A welcome message from Prof. Claudia Milian, LSGS Faculty Director.


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FALL 2015 COURSES

Introduction to Latino/a Studies - LSGS 101
Introduction to the interdisciplinary field of Latino/a Studies, and how it reconfigures the study of the United States and the Americas. Considers literature, history, sociology, economics, politics, culture and language in examining terms such as: Latino, latinidad, Global South, transnational, globalization, and multiculturalism. Exploration of alignments and divergences of Latino/a Studies with African and African American Studies, Latin American and Caribbean Studies, and Critical US Studies. Classroom learning will connect with the community outside of Duke. Required introductory course for students in the Latino/a Studies in the Global South certificate program.

Spanish for Heritage Speakers - LSGS 305
Designed for students who are heritage speakers, educated almost exclusively in English, with little exposure to Spanish in academic setting. Linguistic work contextualized through three major fields: arts (music, literature, cinema, painting, sculpting); society (Latinos & language in the US, traditions, immigration related topics); and mass media (television, radio, newspapers, new technologies).

Health, Culture, & Latino Community - LSGS 306
Exploration of health issues in the Spanish-speaking world shaped by social, cultural, political, ethnic, and economic determinants. Topics to be explored include: cultural competency, community beliefs, medical practices and policies, preventive medicine, mental health.

Latino/a Voices in Duke, Durham, Beyond - LSGS 308S
Community-based interaction with Durham Public Schools. Topics for consideration: Latino/a identity, access to education for immigrants, academic performance, assimilation, general pressures of family and peers, bilingualism, configurations of ethno-racial consciousness.

US Latino/a Literature/Culture Studies; Latino/a Autobiography and Memoir - LSGS 490S
This seminar considers cultural and intellectual approaches to the construction and emergence of individual self-awareness and self-reference, exploring a variety of representations of the autobiographical voice, textual authority, and the boundaries between fact and fiction. These acts and discursive manifestations of individual life experience will be studied from the sociocultural and political modes of the U.S. Latino and Latina category. Accordingly, we will ask: In what ways do the stories of Latino and Latina cultural workers reconstruct factual and fictional modes of their subject formation and distinctive moments in U.S. society? And what do these articulations alter in relation to “unifying” values, traditions, and sociopolitical memberships? Of particular concern is how these cultural producers live and literarily represent both the America and the Latin/o America of their time.

Politics of Food - CULANTH 238
Explores the food system through fieldwork, study, and guest lectures that include farmers, nutritionists, sustainable agriculture advocates, rural organizers, and farmworker activists. Examines how food is produced, seeks to understand its workers and working conditions in fields and factories, and, using documentary research conducted in the field and other means, unpacks the major current issues in the food justice arena globally and locally. Fieldwork required, but no advanced technological experience necessary. At least one group field trip, perhaps to a local farm or farmers market, required.

Myth, Ritual, Symbol - CULANTH 422
What might something as everyday as a football game, a dream, watching a movie or telling/hearing a bedtime story reveal about deeply human processes like identity and power? What about weddings, or war? This course examines the apparent contradiction that a myth is both untrue (separate from a fact or science) and "the mythic" refers to deep human history, to ways of thinking, believing, and feeling that have life and death effects (like the Myth of the American Dream, or of Oedipus). Or that we dismiss ritual as something empty, rote, and meaningless, (separate from spontaneous, real events) and yet our lives are filled with both small, quotidian rites (the morning shower and coffee, going to church, synagogue mosque, temple...) and built around profoundly moving ways we recognize life transitions (baptism, turning 21, graduation, funerals).

LSGS Courses

IN THE BROWN STUDY

Lend your ears to "Taking on Academia: A Conversation about Latino Studies," a podcast from NPR's Latino USA centering on the field's importance, its current state, and what educators want going forward. The episode features Frances R. Aparicio, Professor of Spanish and Portuguese and Director of the Latina and Latino Studies Program at Northwestern University; Nancy "Rusty" Barceló, President of Northern New Mexico College; and Juana María Rodríguez, Professor in the Gender and Women’s Studies Department at the University of California, Berkeley.


The Latino/a experience affects the entire United States, if not the world.

MEET PROF. MARISOL LEBRÓN, LSGS POSTDOC
    • Marisol LeBrón, LSGS Postdoc

Hello! I’m so thrilled to be joining the Duke community for the next two years as the Postdoctoral Associate in the Program in Latino/a Studies in the Global South.
 
A little bit about me: I’m a queer nuyorican scholar born and raised in the Bronx. I’m an Assistant Professor on leave from the Department of American Studies at Dickinson College. I received my Ph.D. in American Studies from New York University in 2014. I went to Oberlin College for my undergrad, where I received my B.A. in Comparative American Studies. (While attending Oberlin, which is in a small town outside of Cleveland, I got asked my thoughts about LeBron James at least twice a week – this still happens surprisingly often.)

My research and teaching focus on issues of racial formation, spatial inequality, violence, and social activism in the United States, especially in Latina/o and Puerto Rican communities.

I am currently working on my first book, "Policing Life and Death: Race, Violence, and Resistance in Puerto Rico," which looks at the growth of punitive logics and practices on the island. In particular, I am interested in how policing produced more vulnerability and violence in Puerto Rico’s racially, economically, and socially marginalized communities than it alleviated. Further, I document how Puerto Rican activists are challenging harmful “tough on crime” policies by working to expand Puerto Ricans' understandings of safety and justice.
 
This semester, I’ll be teaching a course entitled Policing Latinidad: From Border Wars to Mass Incarceration. It is an interdisciplinary course that explores a number of topics, ranging from the history of border enforcement, to the criminalization of social protest, to the school-to-prison pipeline, to the war on drugs. 
 
See you on campus!

    • Policing Latinidad

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LSGS VIDEO

Jennine Capó Crucet reads the story “Happy Birthday Dear Dante” from her award-winning collection, How to Leave Hialeah (University of Iowa Press, 2009), and answers questions from students in the “Introduction to Latino/a Studies” seminar, taught by Walter Mignolo, William H. Wannamaker Professor of Literature and Romance Studies, in the Fall 2014 semester.
 
This video features questions such as: “What is it about Miami that motivates your writing?” (8:27); “How do you represent ‘in-betweenness’ in your writing? (9:54); and “What do you hope students learn through your writing and teaching?” (12:18).
 
Capó Crucet is currently Assistant Professor of English and Ethnic Studies at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Make Your Home Among Strangers (St. Martin’s Press, 2015) is her debut novel.

CURIOSITIES » AROUND THE WEB

» Latinas in History: An Interactive Project.

» Three Things You Should Know About Birthright Citizenship, "… the U.S. is an anomaly in the world when it comes to this issue. Most of the rest of the world, for example, gives people citizenship based on a concept known as jus sanguinis, literally 'by right of blood.'"

»
"I'm Latino. I’m Hispanic. And they’re different, so I drew a comic to explain." 

    • I Love Durham

» Durham Neighborhood Group Gets to Know Hispanic Neighbors Better. Durham rise in the Latina and Latino population "isn’t all due to immigration from Latin America." Instead, “We are seeing more families coming here from other places in the United States”

» "From Tobacco to Tortillas: Latinos Remake Durham, North Carolina," an NBC News article about Bull City's Latino and Latina population: "After a two-decade period of adjustment, this city of Southern heritage appears also to be cultivating a Hispanic heritage. 'People are getting used to the fact that Latinos are here.'"

Around the Web

    • The Weeping House
Weeping House by Izel Vargas. Used by kind permission of the artist.