Unit 1: Introduction to Ethnic Studies

World Wall: A Vision of the Future Without Fear 1986-2003, Non-Violent Resistance, Panel 10ft. x 30ft. Acrylic on canvas by Judy Baca
World Wall: A Vision of the Future Without Fear 1986-2003, Non-Violent Resistance, Panel 10ft. x 30ft. Acrylic on canvas by Judy Baca

Instructor: Ms. Alba

E-maillalba@ggusd.us or msalbasclassgghs@gmail.com

Twitter Feed: @AlbasclassGGHS

Office Hours: Monday & Wednesday 3-4:00 p.m. & by appointment

Class Website:  www.msalbasclass.com

Course Description

This course will familiarize students with Mexican American literature and cultural production as it relates to its historical context. This course will consist of four comprehensive units: Perspectives and Memory of Early Encounters, Emergence of the Mexican American, Mexican Americans and the struggle for Civil Rights, Contemporary Mexican American Culture and Issues.

Course material will draw from various genres and historical periods to exhibit the rich contribution that Mexican American and Chicana/o creative voices and lived experiences lend to U.S. and global culture.

The emphasis of this course will be to enhance transferable literacy skills such as rhetorical reading and writing as specified by California Common Core Standards, while developing overall student knowledge of multicultural literatures for a representative education in American literatures.

Essential Questions:

1. What is identity and how is it formed?

2. How does our knowledge and/or memory of history impact identity/ies?

3. What effect(s) does history and memory have on political movements and cultural expressions?

4. What themes and ideas define Mexican American literature and cultural expressions?

5. How have Mexican American writers and artists exploration of identity influenced current “American” values politics, and  national identity?


I. Class Survey and Family Interviews

II. Introduction to Ethnic Studies:

a.  ” The Dangers of the Single Story” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie for TED TALKS

b. Why ethnic studies programs are good for California, and America – LA Times

c. Rift in Arizona as Latino Class Is Found Illegal &  “Why Long Beach Needs Ethnic Studies

d.  Why Ethnic Studies Socratic Seminar: Socratic Seminar Outer Circle

III. Intro to Race, Ethnicity, Nationality: Identity Corners & Philsophical Chairs (Handout)

IV. Exploring Who We Are through creative writing workshop: Where I’m From Poems, “Dark” Model Writes

V. Background: Chicano Literature Introduction and Bibliography by BY ANNIE O. EYSTUROY AND JOSE ANTONIO GURPEGUI

What is Chicano literature? Answered by Juan Rodriguez professor of Ethnoliterature at University of Texas at Austin.