Teaching the Latino/a Literature of the U.S. José A. Carmona Independent Educational Consultant Dade City, Florida, USA
Dedication by Gustavo Pérez Firmat• The fact that I • don’t belong to English• am writing to you • though I belong nowhere• in English else,• already falsifies what I • if not here• wanted to tell you. • in English.• My subject• how to explain to you• that I Copyright by Gustavo Perez-Firmat
Introduction• The Latino/a literature of the United States, although widely published, is still missing across many campuses and curriculum in the U.S.• This literature can be infused across the college curriculum in many ways.• The following presentation will illustrate ways of achieving success when teaching this literature.
Who is the Latino/a Writer?• Chicano/a • Nuyorican• Cuban American • Puerto Rican American• Colombian American • Etc.• Dominican American
Who is the Latino/a Writer?• He/she writes from the perspective of living in the U.S. and not from a Latin American perspective.• He/she lives in a dichotomy of two dissimilar cultures with distinct values, goals and experiences.
What Language Do They Use?• English• Spanish• Spanglish
What Do They Write About?• Growing up in the U.S.• The Urban Experience/Living in the U.S.• Assimilation vs. Acculturation• Language Barrier
What Do They Write About?• Dual Identity• Longing for Parents’ Culture/Nostalgia• Closeness to the Earth• Political Concerns
What Do They Write About?• These themes, as well as others not mentioned here, make up this vast body of literature.• The Latino/a writer has the opportunity to select the best from each culture: The Edge Effect Theory (Gustavo Perez- Firmat).
A Brief History of this Literature: The Coming of Age Events• The following novels represent two major events in the coming of age narrative:• Pocho (1959), José Antonio Villareal• A Puerto Rican in New York and Other Stories (1961), Jesus Colón
A Brief History of this Literature: Chicano/a Writers• José A. Villareal • Rudolfo Anaya• Tomás Rivera • Oscar “Zeta”Acosta• Ernesto Galarza • Ron Arias
A Brief History of this Literature: Chicano/a Writers• Arturo Islas • Victor Villaseñor• Rolando Hinojosa • Gloria Anzaldúa• Sandra Cisneros • Ana Castillo
A Brief History of this Literature: Chicano/a Writers II• Jimmy Santiago • Guillermo Gómez- Baca Peña• Luís J. Rodríguez • Richard Rodríguez• Gary Soto
A Brief History of this Literature: Cuban American Writers• José Martí • Oscar Hijuelos• José Yglesias • Roberto Fernández• Pablo Medina • Elías Miguel Muñoz
A Brief History of this Literature: Cuban American Writers• Carolina Hospital • Achy Obejas• Virgil Suárez • Ana Menéndez• Cristina García • Margarita Engle• Silvia Curbelo • Dionisio Martinez
A Brief History of this Literature: Puerto Rican American Writers• Jesús Colón • Edward Rivera• Piri Thomas • Ed Vega• Nicholasa Mohr • Ivonne Sapia
A Brief History of this Literature: Puerto Rican American Writers• Judith Ortíz Cofer• Esmeralda Santiago• Abraham Rodríguez
A Brief History of this Literature: Other Latino/a Writers• Victor Perera • Junot Díaz (Guatemalan Am.) (Dominican Am.)• Julia Alvarez • Silvana Paternostro (Dominican Am.) (Colombian Am.)• Jaime Manrique (Colombian Am.)
How Can We Integrate this Literature in Our Curriculum?• Latino/a Studies Programs• English/Comparative Literature Classes• Spanish Language Classes
How Can We Integrate this Literature in Our Curriculum?• English as a Second Language Classes• Latin American Literature Classes• Sociology/Psychology Classes
How Can We Integrate this Literature in Our Curriculum?• Environmental Classes• Science Classes• Mathematics Classes
Why should We Integrate this Literature in Our Curriculum?• Representation in the Classroom• Identity Booster• Multiculturalism in the Curriculum
Why should We Integrate this Literature in Our Curriculum?• Learn from Our Ethnic Experiences/ Differences• Find Who and Where We Are Now• Showcase Widely Published Works
Conclusion• Teaching the Latino/a literature of the U.S. is not a simple task.• Learning is an ongoing process.• Infuse small chunks at a time.
Conclusion• Set attainable goals.• Be prepared to make mistakes.• Be prepared to learn from students.
Conclusion: Questions to Ponder• Which classes would you infuse right away with the Latino/a literature of the U.S.?• How are you going to accomplish this?• Where can you get more information?
Contact Information• You may contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org• By phone at: 386-675-8594• Please, see handouts for bibliographies
References• Augenbraum, Harold and Ilan Stavans. (1993). Growing Up Latino: Memoirs and Stories. NY: Houghton Mifflin.• Kanellos, Nicolás. (1997). Hispanic Firsts: 500 Years of Extraordinary Achievement. MI: Visible Ink Press.• Peréz Firmat, Gustavo. “Dedication.” In Hospital, Carolina. (1988). Cuban American Writers: Los Atrevidos. Princeton, NJ: Ediciones Ellas/Linden Lane Press.