“Rather than sit at our drafting table as aesthetic innovators, we Latin@ poets are expected to normalize our histories and tell the ancestral tales of our colorful otherness” write Carmen Giménez Smith and John Chávez in their introduction to the anthology Angels of the Americlypse. How do expectations of the Latinx experience as filled with colorful papel picado, calaveras, and homemade tortillas affect what artists are forced to create as a cultural production? How do writers go against this norm to create radical art that pushes against these stereotypes? In this course we will explore the work of Harry Gamboa, ASCO, and other performance artists of East LA, as well as the comics of Jaime Hernández’s Love and Rockets. We will engage in works of ekphrasis and political avant-garde performance poetry to further our understandings of poets like Juan Felipe Herrera, Jennifer Tamayo, Rosa Alcalá, Rodrigo Toscano, and Urayoan Noel.
Students will be asked to create different reading responses each week from traditional close readings, to photo-essays, and dramatic monologues. We will finish the semester with a portfolio of hybrid work that engages at least two senses simultaneously in its presentation.
Corequisites: Students in this class are required to attend Wednesday night literature events.