Law enforcement
  • Public policy
  • Criminal justice professions
  • Law school
  • Social work
  • Graduate degrees in Literature, History, Political Science, Anthropology, Education, Sociology, Psychology, Gender Studies, Film and Media Studies, and Latin American Studies, among many other disciplines

Currently, one in four American children is of Latinx descent. Students aspiring to enter the field of education and teaching need to learn about the cultural backgrounds and literary production of a growing Latinx community. The minor would benefit students pursuing careers in:

  • Early childhood education
  • K-12 education
  • Bilingual education
  • School administrators
  • Professors

To learn more, please contact Professor Richard Perez and/or Professor Belinda Rincón.