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  • History 380
    History of Latinos in the United States
    Salem State College
    Spring 2001
    WF 11-12:15, SB 107A

    Professor Avi Chomsky
    Sullivan Building 109

    History of the different Latino populations in the United States, beginning with U.S. expansion in the nineteenth century. History of Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Cubans, Dominicans and Central Americans in the United States in the context of U.S. relations with the sending countries (Mexican-American War, Spanish-American War, Dominican and Central American occupations), and changes over time in U.S. society and economy. Historical construction of race and ethnicity, gender, and changing forms of identities.

    Arnoldo de León, They Called Them Greasers: Anglo Attitudes toward Mexicans in Texas, 1821-1900.
               Austin: University of Texas Press, 1983.
    Joy L. De Jesus, ed., Growing Up Puerto Rican: An Anthology.
               William Morrow and Company, 1997.
    Cristina García, Dreaming in Cuban. NY: Knopf, 1992.
    Julia Alvarez, How the García Girls Lost their Accents.
               Chapel Hill: Algonquin Books, 1991.
    Juan González, Harvest of Empire: A History of Latinos in America.
               NY: Viking, 2000.

    Course requirements. Attendance and participation and crucial (20%). Five short papers (2-3 pages, 10% each); one final paper (15%); final exam (15%).

    Jan 17 Introduction

    Jan 19 What is a Latino? (González, Introduction; chap. 12)

    Jan 24 Why migration? (González, chap. 11)

    Jan 26 U.S. Immigration policy
    Paper due. Identify and discuss an issue raised in this week’s readings, giving personal reactions. Though this paper is informal, it should be coherent and have a thesis.


    Jan 31 What is the United States? (González, chap. 1; begin de León)

    Feb 2 Colonization in the Southwest, Texas, and the Mexican-American War (González, chap. 2; de León)

    Feb 7 The Mexican Revolution and the First Wave of Immigration (González, chap. 5; de León)

    Feb 9 The U.S. and Mexico Today (de León)

    Feb 14 Mexican Workers: Film: Los mineros (hand-outs)

    Feb 16 The Farmworkers Movement and La Raza . Final paper proposal due.


    Feb 21 Puerto Ricans: The Spanish-American War and Puerto Rico (González, chap. 3, pp. 58-63; chap. 4; Growing Up Puerto Rican, Ana Lydia Vega, “Liliane’s Sunday”)

    Feb 23 Puerto Ricans: Factories and Food Stamps (Growing up Puerto Rican, José Luis González, “There is a little colored boy”)

    Feb 28 Puerto Ricans: Aspects of the Puerto Rican experience in the U.S. (Growing up Puerto Rican, Abraham Rodríguez, “The Boy Without a Flag”; Piri Thomas, “Brothers Under the Skin”; Aurora Levins Morales, “Immigrants”)

    Mar 2 Puerto Ricans: Explaining the education/income gaps (Growing up Puerto Rican, Julio Marzán, “The Ingredient”; Jesús Colón, “Kipling and I”; Alba Ambert, “A Perfect Silence”; González, chap. 14)
    Paper due. Using class readings, discuss some aspect of Puerto Rican life in the U.S. Again, your paper should have a thesis and you should look for evidence in your two sources to back up your argument. 5 pages.

    Mar 7 Cubans: The Spanish-American War and Cuba (González, chap. 2, pp. 63-66; García).

    Mar 9 Rough draft of final paper due. Discussion of paper topics.

    Mar 12-16 SPRING BREAK

    Mar 21 Cubans: The Cuban Revolution and Migration (González, chap. 6; García)

    Mar 23 Film: “Miami/Havana”

    Mar 28 Cubans: discussion: Mexican, Puerto Rican, and Cuban experiences compared. Paper due: Using González, the film, and García as sources, discuss some aspect of Cuban life in the U.S.

    Mar 30 Dominicans: The United States and the Dominican Republic--History (González, chap. 2, pp. 68-73; Alvarez)

    Apr 4 Dominicans: The United States and the Dominican Republic—Current issues (González, chap. 7; Alvarez)

    Apr 6 Film: “Nueba Yol”

    Apr 11 Finish “Nueba Yol”

    Apr 13 Discussion on Alvarez and “Nueba Yol”
    Paper due. Use Alvarez and “Nueba Yol” as sources to discuss an issue of historical/theoretical importance in the Dominican experience in the United States.


    Apr 18 Central Americans: Issues in migration (González, chap. 2, pp. 73-76; chap. 8)

    Apr 20 Film: “El norte”

    Apr 25 Finish “El norte”

    Apr 27 Discussion: Central Americans in the U.S. Short paper due: Compare the experience of Central Americans in the U.S. to other national groups, based on the film and González.

    May 2 Conclusion

    Final Exam: Monday, May 7, 2:30-4:30
    Final paper due. 6-8 pages.

    Final paper options.

    1. Research project.
    Choose a topic related to the history of Latinos in the United States and write a paper based on library or internet research, placing it in the context of issues or themes raised in class.
    2. Paper based on class readings. Choose a topic and use class readings to explore it more in depth.
    3. Paper based on field work/oral history, placing it in the context of issues or themes raised in class.

    Salem State College is committed to providing equal access to the educational experience for all students in compliance with Section 504 of The Rehabilitation Act and The Americans with Disabilities Act and to providing all reasonable academic accommodations, aids and adjustments. Any student who has a documented disability requiring an accommodation, aid or adjustment should speak with the instructor immediately. Students with Disabilities who have not previously done so should provide documentation to and schedule an appointment with the Office for Students with Disabilities and obtain appropriate services.

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